mainspring

  • 1 mainspring — main spring , n. The principal or most important spring in a piece of mechanism, especially the moving spring of a watch or clock or the spring in a gunlock which impels the hammer. Hence: (Fig.) The chief or most powerful motive; the efficient… …

    The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • 2 mainspring — index cause (reason), derivation, reason (basis) Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …

    Law dictionary

  • 3 mainspring — (n.) 1590s, of watches, clocks, etc., from MAIN (Cf. main) (adj.) + SPRING (Cf. spring) (n.3). Figurative use from 1690s …

    Etymology dictionary

  • 4 mainspring — ► NOUN 1) the principal spring in a watch, clock, etc. 2) a prime source of motivation or support …

    English terms dictionary

  • 5 mainspring — [mān′spriŋ΄] n. 1. the principal spring in a clock, watch, or other mechanism; driving spring, whose steady uncoiling keeps the mechanism running 2. the chief motive or cause …

    English World dictionary

  • 6 Mainspring — For the 2007 novel by Jay Lake, see Mainspring (novel). An uncoiled modern watch mainspring …

    Wikipedia

  • 7 mainspring — main|spring [ˈmeınsprıŋ] n 1.) the mainspring of sth the most important reason or influence that makes something happen ▪ Christian faith was the mainspring of Peter s life. ▪ Small companies are the mainspring of the British economy. 2.) the… …

    Dictionary of contemporary English

  • 8 mainspring — [[t]me͟ɪnsprɪŋ[/t]] mainsprings N COUNT: usu sing, usu the N of n If you say that an idea, emotion, or other factor is the mainspring of something, you mean that it is the most important reason or motive for that thing. [WRITTEN] My life has been …

    English dictionary

  • 9 mainspring — noun (C) 1 the mainspring of/for the most important reason or influence that makes something happen: Romantic love had been the mainspring of Augustini s poetry 2 the most important spring in a watch or clock …

    Longman dictionary of contemporary English

  • 10 mainspring — UK [ˈmeɪnˌsprɪŋ] / US noun [countable] Word forms mainspring : singular mainspring plural mainsprings formal the most important cause or reason why something happens …

    English dictionary

  • 11 mainspring — noun a) The principal spring of a clockwork mechanism, that drives it by uncoiling. He was wise, for he had seen a long succession of mechanical toys arrive to boast and swagger, and by and by break their mainsprings and pass away. b) The most… …

    Wiktionary

  • 12 mainspring — noun the mainspring of anticommunism Syn: motive, motivation, impetus, driving force, incentive, impulse, prime mover, reason, fountain, fount, wellspring, root, generator …

    Thesaurus of popular words

  • 13 mainspring — skeliamoji spyruoklė statusas T sritis Gynyba apibrėžtis Šaunamojo ginklo spynos skeliamojo mechanizmo sudedamoji dalis. Skeliamoji spyruoklė šūvio metu veikia skiltuvą su daužikliu, kuris staigiai juda pirmyn kapsulės (kapsulinės įvorės) link.… …

    Artilerijos terminų žodynas

  • 14 mainspring — noun Date: 1591 1. the chief spring in a mechanism especially of a watch or clock 2. the chief or most powerful motive, agent, or cause …

    New Collegiate Dictionary

  • 15 mainspring — /mayn spring /, n. 1. the principal spring in a mechanism, as in a watch. 2. the chief motive power; the impelling cause. [1585 95; MAIN1 + SPRING] * * * …

    Universalium

  • 16 mainspring — Synonyms and related words: ambition, aspiration, basis, calling, cause, consideration, font, fount, fountain, fountainhead, goal, ground, guiding light, guiding star, headspring, headstream, headwater, ideal, inspiration, intention, lodestar,… …

    Moby Thesaurus

  • 17 mainspring — (Roget s IV) n. Syn. heart, root, power; see origin 3 …

    English dictionary for students

  • 18 mainspring — main|spring [ meın,sprıŋ ] noun count FORMAL an important cause or reason …

    Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • 19 mainspring — meɪnsprɪŋ n. main spring in a mechanism; chief impelling force …

    English contemporary dictionary

  • 20 mainspring — noun 1》 the principal spring in a watch, clock, etc. 2》 the main agent of motivation …

    English new terms dictionary