Definition of mainstream in US English:



the mainstream
  • 1The ideas, attitudes, or activities that are regarded as normal or conventional; the dominant trend in opinion, fashion, or the arts.

    ‘companies that are bringing computers to the mainstream of American life’
    • ‘These attitudes place you outside the mainstream markets we wish to service.’
    • ‘I don't think they want a major confrontation when they are desperate to enter the mainstream of politics.’
    • ‘He has a special interest in attempting to convey academic ideas to the mainstream, perhaps through print journalism.’
    • ‘Its attitudes to women also place it outside the mainstream.’
    • ‘In fact, Linux is nowhere near the mainstream of computer desktop operating systems.’
    • ‘What this means is that only certain people can find a forum for their ideas in the mainstream and media.’
    • ‘The overwhelming message carried by the mainstream is that corporate activities are largely benign and certainly not worth systematic investigation.’
    • ‘Before computers entered the mainstream, talented programmers were rare.’
    • ‘Crucially, these ideas were not developed in the mainstream of political discourse but on the margins and then popularised.’
    • ‘By leaving the GOP, Buchanan marginalized himself from the mainstream of American politics.’
    • ‘Penrose veers into irony in the lengths to which he goes to point out where his ideas deviate from the mainstream.’
    • ‘There's a lot of symbiosis between the activists and the mainstream.’
    • ‘We know blogging has hit the mainstream for sure when companies are trying to make a profit on what started as a grass-roots effort.’
    • ‘Education policy often leads the way to integrate new ideas into the mainstream.’
    • ‘If you can't, it only indicates the extent to which your views are way out of the mainstream of American politics.’
    • ‘We predict whether the mainstream will adapt those attitudes or not.’
    • ‘Prior to independence, tropical forest foragers remained outside the mainstream of society and politics.’
    • ‘The problem is, the ideas push into the mainstream of politics, and here we have a problem.’
    • ‘As they point out, the disease of neo-conservatism is more in the mainstream of American politics than many would like to admit.’
    • ‘But this year the list is five years old, and Porter's ideas have joined the mainstream.’
    1. 1.1 Jazz that is neither traditional nor modern, based on the 1930s swing style and consisting especially of solo improvisation on chord sequences.
      • ‘I play the piano, so it is natural for me to think ‘harmonically’ a lot of the time (one can hear harmonies instantly on a piano; also mainstream jazz is extremely harmony driven).’
      • ‘Despite the fact that the soloists just use these two chords, the improvisations are melodically and rhythmically rich - a signpost of contemporary mainstream jazz.’
      • ‘The music I heard in my house was my parents' music, which was swing music, jazz, very mainstream jazz nothing esoteric - the usual people like Ella Fitzgerald, [and] Judy Garland.’
      • ‘But in mainstream jazz, the 7th chord is king - major 7ths for I or tonic chords, dominant 7ths for V chords, minor 7ths for II and VI chords.’
      • ‘‘The music is mostly traditional jazz, Dixieland and mainstream jazz,’ said Mr Frank, a double-bass player who took to the stage himself with his Dixieland All Stars.’
      • ‘The oldest jazz club in the world is Village Vanguard cellar jazz club, opened in New York City, USA, in 1935, and host to mainstream jazz concerts ever since.’
      • ‘These harmonies, however, fit into the jazz idiom just as bop made its way into the mainstream, enriching both.’
      • ‘Contemporary mainstream jazz artists use, for the most part, Hard Bop instrumentation and musical forms.’
      • ‘Almost all mainstream jazz is in 4/4-four strums to the bar.’
      • ‘For, to judge by the number and amount of record sales of older jazz, there are plenty of lovers of mainstream jazz out there.’
      • ‘Sure, this album is miles away from free jazz, and I apologize for it, but I also have my sentimental side which appreciates top level mainstream jazz.’
      • ‘KSDS is a 24-hour mainstream jazz radio station, licensed to the San Diego Community College District.’
      • ‘The CD comprises 13 tunes from mainstream through Cape jazz and goema to hip-hop.’
      • ‘Shivava will host traditional jazz music and the Bassline will showcase mainstream jazz.’


  • 1Belonging to or characteristic of the mainstream.

