Definition of mainly adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



    BrE BrE//ˈmeɪnli//
    ; NAmE NAmE//ˈmeɪnli//
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  1. 1  more 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. 2  in most cases; used to talk about the largest part of a group of people or things Anorexia is an illness that occurs mainly in adolescents. 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 predominantly held 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.
  3. Extra examples Rosewood is used mainly for fine furniture and musical instruments. The injuries were mainly facial cuts and bruises. The population almost doubles in August, mainly because of the film festival. The sun consists mainly of hydrogen.
See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: mainly