Mainstay meaning

mān'stā'
The definition of a mainstay is something that is depended on, or something that is necessary.

Fruits and vegetables are an example of the mainstay of a healthy diet.

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A chief support.
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Agriculture is the mainstay of this country's economy.

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(nautical) A stabilising rope from the top of the mainmast to the bottom of the foremast.
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A chief support.

Agriculture is a mainstay of the economy.

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A strong rope that serves to steady and support the mainmast of a sailing vessel.
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A stay, or line, extending forward from the mainmast, supporting it and holding it in position.
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Origin of mainstay

  • From main +"Ž stay (“rope").
    From Wiktionary