adverb as the largest or most important reason, thing, part of something etc: Her illness was caused mainly by worry and stress. | The workforce is mainly made up of women. | the mainly Zulu Inkatha Freedom Party (sentence adverb): "What did you do all evening?" "Well, we just talked mainly." | mainly because: I don't go out much, mainly because I have to look after the kids. | mainly due to (=caused to a great degree by): Increased sales during the summer were mainly due to tourism. | mainly why/what/how spoken: Boredom was mainly why I decided to quit.

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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  • Mainly — Main ly, adv. [From main strong. See {Main} strength.] Very strongly; mightily; to a great degree. [Obs.] Bacon. Shak. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Mainly — Main ly, adv. [From main principal, chief.] Principally; chiefly. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • mainly — index a fortiori, ab initio, as a rule, generally, particularly Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • mainly — (adv.) late 13c., vigorously, from MAIN (Cf. main) (adj.) + LY (Cf. ly) (2). Meaning especially is from c.1400; that of for the most part is from 1660s …   Etymology dictionary

  • mainly — *largely, greatly, mostly, chiefly, principally, generally …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • mainly — [adv] for the most part above all, chiefly, essentially, first and foremost, generally, in general, in the main, largely, mostly, most of all, on the whole, overall, predominantly, primarily, principally, substantially, to the greatest extent,… …   New thesaurus

  • mainly — ► ADVERB ▪ more than anything else; for the most part …   English terms dictionary

  • mainly — [mān′lē] adv. chiefly; principally; in the main …   English World dictionary

  • mainly — main|ly [ meınli ] adverb *** 1. ) used for talking about the largest or most important part of something: This sauce is made mainly of milk and flour. We spent four days there mainly visiting family. mainly because: I didn t come mainly because… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • mainly — [[t]me͟ɪnli[/t]] ♦♦ 1) ADV: ADV with cl/group, ADV with v You use mainly when mentioning the main reason or thing involved in something. The stockmarket scandal is refusing to go away, mainly because there s still no consensus over how it should… …   English dictionary

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