mains

[meynz]

Origin:
1425–75; late Middle English, plural of main, aphetic variant of Middle English demain, demeine demesne

Dictionary.com Unabridged

main

1 [meyn]
adjective
1.
chief in size, extent, or importance; principal; leading: the company's main office; the main features of a plan.
2.
sheer; utmost, as strength or force: to lift a stone by main force.
3.
of or pertaining to a broad expanse: main sea.
4.
Grammar. syntactically independent; capable of use in isolation. Compare dependent ( def 4 ), independent ( def 14 ), main clause.
5.
Nautical.
a.
of or pertaining to a mainmast.
b.
noting or pertaining to a sail, yard, boom, etc., or to any rigging belonging to a mainmast.
c.
noting any stay running aft and upward to the head of a mainmast: main topmast stay.
6.
Obsolete.
a.
having or exerting great strength or force; mighty.
b.
having momentous or important results; significant.
noun
7.
a principal pipe or duct in a system used to distribute water, gas, etc.
8.
physical strength, power, or force: to struggle with might and main.
9.
the chief or principal part or point: The main of their investments was lost during the war.
10.
Literary. the open ocean; high sea: the bounding main.
11.
the mainland.
adverb
12.
South Midland U.S. (chiefly Appalachian) . very; exceedingly: The dogs treed a main big coon.
verb (used without object), verb (used with object)
13.
Slang. mainline.
Idioms
14.
in the main, for the most part; chiefly: In the main, the novel was dull reading.

Origin:
before 900; (noun) Middle English meyn, mayn strength, power, Old English mægen, cognate with Old Norse megin(n), megn strength; (adj.) Middle English mayn, partly < Old Norse megenn, megn strong, partly independent use of Old English mægen (noun) taken as an adj. in compounds, as in mægen-weorc, literally, work of might


1. cardinal, prime, paramount, primary, capital. 2. pure, direct. 7. conduit. 8. might.


1. secondary, least. 8. weakness.

main

2 [meyn]
noun
a cockfighting match.

Origin:
1560–70; perhaps special use of main1; compare main chance

Main

[meyn; German mahyn]
noun
a river in central and W Germany, flowing W from the Bohemian Forest in N Bavaria into the Rhine at Mainz. 305 miles (490 km) long.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To mains
Collins
World English Dictionary
main1 (meɪn)
 
adj
1.  chief or principal in rank, importance, size, etc
2.  sheer or utmost (esp in the phrase by main force)
3.  nautical of, relating to, or denoting any gear, such as a stay or sail, belonging to the mainmast
4.  obsolete significant or important
 
n
5.  a principal pipe, conduit, duct, or line in a system used to distribute water, electricity, etc
6.  (plural)
 a.  the main distribution network for water, gas, or electricity
 b.  (as modifier): mains voltage
7.  the chief or most important part or consideration
8.  great strength or force (now chiefly in the phrase (with) might and main)
9.  literary the open ocean
10.  archaic short for Spanish Main
11.  archaic short for mainland
12.  in the main, for the main on the whole; for the most part
 
[C13: from Old English mægen strength]

main2 (meɪn)
 
n
1.  a throw of the dice in dice games
2.  a cockfighting contest
3.  a match in archery, boxing, etc
 
[C16: of unknown origin]

Main (meɪn, German main)
 
n
a river in central and W Germany, flowing west through Würzburg and Frankfurt to the Rhine. Length: about 515 km (320 miles)

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Etymonline
Word Origin & History

main
O.E. mægen (n.) "power, strength, force," from P.Gmc. *maginam- "power," from *mag- "be able, have power" (see may). Original sense preserved in phrase with might and main. Meaning "principal channel in a utility system" is first recorded 1727 in main drain; Used since
1548 for "continuous stretch of land or water."

main
early 13c., "large, bulky, strong," from O.E. mægen- "power, strength, force," used in compounds (see main (n.)), probably infl. by O.N. megenn (adj.) "strong, powerful." Sense of "chief" is c.1400. In Spanish Main the word is short for mainland and refers to the coast
between Panama and Orinoco. Main man "favorite male friend, hero" is from 1967, U.S. black slang.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Pork chops, veal and grilled swordfish are some of the mains on offer.
For mains, choose from a variety of steaks here, from dry-aged beef steaks to
  pork chops and fish steaks.
They require us to build roads, waterlines, power mains and sewage systems out
  to all these outposts we've created.
Water crews set new taps on water and sewer mains for residential homes and
  respond to any water complaints.
Related Words
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature