AskDefine | Define main

Dictionary Definition

main 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), principal(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)]


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

User Contributed Dictionary



  • , /meɪn/, /meIn/
  • Rhymes: -eɪn

Etymology 1

From mayn, main, from mægen, "strength", from common *maginam, from *magh-.


  1. Principal, most important.
Derived terms

Etymology 2

From mægen, meaning strength, the sense of the word which is now the rarest.


  1. mainland
  2. The high seas. (This term is rare in modern usage, except in the phrase "the Spanish Main.")
  3. A large pipe or cable providing utility service to a building or area, such as water main or electric main.
  4. shortened form of mainsail.
  5. Strength. (Rare except in the phrase "might and main")
Derived terms

See also







From manus




fr-noun f



main (bermain)
  1. To play

Extensive Definition

The Main () is a river in Germany, 524 km (329 miles) long (including White Main, 574 km (357 mi)), and one of the more significant tributaries of the Rhine. It flows through the German states of Bavaria, Baden-Württemberg (forming the border with Bavaria for some distance) and Hesse. Its watershed competes with the Danube for water; as a result, many of its boundaries are identical with those of the European Watershed. The Main rises near Kulmbach at the joining of its two headstreams, the Red Main and the White Main. The Red Main rises in the Frankish Alb, 50 km (30 mi) in length, and runs through Creussen and Bayreuth. The White Main rises in the mountains of the Fichtelgebirge; it is 41 km (25 mi) long. Major tributaries of the Main are the Regnitz, the Fränkische Saale, the Tauber, and the Nidda.


The Main is navigable for shipping from its mouth at the Rhine close to Mainz for 396 km to Bamberg. Since 1992 the Main is connected to the Danube via the Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and the highly regulated Altmühl river. The river has been canalized with 34 large locks (300 m × 12 m, 984 feet × 39 feet) to allow CEMT class V (110 m × 11.45 m, 360 ft × 37.5 ft) vessels to navigate the total length of the river. The 16 locks in the adjacent Rhine-Main-Danube Canal and the Danube itself are of the same dimensions.

Ports and municipalities

Around Frankfurt are several large inland ports. Because the river is rather narrow on many of the upper reaches, navigation with larger vessels and push convoys requires great skill.
The river has gained enormous importance as a vital part of European "Corridor VII", the inland waterway link from the North Sea to the Black Sea.


main in Arabic: ماين (نهر)
main in Breton: Main
main in Catalan: Main
main in Czech: Mohan
main in Danish: Main
main in German: Main
main in Estonian: Main
main in Modern Greek (1453-): Μάιν
main in Spanish: Río Meno
main in Esperanto: Majno (rivero)
main in French: Main (rivière)
main in Galician: Río Main
main in Korean: 메인 강
main in Armenian: Մայն
main in Croatian: Majna
main in Indonesian: Sungai Main
main in Italian: Meno (fiume)
main in Latin: Moenus
main in Latvian: Maina
main in Luxembourgish: Main
main in Lombard: Mèn
main in Marathi: माइन नदी
main in Dutch: Main
main in Japanese: マイン川
main in Norwegian: Main
main in Norwegian Nynorsk: Main
main in Low German: Main
main in Polish: Men
main in Portuguese: Rio Meno
main in Kölsch: Main (Floß)
main in Romanian: Main
main in Russian: Майн (река)
main in Albanian: Main
main in Simple English: Main
main in Finnish: Main
main in Swedish: Main
main in Chinese: 美因河

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

Africa, Antarctica, Asia, Australia, Eurasia, Eurasian landmass, Europe, North America, South America, absolute, all-absorbing, arch, awful, banner, basic, big, big drink, biggest, blue, blue water, brine, briny, brute, capital, cardinal, central, champion, channel, chief, cock, comprehensive, conduit, consequential, considerable, continent, controlling, crazy, critical, crowning, crucial, damned, deep, dominant, dreadful, drink, duct, effort, electric cable, energy, essential, exceedingly, exhaustive, extremely, fire main, first, focal, foremost, front, full, fundamental, gas main, grand, grave, great, greatest, head, headmost, heavy, hegemonic, high sea, high seas, highest, hydrosphere, in the main, intense, irresistible, landmass, largest, larruping, leading, line, magisterial, maiden, main sea, mainland, mainly, mains, major, master, maximum, mere, might, mighty, monstrous, necessary, ocean, ocean depths, ocean main, ocean sea, out-and-out, outstanding, overriding, overruling, paramount, particular, peninsula, pipe, pipeline, plain, plenary, power, power supply, powerful, predominant, predominating, preeminent, premier, preponderant, prevailing, primal, primary, prime, principal, pure, ranking, ruling, salt sea, salt water, sea, serious, sheer, sovereign, star, stellar, strength, strong, strongest, subcontinent, supereminent, supreme, thalassa, the bounding main, the brine, the briny, the briny deep, the deep, the deep sea, the seven seas, the vasty deep, tide, topflight, topmost, total, uppermost, utter, vigor, vital, water main
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