independent, main

(adjective) (of a clause) capable of standing syntactically alone as a complete sentence; “the main (or independent) clause in a complex sentence has at least a subject and a verb”

main, chief(a), primary, principal, master

(adjective) most important element; “the chief aim of living”; “the main doors were of solid glass”; “the principal rivers of America”; “the principal example”; “policemen were primary targets”; “the master bedroom”; “a master switch”


(adjective) of force; of the greatest possible intensity; “by main strength”


(noun) a principal pipe in a system that distributes water or gas or electricity or that collects sewage

main, briny

(noun) any very large body of (salt) water

Source: WordNet® 3.1

Etymology 1


main (not comparable)

Of chief or leading importance; prime, principal. [from 15th c.]

Chief, most important, or principal in extent, size, or strength; consisting of the largest part.

Synonym: largest

(archaic, of force, strength, etc.) Full, sheer, undivided. [from 16th c.]

(dialectal) Big; angry.

(nautical) Belonging to or connected with the principal mast in a vessel.

(obsolete) Great in size or degree; important, powerful, strong, vast.


main (comparative more main, superlative most main)

(Britain, dialectal) Exceedingly, extremely, greatly, mightily, very, very much.


main (third-person singular simple present mains, present participle maining, simple past and past participle mained)

(transitive) Short for mainline.

(transitive, gaming) To mainly play a specific character, or side, during a game.

(obsolete) Of a road: to convert into a main or primary road.

Etymology 2


main (plural mains)

That which is chief or principal; the chief or main portion; the bulk, the greater part, gross.

(video gaming) The primary character that one plays in a video game in which one can play more than one character.

Antonym: alt

A large cable or pipe providing utility service to an area or a building, such as a water main or electric main. [from 17th c.]

(informal) Short for main course.

(now, poetic) The high seas. [from 16th c.]

(now, archaic, US dialectal) The mainland. [from 16th c.]

(nautical) Short for mainsail. [from 17th c.]

(obsolete, except in might and main) Force, power, strength, violent effort. [from 9th c.]

Etymology 3


main (plural mains)

(obsolete, gaming) A hand or match in a game of dice.

(obsolete, gaming) The largest throw in a match at dice; in the game of hazard, a number from one to nine called out by a person before the dice are thrown.

(obsolete, gaming) A stake played for at dice.

(obsolete, gaming, sports) A sporting contest or match, especially a cockfighting match.

A banker's shovel for coins.

Etymology 4


main (plural mains)

(obsolete, rare) A basket for gathering grapes.


• Amin, Iman, Mani, Mian, Mina, NAMI, NIMA, Naim, amin, iman, mani, mina

Proper noun


A river in southern Germany, flowing from Bavaria to the Rhine.

A river in Northern Ireland, flowing into Lough Neagh.


• Amin, Iman, Mani, Mian, Mina, NAMI, NIMA, Naim, amin, iman, mani, mina

Source: Wiktionary

Main, n. Etym: [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. Etym: [AS. mægen strength, power, force; akin to OHG. magan, Icel. megin, and to E. may, v. 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: (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. 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, a. Etym: [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. 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. (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.


– Principal; chief; leading; cardinal; capital.

Main, adv. Etym: [See Main, a.]

Definition: Very extremely; as, main heavy. "I'm main dry." Foote. [Obs. or Low]

Source: Webster’s Unabridged Dictionary 1913 Edition


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