Main Main, n. [AS. m[ae]gen strength, power, force; akin to OHG. magan, Icel. megin, and to E. may, v. [root]103. See {May}, v.] 1. Strength; force; might; violent effort. [Obs., except in certain phrases.] [1913 Webster]

There were in this battle of most might and main. --R. of Gl. [1913 Webster]

He 'gan advance, With huge force, and with importable main. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]

2. The chief or principal part; the main or most important thing. [Obs., except in special uses.] [1913 Webster]

Resolved to rest upon the title of Lancaster as the main, and to use the other two . . . but as supporters. --Bacon. [1913 Webster]

3. Specifically: (a) The great sea, as distinguished from an arm, bay, etc.; the high sea; the ocean. ``Struggling in the main.'' --Dryden. (b) The continent, as distinguished from an island; the mainland. ``Invaded the main of Spain.'' --Bacon. (c) principal duct or pipe, as distinguished from lesser ones; esp. (Engin.), a principal pipe leading to or from a reservoir; as, a fire main. [1913 Webster]

{Forcing main}, the delivery pipe of a pump.

{For the main}, or {In the main}, for the most part; in the greatest part.

{With might and main}, or {With all one's might and main}, with all one's strength; with violent effort. [1913 Webster]

With might and main they chased the murderous fox. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]

The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Main — Karte des Mainverlaufs Daten Gewässerkennzahl …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Main — (m[=a]n), a. [From {Main} strength, possibly influenced by OF. maine, magne, great, L. magnus. Cf. {Magnate}.] 1. Very or extremely strong. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] That current with main fury ran. Daniel. [1913 Webster] 2. Vast; huge. [Obs.] The… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • main — (m[=a]n), n. [F. main hand, L. manus. See {Manual}.] 1. A hand or match at dice. Prior. Thackeray. [1913 Webster] 2. A stake played for at dice. [Obs.] Shak. [1913 Webster] 3. The largest throw in a match at dice; a throw at dice within given… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Main — Main, adv. [See {Main}, a.] Very; extremely; as, main heavy. I m main dry. Foote. [Obs. or Low] [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • MAIN — s. f. Partie du corps humain, qui est à l extrémité du bras, qui s étend depuis le poignet jusqu au bout des doigts, et que sa conformation rend propre à toute sorte d actions et d ouvrages. La main droite. La main gauche. Le creux, le dedans, la …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 7eme edition (1835)

  • MAIN — n. f. Partie du corps humain qui est à l’extrémité du bras, qui s’étend depuis le poignet jusqu’au bout des doigts, qui sert à la préhension, qui est le principal organe du toucher et que sa conformation rend propre à toute sorte d’actions et… …   Dictionnaire de l'Academie Francaise, 8eme edition (1935)

  • Main — Pour les articles homonymes, voir Main (homonymie). Main Vue des deux faces d une main gauche Latin …   Wikipédia en Français

  • Main — For the Wikipedia website front page, see Main Page. For the Wikipedia main namespace, see Help:Namespace. Main may refer to: Main (river), a major river and tributary of the Rhine in Germany Main River (Chukotka), a river in Far Eastern Siberia… …   Wikipedia

  • main — I. noun Etymology: in sense 1, from Middle English, from Old English mǣgen; akin to Old High German magan strength, Old English magan to be able; in other senses, from 2main or by shortening more at may Date: before 12th century 1. physical… …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • main — See: IN THE MAIN, WITH MIGHT AND MAIN …   Dictionary of American idioms

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