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Meaning of MAIN

Pronunciation:  meyn

WordNet Dictionary
  1. [n]  a principal pipe in a system that distributes water or gas or electricity or that collects sewage
  2. [n]  any very large body of (salt) water

MAIN is a 4 letter word that starts with M.


 Synonyms: briny
 See Also: base, body of water, electric main, gas main, high sea, hydrosphere, infrastructure, international waters, offing, pipage, pipe, piping, sewer line, sewer main, territorial waters, water, water main



Webster's 1913 Dictionary
  1. \Main\, 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.
  2. \Main\, n. [AS. m[ae]gen strength, power, force; akin to
    OHG. magan, Icel. megin, and to E. may, v. ?. 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:
       (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.
  3. \Main\, 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.
             Our main interest is to be happy as we can.
    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.
    {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.
  4. \Main\, adv. [See {Main}, a.]
    Very; extremely; as, main heavy. ``I'm main dry.'' --Foote.
    [Obs. or Low]
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