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.
1. A hand or match at dice.
2. A stake played for at dice. [Obs.]
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.”
5. A main-hamper. [Obs.]
1. Very or extremely strong. [Obs.]
That current with main fury ran. --Daniel.
2. Vast; huge. [Obs.] “The main abyss.”
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. (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.
Syn: -- Principal; chief; leading; cardinal; capital.
Main, adv. Very; extremely; as, main heavy. “I'm main dry.” --Foote. [Obs. or Low]
adj 1: 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" [syn: chief(a), main(a), primary(a),
2: of a clause; able to stand alone syntactically as a complete
sentence; "the main (or independent) clause in a complex
sentence has at least a subject and a verb" [syn: independent,
main(a)] [ant: dependent]
3: of force; of the greatest possible intensity; "by main
strength" [syn: main(a)]
n 1: any very large body of (salt) water [syn: briny]
2: a principal pipe in a system that distributes water or gas
or electricity or that collects sewage