American English

Definition of mainly adverb from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    jump to other results
  1. 1more than anything else; also used to talk about the most important reason for something synonym chiefly, primarily They eat mainly fruit and nuts. “Where do you export to?” “France, mainly.” The population almost doubles in summer, mainly because of the jazz festival. During the day it'll become mainly dry with clear skies.
  2. 2used to talk about the largest part of a group of people or things The people in the hotel were mainly foreign tourists. Language Bankgenerallyways of saying “in general” Women generally earn less than men. Generally speaking, jobs traditionally done by women are paid at a lower rate than those traditionally done by men. In general/By and large, women do not earn as much as men. Certain jobs, like nursing and cleaning, are still mainly carried out by women. Senior management posts are held predominantly by men. Most senior management posts tend to be held by men. Women are, for the most part, still paid less than men. Economic and social factors are, to a large extent, responsible for women being concentrated in low-paid jobs.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: mainly