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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Main


MAIN, adjective [Latin magnus.]

1. Principal; chief; that which has most power in producing an effect, or which is mostly regarded in prospect; as the main branch or tributary stream of a river; the main timbers of an edifice; a main design; a main object.

Our main interest is to be as happy as we can, and as long as possible.

2. Mighty; vast; as the main abyss.

3. Important; powerful.

This young prince, with a train of young noblemen and gentlemen, not with any main army, came over to take possession of his patrimony.

MAIN, noun Strength; force; violent effort; as in the phrase, 'with might and main '

1. The gross; the bulk; the greater part.

The main of them may be reduced to language and an improvement in wisdom--

2. The ocean; the great sea, as distinguished from rivers, bays, sounds and the like.

He fell, and struggling in the main--

3. The continent, as distinguished from an isle. We arrived at Nantucket on Saturday, but did not reach the main till Monday. In this use of the word, land is omitted; main for main land.

4. A hamper.

5. A course; a duct.

For the main in the main for the most part; in the greatest part.

MAIN, noun [Latin manus, hand.] A hand at dice. We throw a merry main

And lucky mains make people wise. [Not used.]

1. A match at cock fighting.