Definition of mainstream in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈmānˌstrēm/


(the mainstream)
1The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts: companies that are bringing computers to the mainstream of American life
More example sentences
  • The problem is, the ideas push into the mainstream of politics, and here we have a problem.
  • Education policy often leads the way to integrate new ideas into the mainstream.
  • The overwhelming message carried by the mainstream is that corporate activities are largely benign and certainly not worth systematic investigation.
1.1 (also mainstream jazz) Jazz that is neither traditional nor modern, based on the 1930s swing style and consisting especially of solo improvisation on chord sequences.
Example sentences
  • The music I heard in my house was my parents' music, which was swing music, jazz, very mainstream jazz nothing esoteric - the usual people like Ella Fitzgerald, [and] Judy Garland.
  • ‘The music is mostly traditional jazz, Dixieland and mainstream jazz,’ said Mr Frank, a double-bass player who took to the stage himself with his Dixieland All Stars.
  • The CD comprises 13 tunes from mainstream through Cape jazz and goema to hip-hop.


1Belonging to or characteristic of the mainstream: mainstream politics a mixture of mainstream and avant-garde artists
More example sentences
  • You will almost never hear any American political figure described by the mainstream media as belonging the left wing.
  • And this is a play, daring though it may be, that belongs in a mainstream house.
  • Corn argues that much of the fault belongs to the mainstream media, which is loath to call any president a liar.
normal, conventional, ordinary, orthodox, conformist, accepted, established, recognized, common, usual, prevailing, popular
1.1(Of a school or class) for students without special needs: children with minor handicaps would be able to attend mainstream schools
More example sentences
  • He also blamed a lack of support for difficult pupils remaining in mainstream schools, an inappropriate curriculum and teacher shortages.
  • But Ms Drown says it would be even more expensive to educate pupils at mainstream schools or at schools outside the borough.
  • She's in seventh grade, at a mainstream school that has special education classes.


[with object]
1Bring (something) into the mainstream: vegetarianism has been mainstreamed
More example sentences
  • But he's mainstreaming the fringe while he's at it.
  • These are aimed at mainstreaming intercultural education into the entire curriculum and developing strategies to combat racist behaviour.
  • Lileks suggests that Democrats are mainstreaming the extreme.
1.1Place (a student with special needs) into a mainstream class or school: the goal is to have the child mainstreamed into a regular classroom
More example sentences
  • This method of transferring information is beneficial for the special education students who are mainstreamed into my art classes.
  • At times, female students who leave ESL classes and are completely mainstreamed lose their in-group status with female students who remain in ESL classes.
  • When special-needs children are mainstreamed into a classroom, we examine their fish-out-of-water struggles.

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: main·stream

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