Part of speech: noun

A rope to support the mainmast.

Part of speech: noun

A chief support or dependence.

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Usage examples "mainstay":

  1. Since you have returned to me, and you are the mainstay of my life, I promise to renounce the crown in your favor, and to complete our wedding vows with you as emperor since my father, being advanced in years, wants me to rule in his stead." - "The White Knight: Tirant lo Blanc", Joanot Martorell and Marti Johan d'Galba.
  2. With the perfect and self- sacrificing courage which he always showed, he did not shrink from this new demand, although Ezekiel was the prop and mainstay of the house. - "Daniel Webster", Henry Cabot Lodge.
  3. If the facts ever come to light it will probably be found that Burghley was Bacon's mainstay for financial support. - "The Mystery of Francis Bacon", William T. Smedley.