Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Acronyms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to main: mail
Like this video? Subscribe to our free daily email and get a new idiom video every day!
drain the main vein
vulgar slang Of a male, to urinate (where "main vein" is slang for the penis). Will you order us another round of drinks? I'm just going to go drain the main vein real quick.
1. One's best or very good male friend. Hey, I want you to come meet my main man, Will! He and I go back a long way.
2. One's male romantic partner or lover. I hear Julie's got a new main man in her life. They met at a yoga retreat in India!
3. The most influential male in a given group, such as a boss or leader. With his new promotion, Jared's going to be the main man of the office next month!
splice the mainbrace
nautical To issue and partake in an extra ration of alcoholic spirits, especially rum or grog, amongst members of crew aboard a sea vessel. (The mainbrace, also spelled "main brace," is a brace attached to the main yard on sailing ships. "Splicing the mainbrace" was originally the very difficult job of repairing this brace, one which earned the repairman an extra ration of spirits; eventually, this euphemistic secondary meaning became the primary one.) As part of the celebrations for her Diamond Jubilee, the Queen gave the order to all in the Royal Navy to splice the mainbrace as a gesture of good cheer.
See also: splice
The most prominent street in a small town, often one where businesses, shops, restaurants, etc. are located. This town has a main street with a lot of cute shops. The main street where I grew up had one traffic light, one gas station, and one diner.
be (one's)/the main squeeze
1. slang To be one's romantic partner. Who's your main squeeze these days? Someone new? Leia is his main squeeze—they've been dating for a few months now.
2. slang To be the most important person in a particular area. Stewart just got promoted, so he's now the main squeeze in our department.
(one's)/the main squeeze
1. slang One's romantic partner. Who's your main squeeze these days? Someone new? Leia is his main squeeze—they've been dating for a few months now.
2. slang The most important person in a particular area. Stewart just got promoted, so he's now the main squeeze in our department.
by main strength and awkwardness
By sheer force or physical strength. I couldn't get my car out of the mud until my brothers came along and moved it by main strength and awkwardness.
(with) might and main
With as much effort or strength as one can muster. She attacked that punching bag with might and main. If you're not happy in your current job, then you should be working might and main to find a new one.
have an eye on/for/to the main chance
To be continuously seeking opportunities to advance oneself or make money. The term often refers to someone who is ambitious without consideration of others. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. You just have an eye on the main chance—you don't care if I succeed or fail.
an eye on/for/to the main chance
The continuous seeking of opportunities to advance oneself or make money. The term often refers to someone who is ambitious without consideration of others. Primarily heard in UK, Australia. You just have an eye on the main chance—you don't care if I succeed or fail.
in the main
Generally; for the most part. In the main, my employees work hard. There are just a few who give me headaches every once in a while. It's a good book, in the main. A few scenes seem unfinished, though.
The most prominent street in a small town, often one where businesses, shops, restaurants, etc. are located. We're going to walk down to the main drag and do some shopping for a while. The main drag where I grew up had one traffic light, one gas station, and one diner.
by main force
By sheer force or physical strength. I couldn't get my car out of the mud until my brothers came along and moved it by main force.
One's romantic partner, especially in the early stages of the relationship. Tom's bringing his main squeeze to have dinner with us at Thanksgiving this year.
1. slang The primary source or store of something, especially drugs or money, which is hidden or secreted away. I came back to the house to find that someone had stolen my main stash of pills. Make sure you keep the main stash safe, or the boss will send you to the bottom of the river with a pair of concrete shoes.