    ‘mainstream politics’
    ‘a mixture of mainstream and avant-garde artists’
    • ‘But Boyle could never get enthused about mainstream politics.’
    • ‘The recent European elections revealed a deep disaffection with mainstream politics.’
    • ‘Corn argues that much of the fault belongs to the mainstream media, which is loath to call any president a liar.’
    • ‘It has, therefore, created its own icons, which apparently have to be those good-looking mainstream artists.’
    • ‘Both came from mainstream ranching traditions and initially recoiled at the new philosophy.’
    • ‘But they want to lead people back to the passivity and compromise of mainstream politics.’
    • ‘Traditional French staples, including baguettes, are mainstream in the cities.’
    • ‘It's clear that working people no longer have a voice in mainstream politics in this country.’
    • ‘You're certainly not an indie or alternative artist, but you're not completely about to take over mainstream music either.’
    • ‘In today's age, many of those beliefs are in some ways formed or influenced via the mainstream media.’
    • ‘Analysts and IT boffins are confident that the technology is going to be mainstream before very long.’
    • ‘But when mainstream, everyday Americans became opposed to the Vietnam War, it stopped.’
    • ‘Taylor doesn't expect blue laser technology to become mainstream until around 2008.’
    • ‘You will almost never hear any American political figure described by the mainstream media as belonging the left wing.’
    • ‘You want your technology to become mainstream as fast as possible so that you can, in effect, share development costs.’
    • ‘The things in this bill are absolutely mainstream in modern transport planning.’
    • ‘In online interviews, some point to a feeling of alienation from mainstream organized religion.’
    • ‘As the 70s dawned, mainstream black music made those sentiments explicit.’
    • ‘And this is a play, daring though it may be, that belongs in a mainstream house.’
    • ‘In short, modern mainstream economics is in a state of total confusion.’
    normal, conventional, ordinary, orthodox, conformist, accepted, established, recognized, common, usual, prevailing, popular
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 (of a school or class) for students without special needs.
      ‘the state government has supported greater integration of students with disabilities into mainstream schools’
      • ‘All participants were enrolled in ESL classes and spent at least a portion of their school day in mainstream classes.’
      • ‘She recommended our son be included within a mainstream school where a pupil had assaulted him.’
      • ‘Most mainstream schools in the UK follow a national curriculum, teaching A Levels and the relatively new AS Level.’
      • ‘The aim of the project was to learn from the experiences of pupils in both special educational and mainstream schools.’
      • ‘The reorganisation includes an increased emphasis on children with less severe special needs pupils going into mainstream schools.’
      • ‘Again, the guidance urges the quick re-integration of pupils into mainstream schools.’
      • ‘But Ms Drown says it would be even more expensive to educate pupils at mainstream schools or at schools outside the borough.’
      • ‘ELL students do not clump in the Enrichment Academy classes nearly as much as they might in a mainstream class.’
      • ‘What's missing in this class, compared to a class in a mainstream school, is any sense of interaction between the children.’
      • ‘She's in seventh grade, at a mainstream school that has special education classes.’
      • ‘The current goal is English dominance sufficient for students to participate in mainstream classes within one year.’
      • ‘Heads are now permitted to exclude difficult pupils from mainstream classes for a maximum of 15 days.’
      • ‘He also blamed a lack of support for difficult pupils remaining in mainstream schools, an inappropriate curriculum and teacher shortages.’
      • ‘Borough education chiefs want more integration between mainstream schools and special schools.’
      • ‘Yet, as female students move into mainstream classes, their peer groups often change.’
      • ‘Their development in English language should be comparable to that of students in mainstream schools.’
      • ‘The government has made it clear that it wishes to see more special needs children entering mainstream schools.’
      • ‘Several people feared putting special schools and mainstream schools on one site would lead to bullying of disabled children.’
      • ‘This plan is for a mainstream school for 210 pupils and a nursery school.’
      • ‘The decision not to educate a pupil in a mainstream school - against their parent's wishes - should not be taken lightly.’


[with object]
  • 1Bring (something) into the mainstream.

