1. Very or extremely strong. "That current with main fury ran." (Daniel)

2. Vast; huge. "The main abyss."

3. Unqualified; absolute; entire; sheer. "It's a man untruth." .

4. Principal; chief; first in size, rank, importance, etc. "Our main interest is to be happy as we can." (Tillotson)

5. Important; necessary. "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, the principal or true keel of a vessel, as distinguished from the false keel.

Synonyms: Principal, chief, leading, cardinal, capital.

Origin: From Main strength, possibly influenced by OF. Maine, magne, great, L. Magnus. Cf. Magnate.

(01 Mar 1998)

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