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2 definitions found
 for in the main
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.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              There were in this battle of most might and main.
                                                    --R. of Gl.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              He 'gan advance,
              With huge force, and with importable main.
                                                    --Spenser.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     2. The chief or principal part; the main or most important
        thing. [Obs., except in special uses.]
        [1913 Webster]
  
              Resolved to rest upon the title of Lancaster as the
              main, and to use the other two . . . but as
              supporters.                           --Bacon.
        [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
            [1913 Webster]
  
     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.
        [1913 Webster]
  
              With might and main they chased the murderous fox.
                                                    --Dryden.
        [1913 Webster]

From WordNet (r) 3.0 (2006) :

  in the main
      adv 1: for the most part; "he is mainly interested in
             butterflies" [syn: chiefly, principally, primarily,
             mainly, in the main]
      2: without distinction of one from others; "he is interested in
         snakes in general" [syn: generally, in general, in the
         main] [ant: specifically]

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