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For the most part; chiefly.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


1. for the most part; to the greatest extent; principally
2. obsolete strongly; very much
Collins English Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014


(ˈmeɪn li)

for the most part; chiefly.
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


1. 'generally'

Generally means 'usually', 'in most cases', or 'on the whole'.

Paperback books are generally cheapest.
His answer was generally correct.
2. 'mainly'

Don't use generally to say that something is true about most of something, or about most of the people or things in a group. Use mainly.

The bedroom is mainly blue.
The people in the audience were mainly from Senegal or Mali.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Adv.1.mainly - for the most part; "he is mainly interested in butterflies"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002
إِلَىَ حَدٍ كَبِيرٍبِصورَةٍ رَئيسيَّه
principalementsurtouttout d’abordd’abord
predvsemv glavnem
başlıcadaha çok
chủ yếu


[ˈmeɪnlɪ] ADV
1. (= fundamentally) → principalmente, fundamentalmente; (= for the greater part) → mayormente, principalmente
they have stayed together mainly because of their childrenhan seguido juntos principalmente or fundamentalmente por sus hijos
he lives mainly in Parisvive mayormente or principalmente en París
it was mainly his ideafue mayormente or principalmente idea suya
2. (= in the majority) → en su mayoría, en su mayor parte
her customers are mainly womensus clientes son en su mayoría or en su mayor parte mujeres
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[ˈmeɪnli] advprincipalement, surtoutmain man n (US)meilleur pote mmain memory n (COMPUTING)mémoire f centralemain office nsiège mmain road ngrande route f
I don't like cycling on main roads → Je n'aime pas faire du vélo sur les grandes routes.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


advhauptsächlich, in erster Linie; the meetings are held mainly on Tuesdaysdie Besprechungen finden meistens dienstags statt; the climate is mainly wetdas Klima ist vorwiegend or überwiegend feucht
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[ˈmeɪnlɪ] advprincipalmente, soprattutto
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(mein) adjective
chief, principal or most important. the main purpose; the main character in the story.
(also mains) the chief pipe or cable in a branching system of pipes or cables. The water's been turned off at the main(s); (also adjective) the mains electricity supply.
ˈmainly adverb
more (of) the thing mentioned than anything else; mostly or largely. This skirt is mainly dark grey.
ˈmainland noun
a large piece of land as compared with neighbouring islands. Britain is not part of the mainland of Europe.
ˈmainspring noun
the chief spring, especially the spring that causes the wheels to move in a watch or clock.
ˈmainstream noun
the chief direction or trend of a system of theories, developments etc. the mainstream of traditional art.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


إِلَىَ حَدٍ كَبِيرٍ hlavně hovedsaglig hauptsächlich κυρίως principalmente lähinnä principalement uglavnom principalmente 主に 주로 voornamelijk hovedsakelig głównie principalmente главным образом huvudsakligen โดยส่วนใหญ่ başlıca chủ yếu 大体上
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
Faces that fall into types you can describe, or at all events label in such a way that the reader can identify them; but those faces that consist mainly of spiritual effect and physical bloom, that change with everything they look upon, the light in which ebbs and flows with every changing tide of the soul,--these you have to love to know, and to worship to portray.
Although my book is intended mainly for the en- tertainment of boys and girls, I hope it will not be shunned by men and women on that account, for part of my plan has been to try to pleasantly remind adults of what they once were themselves, and of how they felt and thought and talked, and what queer enterprises they sometimes engaged in.
Since the objects of imitation are men in action, and these men must be either of a higher or a lower type (for moral character mainly answers to these divisions, goodness and badness being the distinguishing marks of moral differences), it follows that we must represent men either as better than in real life, or as worse, or as they are.
Round the central figure in the narrative other characters will be found grouped, in sharp contrast -- contrast, for the most part, in which I have endeavored to make the element of humor mainly predominant.
Mark Twain, and he told the truth, mainly. There was things which he stretched, but mainly he told the truth.
Their popularity, so general at first, had suffered afterward; mainly because they had been TOO popular, and so a natural reaction had followed.
But he had left the army, so that his reputation for gallantry mainly depended now on his fighting Liberalism in the House of Commons.
The road was mainly a winding path with hoof-prints in it, and now and then a faint trace of wheels on either side in the grass -- wheels that apparently had a tire as broad as one's hand.
I suspect that the large, mild boy, the son of a neighboring farmer, who mainly shared our games, had but a dim notion of what I meant by my strange people, but I did my best to enlighten him, and he helped me make a dream out of my life, and did his best to dwell in the region of unrealities where I preferably had my being; he was from time to time a Moor when I think he would rather have been a Mingo.
It was believed also that from writers mainly British and American fuller consideration of English Philosophy than it had hitherto received might be looked for.
But I am inclined to attribute the dispersal of fresh-water fish mainly to slight changes within the recent period in the level of the land, having caused rivers to flow into each other.
It was mainly dominated, however, by the spirit of romance (above, pp.