Meaning of “mainly” in the English Dictionary

british dictionary

"mainly" in British English

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uk /ˈmeɪ us /ˈmeɪ

B1 usually or to a large degree:

I mainly go to bed around midnight.
The group is made up of mainly young people.
They argued that the tax will mainly benefit the rich.

More examples

  • Cheetahs are mainly found in Africa.
  • Helicopters are mainly used for military rather than civil use.
  • It's a disease which affects mainly older people.
  • Air is composed mainly of nitrogen and oxygen.
  • The class is comprised mainly of Italian and French students.

(Definition of “mainly” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"mainly" in American English

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mainlyadverb [ not gradable ]

us /ˈmeɪn·li/

usually, or to a large degree:

The group is mainly made up of young people.

(Definition of “mainly” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)