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main sb.1 (the orig. sense of ‘strength’ is probably represented in Troil. II. iii. 276 “with all our main of power” )
1. chief or main part, main body (“of” something) Mer.V. V. i. 97 “Empties itself, as doth an inland brook Into the main of waters,” Ham. IV. iv. 15 “against the main of Poland.”
2. principal point, chief concern Ham. II. ii. 56.
3. mainland Lr. III. i. 6 “swell the curled waters 'bove the main.”
4. ‘main sea’, ocean John II. i. 26 “England, hedg'd in with the main,” R3 I. iv. 20, Oth. II. i. 3, 39, Sonn. lxiv. 7 “the watery main,” lxxx. 8
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