Definitions

from The Century Dictionary.

  • With force, strength, or violence; violently; furiously; suddenly; at full speed; hastily.
  • To lead; conduct; manage.
  • To lower (a sail), especially the topsail.
  • To lower; abate.
  • To lower the topsail or one's flag, in token of yielding; yield; surrender.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • transitive verb (Naut.) To lower, as a sail, a yard, etc.
  • intransitive verb (Naut.) To lower the topsail, in token of surrender; to yield.
  • adverb With might; with full force; vigorously; violently; exceedingly.
  • adverb At full speed; in great haste; also, at once.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • adverb In a forceful manner.
  • adverb At full speed; in great haste.
  • adverb Out of control.
  • verb nautical To lower the topsail, in token of surrender; to yield.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adverb with all your strength
  • adverb at full speed; with great haste

Etymologies

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

a- +‎ main (“strength, power, force”)

Examples

  • His bloodhounds twain he called amain, and straightway gave her chase;

    Rookwood

  • Failure to amain, that is, to douse your topsail or dip your colours when you meet with a ship of war -- the marine equivalent for raising one's hat -- constituted a gross contempt of the king's service.

    The Press-Gang Afloat and Ashore

  • Queen Pansie, as she might fairly have been styled, in reference to her position in the household, -- calling amain for grandpapa and breakfast.

    The Dolliver Romance

  • Then they farewelled him and went down to look after the safety of their troops; and they ceased not to keep up the fires till the morning rose with its sheen and shone, when the fighting-men mounted their horses of noble strain and smote one another with thin-edged skean and with brawn of bill they thrust amain nor did they cease that day battle to darraign.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • Then the hosts charged down upon each other and clashed together the twain with a mighty strain, the brave pressed on amain and the coward to fly was fain and the Jinn cast flames of fire from their mouths, whilst the smoke of them rose up to the confines of the sky and the two armies appeared and disappeared.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • A sound as though a cork from a bottle burst amain!

    Peer Gynt

  • A sound as though a cork from a bottle burst amain!

    Peer Gynt

  • Then they slept till daybreak, when the battle-drums beat to fight and the swords in baldric were dight; and war-cries were cried amain and all mounted their horses of generous strain and drew out into the field, filling every wide place and hill and plain.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • By Glyn Davies, at Fri May 23, 10:37:00 PM glyn you are so right to get involved with this . its a disgrace that its not become amain issue for the regulaters. allpower to your elbow on it

    Campaigning in Residential Homes

  • Cleave fast to her thou lovest and let the envious rail amain, iv.

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

Comments

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  • "Amain, at once, suddenly; as, let go amain! i.e. let it run at once. This phrase is generally applied to any thing that is hoisted or lowered by a tackle, or complication of pullies.

    "To lower amain, to lower at once, or let go the fall of the tackle.

    To strike amain, to lower or let fall the topsail.

    To wave amain, to make a sign to another vessel by waving a bright sword, or something else as a demand for striking its topsails."

    Falconer's New Universal Dictionary of the Marine (1816), 9

    October 13, 2008

  • The lexical drudge must explain

    And make every mystery plain.

    The job is to teach

    The details of speech

    And spew forth examples amain.

    October 8, 2017