main


From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

main \main\ (m[=a]n), n. [F. main hand, L. manus. See Manual.]
   1. A hand or match at dice. --Prior. --Thackeray.
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   2. A stake played for at dice. [Obs.] --Shak.
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   3. The largest throw in a match at dice; a throw at dice
      within given limits, as in the game of hazard.
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   4. A match at cockfighting. "My lord would ride twenty miles
      . . . to see a main fought." --Thackeray.
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   5. A main-hamper. [Obs.] --Ainsworth.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Main \Main\, n. [AS. m[ae]gen strength, power, force; akin to
   OHG. magan, Icel. megin, and to E. may, v. [root]103. See
   May, v.]
   1. Strength; force; might; violent effort. [Obs., except in
      certain phrases.]
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            There were in this battle of most might and main.
                                                  --R. of Gl.
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            He 'gan advance,
            With huge force, and with importable main.
                                                  --Spenser.
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   2. The chief or principal part; the main or most important
      thing. [Obs., except in special uses.]
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            Resolved to rest upon the title of Lancaster as the
            main, and to use the other two . . . but as
            supporters.                           --Bacon.
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   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.
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   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.
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            With might and main they chased the murderous fox.
                                                  --Dryden.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Main \Main\ (m[=a]n), a. [From Main strength, possibly
   influenced by OF. maine, magne, great, L. magnus. Cf.
   Magnate.]
   1. Very or extremely strong. [Obs.]
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            That current with main fury ran.      --Daniel.
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   2. Vast; huge. [Obs.] "The main abyss." --Milton.
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   3. Unqualified; absolute; entire; sheer. [Obs.] "It's a man
      untruth." --Sir W. Scott.
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   4. Principal; chief; first in size, rank, importance, etc.;
      as, the main reason to go; the main proponent.
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            Our main interest is to be happy as we can.
                                                  --Tillotson.
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   5. Important; necessary. [Obs.]
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            That which thou aright
            Believest so main to our success, I bring. --Milton.
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   By main force, by mere force or sheer force; by violent
      effort; as, to subdue insurrection by main force.
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            That Maine which by main force Warwick did win.
                                                  --Shak.
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   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.
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   Syn: Principal; chief; leading; cardinal; capital.
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From The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:

Main \Main\, adv. [See Main, a.]
   Very; extremely; as, main heavy. "I'm main dry." --Foote.
   [Obs. or Low]
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