Meaning of mainstay

main•stay

Pronunciation: (mān'stā"), [key]
— n.
  1. the stay that secures the mainmast forward.
  2. a person or thing that acts as a chief support or part: Coffee is the mainstay of the country's economy.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.
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