mainstay

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main·stay

 (mān′stā′)
n.
1. A chief support: Agriculture is a mainstay of the economy.
2. Nautical A stay running forward from the mainmast to the deck of a sailing vessel.

mainstay

(ˈmeɪnˌsteɪ)
n
1. (Nautical Terms) nautical the forestay that braces the mainmast
2. a chief support

main•stay

(ˈmeɪnˌsteɪ)

n.
1. a person or thing that acts as a chief support or part.
2. the stay that secures the mainmast forward.
[1475–85]
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.mainstay - a prominent supportermainstay - a prominent supporter; "he is a pillar of the community"
admirer, booster, protagonist, supporter, champion, friend - a person who backs a politician or a team etc.; "all their supporters came out for the game"; "they are friends of the library"
2.mainstay - a central cohesive source of support and stabilitymainstay - a central cohesive source of support and stability; "faith is his anchor"; "the keystone of campaign reform was the ban on soft money"; "he is the linchpin of this firm"
support - something providing immaterial assistance to a person or cause or interest; "the policy found little public support"; "his faith was all the support he needed"; "the team enjoyed the support of their fans"
3.mainstay - the forestay that braces the mainmastmainstay - the forestay that braces the mainmast
forestay - an adjustable stay from the foremast to the deck or bowsprit; controls the bending of the mast

mainstay

noun pillar, backbone, bulwark, prop, anchor, buttress, lynchpin, chief support Fish and rice were the mainstays of their diet.
Translations
carro-chefe

mainstay

[ˈmeɪnsteɪ] N (Naut) → estay m mayor (fig) → sostén m principal, pilar m

mainstay

[ˈmeɪnsteɪ] n (= most basic part) → élément m principal, élément m de base

mainstay

[ˈmeɪnˌsteɪ] n (support) → sostegno, pilastro
References in classic literature ?
Yet before I proceed to my legitimate subject some few final remarks will no doubt be expected by my Readers upon those pillars and mainstays of the Constitution of Flatland, the controllers of our conduct and shapers of our destiny, the objects of universal homage and almost of adoration: need I say that I mean our Circles or Priests?
And now the Trojans would have been routed and driven back into Ilius, had not Priam's son Helenus, wisest of augurs, said to Hector and Aeneas, "Hector and Aeneas, you two are the mainstays of the Trojans and Lycians, for you are foremost at all times, alike in fight and counsel; hold your ground here, and go about among the host to rally them in front of the gates, or they will fling themselves into the arms of their wives, to the great joy of our foes.
"That's the very thing," said Don Quixote; "though I am relieved from looking for the name of an imaginary shepherdess, for there's the peerless Dulcinea del Toboso, the glory of these brooksides, the ornament of these meadows, the mainstay of beauty, the cream of all the graces, and, in a word, the being to whom all praise is appropriate, be it ever so hyperbolical."
Reasons of his own; that's the mainstay; as between man and man.
The foresail went over with a bang, and the foregaff stabbed and ripped through the stay-sail, which, was of course, prevented from going over by the mainstay. They lowered the wreck in awful silence, and Harvey spent his leisure hours for the next few days under Torn Platt's lee, learning to use a needle and palm.
It is the mainstay of our moral system in England, Lady Stutfield.
A mix of mainstays, old reliables, and new faces attended the lowkey national team training Wednesday night, days ahead of the formal announcement of the Gilas Pilipinas pool.
"We have four or five guys, including Marshall, Hudson, Whittingham, Connolly and more who are the mainstays of our team, when injuries hit us," says Mackay.