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 strength ; force — used in the phrase with might and main 2. a. mainland b. high sea 3. the chief part ; essential point <
they are in the main well-trained
4. a pipe, duct, or circuit which carries the combined flow of tributary branches of a utility system 5. a. mainmast b. mainsail II. adjective Etymology: Middle English, from Old English mǣgen-, from mǣgen strength Date: 15th century 1. chief, principal <
the main idea
2. fully exerted ; sheer <
main force
by main strength
3. obsolete of or relating to a broad expanse (as of sea) 4. connected with or located near the mainmast or mainsail 5. expressing the chief predication in a complex sentence <
the main clause

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • MAIN — La main, organe de préhension et récepteur sensitif important, est l’apanage des Primates et de l’homme. En vérité, la main humaine possède une signification particulière, car elle se trouve à l’extrémité du membre supérieur qui est libéré des… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • main — Main, f. monosyl. Manus. l Espagnol et l Italien le disent de mesmes, Mano. La main dextre, Dextera, vel Dextra. La main senestre ou gauche, Laeua, Sinistra. Main chargée et pleine de quelque chose, Grauis manus. La main est toute engourdie et… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • 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 — 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Main — der; [e]s: rechter Nebenfluss des Rheins. * * * I Main   [dt. »Haupt «], die Hauptfunktion in einem C bzw. C++ Programm (C, C++). Jedes C bzw. C++ Programm muss genau eine solche Funktion enthalten, von der ausgehend der weitere Ablauf des Progr …   Universal-Lexikon

  • main — [mān] n. [ME < OE mægen, akin to ON magn: see MIGHT2] 1. physical strength; force; power: now only in with might and main, with all one s strength, with all one s strength 2. [< MAIN the adj.] the principal or most important part or point:… …   English World dictionary

  • main — ► ADJECTIVE ▪ chief in size or importance. ► NOUN 1) a principal water or gas pipe or electricity cable. 2) (the mains) Brit. public water, gas, or electricity supply through pipes or cables. 3) (the main) archaic or literary the open ocean …   English terms dictionary

  • 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

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