    ‘vegetarianism has been mainstreamed’
    • ‘Now, we think mainstreaming the services that are provided will produce a much, much better result.’
    • ‘Ever since Napster mainstreamed unauthorized sharing of copyrighted materials, record labels have been singing the blues - and for pretty obvious reasons.’
    • ‘But because my commitment is to mainstreaming astrology, I think it would be very confusing to the public if I started discussing other techniques.’
    • ‘The strategies outlined by Mary Robinson, the UNHCHR, are commonly described as mainstreaming human rights.’
    • ‘Murray Bowen is responsible for mainstreaming family therapy.’
    • ‘But he's mainstreaming the fringe while he's at it.’
    • ‘Lileks suggests that Democrats are mainstreaming the extreme.’
    • ‘What would have been considered ‘gay’ before is mainstreaming.’
    • ‘These are aimed at mainstreaming intercultural education into the entire curriculum and developing strategies to combat racist behaviour.’
    • ‘The award's presenters noted that in a nation known for its heavy dependence on coal, Rizhao represents an inspiring example of the mainstreaming of renewable energy sources.’
    • ‘He said support groups and agencies have already been mainstreaming in the absence of a national framework.’
    • ‘But I don't see how mainstreaming indigenous programs, where mainstream has failed.’
    • ‘They are mainstreaming and forming coalitions in countries like Denmark and Italy.’
    • ‘It's a good lesson: if you want to mainstream yourself, you can't do things that make you look like a raving maniac.’
    • ‘The beauty of mainstreaming anything is that anyone who belongs to the community that is being mainstreamed now has more freedom to be exactly who they are.’
    • ‘I'm sort of mainstreaming myself back into the normal beats of human life.’
    • ‘Similarly, there is a need for mainstreaming considerations of gender, age and occupation in the national nutrition strategy.’
    • ‘The Fair Trade Fiesta helps mark the start of the new phase in mainstreaming Fair Trade in New Zealand.’
    • ‘On the whole, though, the 1950s and 1960s were times of further mainstreaming for the Cajuns.’
    • ‘The shift from WID to GAD then, at least for Peace Corps, meant mainstreaming women's issues.’
    1. 1.1 Place (a student with special needs) into a mainstream class or school.
      ‘the goal is to have the child mainstreamed into a regular classroom’
      • ‘Parents described whether the child was currently fully included, partially mainstreamed, or in a special day class without mainstreaming.’
      • ‘Those students who showed rapid signs of progress were mainstreamed in one or more classes.’
      • ‘She was in special ed from pre-school until she was mainstreamed in fourth grade.’
      • ‘Students are mainstreamed into all English classrooms, in many cases at the end of first grade, until their English proficiency is sufficient enough to follow instruction.’
      • ‘For traditional-age college students, being encouraged to take an ESL class was more difficult to accept if they had been mainstreamed in high school.’
      • ‘When special-needs children are mainstreamed into a classroom, we examine their fish-out-of-water struggles.’
      • ‘Around six lakh children would be deprived of a chance to be mainstreamed into regular schools this year.’
      • ‘I had a student who was mainstreamed and the teacher called me almost every day.’
      • ‘It helps these special children to be mainstreamed and to interact on an equal platform.’
      • ‘Reverted to teenagers and mainstreamed with normal kids in a normal high school adds a whole new dimension to these characters.’
      • ‘Where necessary for educational reasons, mainstreaming students assumes a subordinate role in formulating an educational program.’
      • ‘It was chosen because its students are not mainstreamed abruptly into all-English instruction but receive instructional support in the native language through Grade 5.’
      • ‘These kids become Cindy's friends and help her learn important lessons about inclusion, labeling, mainstreaming, and retardation.’
      • ‘Students with special needs are mainstreamed into the regular classroom whenever possible, but additional education services also are provided.’
      • ‘The goal is to have the child mainstreamed into a regular classroom, although an aide may be necessary to keep the child focused.’
      • ‘At times, female students who leave ESL classes and are completely mainstreamed lose their in-group status with female students who remain in ESL classes.’
      • ‘This method of transferring information is beneficial for the special education students who are mainstreamed into my art classes.’
      • ‘This was an early forerunner of the programmes developed some twenty years later for mainstreaming disabled children.’
      • ‘When they reach Step 2, students are mainstreamed in reading.’