Spanish Main


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Spanish Main

1. The coastal region of mainland Spanish America in the 1500s and 1600s, especially the region of coast on the Caribbean Sea between the Isthmus of Panama and the mouth of the Orinoco River.
2. The section of the Caribbean Sea crossed by Spanish ships in colonial times. English buccaneers often raided these treasure-laden ships.

Spanish Main

n
1. (Historical Terms) the mainland of Spanish America, esp the N coast of South America from the Isthmus of Panama to the mouth of the Orinoco River, Venezuela
2. (Historical Terms) the Caribbean Sea, the S part of which in colonial times was the route of Spanish treasure galleons and the haunt of pirates

Span′ish Main′


n.
1. the mainland of America adjacent to the Caribbean Sea, esp. the area between the mouth of the Orinoco River and the Isthmus of Panama.
2. the Caribbean Sea: the route of the Spanish treasure galleons and a former haunt of pirates.
References in classic literature ?
Eckert's renown as a reformed assassin or a retired pirate of the Spanish Main had not reached any ear in Marion.
This vessel had recently arrived from the Spanish Main, and within three days' time would sail for Bristol.
The last war but between Britain and Spain sprang from the attempts of the British merchants to prosecute an illicit trade with the Spanish main. These unjustifiable practices on their part produced severity on the part of the Spaniards toward the subjects of Great Britain which were not more justifiable, because they exceeded the bounds of a just retaliation and were chargeable with inhumanity and cruelty.
It was like the old days of the Spanish Main come back.
Dreadful stories they were--about hanging, and walking the plank, and storms at sea, and the Dry Tortugas, and wild deeds and places on the Spanish Main. By his own account he must have lived his life among some of the wickedest men that God ever allowed upon the sea, and the language in which he told these stories shocked our plain country people almost as much as the crimes that he described.
When our shipmates wondered at this, Toby exclaimed in his odd grave way that the rest might do, as they liked, but that he for one preserved his go-ashore traps for the Spanish main, where the tie of a sailor's neckerchief might make some difference; but as for a parcel of unbreeched heathen, he wouldn't go to the bottom of his chest for any of them, and was half disposed to appear among them in buff himself.
In former times the Morocco rascals used to coast along the Spanish Main in their boats till a safe opportunity seemed to present itself, and then dart in and capture a Spanish village and carry off all the pretty women they could find.
Mullins and Alf Mason and many another ruffian long known and feared on the Spanish Main.
But I bought drinks for others, most carefully selected--bought drinks with an air of prosperity that was as a credential to my story; and in my cups (my apparent cups, steward), spun an old man's yarn of the Wide Awake, the longboat, the bearings unnamable, and the treasure under the sand.--A fathom under the sand; that was literary; it was psychological; it smacked of the salt sea, and daring rovers, and the loot of the Spanish Main.
Next Spanish hides, with the tails still preserving their twist and the angle of elevation they had when the oxen that wore them were careering over the pampas of the Spanish Main -- a type of all obstinacy, and evincing how almost hopeless and incurable are all constitutional vices.
The story goes that the lady of Sir Peter Pendragon built it in this place and to this height, because from the top you can just see the corner where vessels turn into the river mouth; and she wished to be the first to see her husband's ship, as he sailed home from the Spanish Main."
But for this consideration I should have begun my attempts with the Spanish and French, as the tongues in which a secret of this kind would most naturally have been written by a pirate of the Spanish main. As it was, I assumed the cryptograph to be English.