Definition of mainstream in English:

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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
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) [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.


1Belonging to or characteristic of the mainstream: mainstream pop music
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
US informal, derogatory lamestream
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.


[with object]
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.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: main|stream

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