Definition of mainstay in English:



  • 1A person or thing on which something else is based or depends.

    ‘farming is the mainstay of the rural economy’
    • ‘The mainstay of the helicopter fleet, the Oryx, was due for an in-service upgrade.’
    • ‘Analyzed imagery and communications intelligence were the mainstays of this effort, to include the fused products.’
    • ‘The first pick of Fox's second draft was Jordan Gross, who has become a mainstay at right tackle.’
    • ‘Visiting is a mainstay of social life, mostly within the circle of extended family.’
    • ‘International trade was the mainstay of Macau as a free port, and has been important until recently.’
    • ‘The staff are excellent, the mainstays being owner Juan and the smiling Joanna.’
    • ‘The inshore fisheries are the economic mainstay of these communities.’
    • ‘Ever since, Martin has been a mainstay on the Jets' offense, and in their locker room.’
    • ‘The plans were a mainstay of the amalgamation process and the beacon to guide sustainable development.’
    • ‘After 37 years, the wreck has become something of a mainstay for divers in the area, but it is still excellent.’
    • ‘The organising and running of after-school groups has been one of the mainstays of the project.’
    • ‘State-sponsored works remained the mainstay of many painters until the end of the Second Empire.’
    • ‘A mainstay of the Joe Torre dynasty, Pettitte needs to stay healthy and excel if he wants a new contract.’
    • ‘Since I have so much yew foliage, this is the mainstay of the ropes and swags that I will be creating.’
    • ‘The gun run, loosely based on the exploits of Naval squads in the Boer War, was a mainstay of the Royal Tournament.’
    • ‘Farming and forestry are still the mainstay of this area although tourism is rapidly expanding.’
    • ‘Smith was a mainstay of the club's success this season with his running from defence and solid tackling.’
    • ‘Cement was one of his trading mainstays and he was a shareholder in the Portland Cement Works near Whangarei.’
    • ‘Farming, herding, fishing, seafaring, commerce, and crafts were the historical mainstays of the economy.’
    • ‘He has been one of the mainstays of the Bradford team in recent years.’
    • ‘The mainstay of Scotland's bowling attack has just become a father.’
    central component, centrepiece, prop, linchpin, cornerstone, pillar, bulwark, buttress, chief support, backbone, anchor, foundation, base, bastion
    tower of strength, key player, sinew, right-hand man, right-hand woman, right arm, atlas
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  • 2A stay that extends from the maintop to the foot of the foremast of a sailing ship.