Definition of mainstream in English:


Line breaks: main|stream
Pronunciation: /ˈmeɪnstriːm


(the mainstream)
  • 1The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are shared by most people and regarded as normal or conventional: they withdrew from the mainstream of European politics
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    • 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) [mass noun] Jazz that is neither traditional nor modern, based on the 1930s swing style and consisting especially of solo improvisation on chord sequences: it was a form of jazz that had strayed away from the mainstream
    More 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.


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  • 1Belonging to or characteristic of the mainstream: mainstream pop music
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    • 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.
  • 1.1(Of a school or class) for pupils 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.


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  • Bring 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.

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Pronunciation: kəːf
a slit made by cutting with a saw