1The principal spring in a watch, clock, or other mechanism.
- You are rotating and moving the loaded cylinder forward as well as extending the breech block while compressing the mainspring and cylinder hushing spring.
- Also, the gear train of a mechanical watch is under constant load from the mainspring whereas the gear train in a quartz watch is not under any load.
- If we were told that there was a watch without a mainspring, we would hardly be reassured by the further information that it had, however, an infinite train of gear-wheels.
2Something that plays a principal part in motivating or maintaining a movement, process, or activity: innovation is the mainspring of the new economy
More example sentences
- The vital mainspring in this process is the party, just as the vital mainspring in the mechanism of the party is its leadership.
- In short, cybercash is viewed as the mainspring in the emergence of ‘virtual capitalism’
- Envy and greed were the mainsprings of their creativity; it would have been more accurate if some of them had been called the Envious Young Men.
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