2. slang The house, apartment, or other location at which such a secret store is hidden. Police feel confident they've located the gang's main stash, and they're planning a raid of the apartment tomorrow morning.
main strength and awkwardness
Pure, unreasoning force of strength; brute force. The car is completely stuck in the mud—the only way we're getting it out is with main strength and awkwardness. You can't just get this thing to work with main strength and awkwardness. We'll need to devise some new method of operating the mechanism.
by main strength and awkwardness
Rur. by force or brute strength. Tom: How did you get that piano up the stairs? Mary: By main strength and awkwardness. By main strength and awkwardness, we got all the luggage crammed into the car.
in the main
basically; generally. Mary: Everything looks all right—in the main. Sally: What details need attention? Mary: Just a few things here and there. Like on page 27. John: Are you all ready? Sue: I think we're ready, in the main. John: Then, we shall go.
main strength and awkwardness
Fig. great force; brute force. They finally got the piano moved in to the living room by main strength and awkwardness. Lifting the antique table must be done carefully. This is not a job requiring main strength and awkwardness.
might and main
Cliché great physical strength; great force. The huge warrior, with all his might and main, could not break his way through the castle gates. The incredible might and main of the sea crushed the ship against the cliff.
eye to the main chance, have an
Look out for one's own best interest. For example, Tom is watching the company's progress very closely; he always has an eye to the main chance . [c. 1600]
in the main
For the most part, chiefly, as in It was an excellent conference in the main. [First half of 1600s]
The principal street of a city or town, as in Several stores on the main drag have closed. This slangy term was first recorded in 1851.
1. One's boss, the highest authority, an important person. For example, Who's the main squeeze in this company? This slangy term was first recorded in 1896, and the precise allusion is unclear.
2. One's sweetheart, as in Nancy is his main squeeze. This slangy usage, first recorded in 1970, alludes to the "squeeze" of a hug.
might and main, with
Strenuously, vigorously, as in She pulled on the rope with all her might and main. This expression is redundant, since the noun main also means "strength" or "power." It survives only in this phrase, which may also be dying out. [Late 1200s]
an eye for the main chanceor
an eye on the main chanceBRITISH, INFORMAL
If someone has an eye for the main chance or an eye on the main chance, they are always looking for an easy opportunity to make money or to improve their situation. Are these the words of a genuine football reformer, or an opportunist with an eye for the main chance? You make your own money and luck by being out in the world with your eye on the main chance. Note: You can also say that someone looks for the main chance or takes the main chance. He was just an idle boaster looking for the main chance.
someone's main squeezeINFORMAL
A person's main squeeze is their boyfriend or girlfriend. Jennifer Garner met her new main squeeze, Ben Affleck, on the set of Daredevil two years ago.
have (or with) an eye for (or on or to) the main chancelook or be looking for an opportunity to take advantage of a situation for personal gain, especially when this is financial.
This expression is taken from the use of main chance in the gambling game of hazard, where it refers to a number (5, 6, 7, or 8) called by a player before throwing the dice.
by main forcethrough sheer strength.
Main derives from the Old English word mægen meaning ‘physical force’. As an adjective meaning ‘(of strength or force) exerted to the full’, it is a very ancient usage: mægenstrengo occurs in the Anglo-Saxon epic Beowulf.
with might and mainwith all your force.
Main derives from the Old English word mægen meaning ‘physical strength’ (see also by main force at main). The use of the two nouns might and main together dates from the mid 15th century; main in this sense is no longer used in modern English except in this phrase.
splice the main brace1 (in the Royal Navy) serve out an extra tot of rum. 2 serve out or start to consume alcoholic drinks. British informal
A sailing ship's main brace is a rope attached to its main spar. Splicing it (making a connection in it by interweaving strands) would have been a particularly onerous task, and the phrase probably arose from the custom of awarding sailors who did it an extra ration of rum.
have an eye to/for the main ˈchance(British English, usually disapproving) be good at using opportunities for your own benefit: She’s certainly got an eye for the main chance. Her business has become highly successful.
in the ˈmainmostly; on the whole: In the main, the students did well in the exam.
n. the main street. The main drag is solid with traffic on Saturday nights.
1. n. one’s boss; the person in charge. The main squeeze has a lot of responsibility.
2. n. one’s steady girlfriend or boyfriend. (Possibly related to crush.) My main squeeze is coming over to talk tonight.
n. the home of a drug user described in terms of where one’s major store of drugs is kept. (see also stash.) My main stash is on Maple, but I’m usually not there.
The biggest or most important thoroughfare of a town or city. “Drag” came from a term for a wagon or carriage that a horse would pull or drag. By extension the road on which the vehicle was dragged became a slang word for “street”—think of drag racing.