Definition of mainstay in English:



  • 1A stay that extends from the maintop to the foot of the foremast of a sailing ship.

  • 2A thing on which something else is based or depends.

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