- enPR: mān, IPA: /meɪn/, X-SAMPA: /meIn/
- Rhymes: -eɪn
- Homophone: mane, Maine
- ( obsolete ) Great in size or degree; vast; strong; powerful; important .
- Principal; prime; chief; leading; of chief or pricipal importance. [from 15th c.]
- Principal or chief in size or extent; largest; consisting of the largest part; most important by reason or size or strength .
- Full; undivided; sheer ( of strength, force etc. ). [from 16th c.]
- ( nautical ) Belonging to or connected with the principal mast in a vessel .
- ( dialectal ) Big; angry .
- ( UK, dialectal ) Very; very much; greatly; mightily; extremely; exceedingly.
- ( obsolete, except in might and main ) Strength; power; force; violent effort. [from 9th c.]
- That which is chief or principal; the chief or main portion; the gross; the bulk; the greater part.
- 1858, Humphrey Prideaux, James Talboys Wheeler, An historical connection of the Old and New Testaments:
- ( now archaic, US dialectal ) The mainland. [from 16th c.]
- 1624, John Smith, Generall Historie, in Kupperman 1988, p. 90:
- 1851, Herman Melville, Moby-Dick:
- Tashtego's long, lean, sable hair, his high cheek bones, and black rounding eyes [...]--all this sufficiently proclaimed him an inheritor of the unvitiated blood of those proud warrior hunters, who, in quest of the great New England moose, had scoured, bow in hand, the aboriginal forests of the main .
- ( now poetic ) The high seas. [from 16th c.]
- A large pipe or cable providing utility service to a building or area, such as water main or electric main. [from 17th c.]
- ( nautical ) The mainsail. [from 17th c.]
- Amin, iman, mani, mina, NAMI
From Middle English main, mayn, meyn, partly from Old English mægen- ( "strong, principal, main"; used in combination ), from Old English mæġen ( “strength” ), and partly from Old Norse megn, megenn ( “strong, main” ); both from Proto-Germanic *maginan ( “strength, power, might” ), *maginaz ( “strong” ), from Proto-Indo-European *mogh-, *megh- ( “power” ). Cognate with Old High German megīn ( “strong, mighty” ), German Möge, Vermögen ( “power, wealth” ). Akin also to Old English magan ( “to be able to” ). More at may .
Explanation of main by Wordnet Dictionary
- by main strength
- main ( mān ), n. [F. main hand, L. manus. See Manual.]
1. A hand or match at dice. Prior. Thackeray.
2. A stake played for at dice. [Obs.] Shak.
3. The largest throw in a match at dice; a throw at dice within given limits, as in the game of hazard.
4. A match at cockfighting. “My lord would ride twenty miles . . . to see a main fought.” Thackeray.
5. A main-hamper. [Obs.] Ainsworth.
- Main, n. [AS. mægen strength, power, force; akin to OHG. magan, Icel. megin, and to E. may, v. √103. See May, v.]
1. Strength; force; might; violent effort. [Obs., except in certain phrases.]
There were in this battle of most might and main. R. of Gl.
He 'gan advance,
With huge force, and with importable main. Spenser.
2. The chief or principal part; the main or most important thing. [Obs., except in special uses.]
Resolved to rest upon the title of Lancaster as the main, and to use the other two . . . but as supporters. Bacon.
3. Specifically: The great sea, as distinguished from an arm, bay, etc. ; the high sea; the ocean. “Struggling in the main.” Dryden. The continent, as distinguished from an island; the mainland. “Invaded the main of Spain.” Bacon. principal duct or pipe, as distinguished from lesser ones; esp. ( Engin. ), a principal pipe leading to or from a reservoir; as, “a fire main”.
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.
With might and main they chased the murderous fox. Dryden.
- Main ( mān ), a. [From Main strength, possibly influenced by OF. maine, magne, great, L. magnus. Cf. Magnate.]
1. Very or extremely strong. [Obs.]
That current with main fury ran. Daniel.
2. Vast; huge. [Obs.] “The main abyss.” Milton.
3. Unqualified; absolute; entire; sheer. [Obs.] “It's a man untruth.” Sir W. Scott.
4. Principal; chief; first in size, rank, importance, etc.; as, “the main reason to go; the main proponent”.
Our main interest is to be happy as we can. Tillotson.
5. Important; necessary. [Obs.]
That which thou aright
Believest so main to our success, I bring. Milton.
By main force, by mere force or sheer force; by violent effort; as, “to subdue insurrection by main force”.
That Maine which by main force Warwick did win. Shak.
-- 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. ( Mech. ) The brace which resists the chief strain. Cf. Counter brace. ( 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.
Syn. -- Principal; chief; leading; cardinal; capital.
- Main, adv. [See Main, a.] Very; extremely; as, “main heavy”. “I'm main dry.” Foote. [Obs. or Low]
Definition of main by GCIDE Dictionary