One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1‘agriculture was the mainstay of the economy’
central component, centrepiece, prop, linchpin, cornerstone, pillar, bulwark, buttress, chief support, backbone, anchor, foundation, base, bastion
2‘he is the mainstay of the Arsenal defence’
tower of strength, key player, sinew, right-hand man, right-hand woman, right arm, Atlas
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