Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

mainly - definition and synonyms


What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.



The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

adverb mainly pronunciation in American English /ˈmeɪnli/
  1. 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 I didn’t feel very well.

  2. 2
    in most cases

    Our customers are mainly young mothers.

    The bacteria live mainly in the small intestine.

    Synonyms and related words

sea lion

in an online conversation, repeatedly asking a person questions which suggest that you are interested in what they are talking about, but are actually intended to annoy them

BuzzWord Article

Word of the Day


to teach someone

Open Dictionary


an electric skateboard

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play