Share this entry

Share this page

mainspring

Syllabification: main·spring
Pronunciation: /ˈmānˌspriNG
 
/

Definition of mainspring in English:

noun

1The principal spring in a watch, clock, or other mechanism.
Example sentences
  • 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.
Synonyms
motive, motivation, impetus, driving force, incentive, impulse, prime mover, reason, fountain, fount, wellspring, root, generator

Words that rhyme with mainspring

time-sharingkeyring

Definition of mainspring in:

Share this entry

Share this page

 

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day cumbersome
Pronunciation: ˈkəmbərsəm
adjective
large or heavy and therefore difficult to carry…