9 Grammatical Pitfalls


[meyn-streem] /ˈmeɪnˌstrim/
the principal or dominant course, tendency, or trend:
the mainstream of American culture.
a river having tributaries.
regular school classes or regular schools:
keeping autistic students in the mainstream.
belonging to or characteristic of a principal, dominant, or widely accepted group, movement, style, etc.: mainstream Republicans; a mainstream artist;
mainstream media.
of, relating to, or characteristic of jazz falling historically between Dixieland and modern jazz; specifically, swing music.
Compare traditional (def 4).
verb (used with object)
to send into the mainstream; cause to join the main force, group, etc.:
to mainstream young people into the labor force.
to place (students with disabilities) in regular school classes.
verb (used without object)
to join or be placed in the mainstream.
Origin of mainstream
1660-70; main1 + stream Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for mainstream
  • And over the past two years, the discussion about three-year programs has reached the mainstream press.
  • mainstream macro has dozens of conflicting theories, all with their empirical evidence to support them.
  • The tsunami unleashed one month ago received saturation coverage in the mainstream media, of course.
  • Cats and failures highlight this list of the memes that have gone mainstream.
  • There's no mainstream demand for music subscriptions.
  • Wei's blunt comments, published two years ago in a mainstream political journal, offered a rare critique of a government program.
  • Intelligent, imaginative and wise people chose to write in favor of mainstream ideas and practices.
  • If solar powered apparel is to make it into the mainstream, then it needs to be pushed by a mainstream brand.
  • They got away from offending mainstream sensibilities.
  • Remember, in mainstream econ crises are random events.
British Dictionary definitions for mainstream


  1. the main current (of a river, cultural trend, etc): in the mainstream of modern literature
  2. (as modifier): mainstream politics
of or relating to the style of jazz that lies between the traditional and the modern
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for mainstream

also main-stream, main stream, "principal current of a river," 1660s, from main (adj.) + stream (n.); hence, "prevailing direction in opinion, popular taste, etc.," a figurative use first attested in Carlyle (1831). Mainstream media attested by 1980 in language of U.S. leftists critical of coverage of national affairs.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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mainstream in Culture

mainstream definition

The prevailing current or direction of a movement or influence: “The candidate's speech represented the mainstream thinking on economic policy.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Slang definitions & phrases for mainstream



Conventional; materialistic: It's a mainstream movie; don't waste your time (1980s+ Students)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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