There are 3 definitions of Main in English:

Main

Line breaks: Main
Pronunciation: /mʌɪn
 
/
  • A river of SW Germany which rises in northern Bavaria and flows 500 km (310 miles) westwards, through Frankfurt, to meet the Rhine at Mainz.

More definitions of Main

Definition of Main in:

Get more from Oxford Dictionaries

Subscribe to remove ads and access premium resources

Word of the day milord
Pronunciation: məˈlôrd
noun
used to address an English nobleman

There are 3 definitions of Main in English:

main1

Line breaks: main
Pronunciation: /meɪn
 
/

adjective

[attributive]

noun

Back to top  
  • 1A principal pipe carrying water or gas to buildings, or taking sewage from them: [with modifier]: a faulty gas main
    More example sentences
    • It was also delivering water to the camp, where many mains and sewage pipes are broken.
    • Numerous leaks have developed from broken water pipes and mains.
    • There were reports of broken water and gas mains around northern Kyushu, and bullet trains and other railways and subways suspended operations, but later resumed running.
  • 1.1A principal cable carrying electricity.
    More example sentences
    • Faulks said the alarm was not properly connected to electrical mains and would have had to rely on a back-up battery even if switched on.
  • 1.2 (the mains) British The source of public water, gas, or electricity supply through pipes or cables: the camcorder can be run directly off the mains [as modifier]: switch off the mains supply
    More example sentences
    • Turn off gas, electricity and water supplies at the mains.
    • The owner will have to install private drainage, link up to the mains water and electricity and rebuild the property under the watchful eye of the park planners.
    • A spokesman for Essex and Suffolk Water, who sent technicians on Friday, said that a leak had been found in the mains water supply.
  • 2 (the main) • archaic or • literary The open ocean.

Phrases

by main force

Through sheer strength: we will prevail not by main force but by negotiation
More example sentences
  • The point of the author is that the accursed sons are trying to claim the blessing given to Shem by main force, as though power and strength are our salvation.
  • The initial reflex of the regime was to do what it has always done, i.e. crushing the slightest show of opposition by main force.
  • And then we shall henceforth decide by main force what truth and goodness shall be.

in the main

On the whole: we must remember that in the main we are thinking about these designs as decoration
More example sentences
  • The food itself, even though important, is, in the main, a way of coalescing social life.
  • The Church was vibrant, tolerant and its priests were in the main, hard working.
  • These, in the main, are young people committing offences against other young people.

Origin

Middle English: from Old English mægen 'physical force', reinforced by Old Norse meginn, megn 'strong, powerful', both from a Germanic base meaning 'have power'.

More definitions of Main

Definition of main in:

There are 3 definitions of Main in English:

main2

Line breaks: main
Pronunciation: /meɪn
 
/

noun

  • 1(In the game of hazard) a number (5, 6, 7, 8, or 9) called by a player before dice are thrown.
  • 2 historical A match between fighting cocks.
    More example sentences
    • At a big cockfight main with Massa Lea early during the 1824 season, Uncle Mingo heard from an old trainer he had known for years that a hackfight was due to be held that coming Saturday afternoon behind the large barn of a local plantation.

Origin

late 16th century: probably from the phrase main chance.

More definitions of Main

Definition of main in: