Main chance
Main 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 main abyss.'' --Milton. [1913 Webster]

3. Unqualified; absolute; entire; sheer. [Obs.] ``It's a man untruth.'' --Sir W. Scott. [1913 Webster]

4. Principal; chief; first in size, rank, importance, etc.; as, the main reason to go; the main proponent. [1913 Webster +PJC]

Our main interest is to be happy as we can. --Tillotson. [1913 Webster]

5. Important; necessary. [Obs.] [1913 Webster]

That which thou aright Believest so main to our success, I bring. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

{By main force}, by mere force or sheer force; by violent effort; as, to subdue insurrection by main force. [1913 Webster]

That Maine which by main force Warwick did win. --Shak. [1913 Webster]

{By main strength}, by sheer strength; as, to lift a heavy weight by main strength.

{Main beam} (Steam Engine), working beam.

{Main boom} (Naut.), the boom which extends the foot of the mainsail in a fore and aft vessel.

{Main brace}. (a) (Mech.) The brace which resists the chief strain. Cf. {Counter brace}. (b) (Naut.) The brace attached to the main yard.

{Main center} (Steam Engine), a shaft upon which a working beam or side lever swings.

{Main chance}. See under {Chance}.

{Main couple} (Arch.), the principal truss in a roof.

{Main deck} (Naut.), the deck next below the spar deck; the principal deck.

{Main keel} (Naut.), the principal or true keel of a vessel, as distinguished from the false keel. [1913 Webster]

Syn: Principal; chief; leading; cardinal; capital. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • main chance — or the n. one s own advantage or self interest …   English World dictionary

  • main chance — noun Date: 1584 the best chance for personal or financial gain < kept an eye on the main chance > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • main chance — noun : the chance that seems to promise most advantage one eye on heaven and one on the main chance W.M.Thackeray …   Useful english dictionary

  • main chance — an opportunity offering the greatest gain: Being ambitious, he always had an eye for the main chance. [1570 80] * * * …   Universalium

  • main chance — Meaning Origin From Shakespeare s Henry VI Part 2 …   Meaning and origin of phrases

  • The main chance — Chance Chance (ch[.a]ns), n. [F. chance, OF. cheance, fr. LL. cadentia a allusion to the falling of the dice), fr. L. cadere to fall; akin to Skr. [,c]ad to fall, L. cedere to yield, E. cede. Cf. {Cadence}.] 1. A supposed material or psychical… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • The Main Chance — Genre Legal drama Created by John Malcom Edmund Ward Starring John Stride Margaret Ashcroft John Wentworth No. of episodes 45 episodes …   Wikipedia

  • have an eye to the main chance — have an eye for/to/the main chance british phrase to be ready to use any possible opportunity to succeed Thesaurus: to be ready, or to get ready for somethingsynonym Main entry: eye * * * …   Useful english dictionary

  • have an eye for the main chance — have an eye for/on the main chance British & Australian if someone has an eye for the main chance, they are always looking for opportunities to make money and to improve their situation. She was someone who had an eye on the main chance and who… …   New idioms dictionary

  • have an eye on the main chance — have an eye for/on the main chance British & Australian if someone has an eye for the main chance, they are always looking for opportunities to make money and to improve their situation. She was someone who had an eye on the main chance and who… …   New idioms dictionary

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