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mainspring

Definition:

the most important spring in a mechanical device (especially a clock or watch); as it uncoils it drives the mechanism

Class:

artifact noun (man-made objects)

Plural:

mainsprings

Part of:

clockwork

Original source:

Princeton WordNet

Definition references  (+images)

Wikipedia:

Mainspring | wind-up | spring-wound

a spiral torsion spring of metal ribbon that is the power source in mechanical watches and some clocks. Winding the timepiece, by turning a knob or key, stores energy in the mainspring by twisting the spiral tighter. The force of the mainspring then... (43 of 3220 words, 12 images)

en​.wikipedia​.org​/wiki​/Mainspring

Collins Dictionary:

mainspring

the principal power spring of a mechanism, especially in a watch or clock | the chief cause or motive of something (20 of 309 words, 2 definitions, 5 usage examples, pronunciation)

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/mainspring

Merriam-Webster:

mainspring

the chief spring in a mechanism especially of a watch or clock | the chief or most powerful motive, agent, or cause (21 of 54 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/dictionary​/mainspring

Oxford Dictionary:

mainspring

the main agent of motivation | the principal spring in a watch, clock, or other mechanism. (15 of 40 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

oxforddictionaries​.com​/definition​/english​/mainspring

Macmillan British Dictionary:

mainspring [countable, formal] | mainsprings [plural]

the most important cause or reason why something happens (9 of 35 words, pronunciation)

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/mainspring

American Heritage Dictionary:

mainspring

The principal spring in a mechanical device, especially a watch or clock, that drives the mechanism by uncoiling. | The chief motivating force (22 of 31 words, 2 definitions, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/mainspring

Cambridge Dictionary:

mainspring [formal]

the most important reason for something; the thing that makes something else happen (13 of 27 words, 1 usage example, pronunciation)

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/mainspring

New World Dictionary:

mainspring

the principal spring in a clock, watch, or other mechanism; driving spring, whose steady uncoiling keeps the mechanism running | the chief motive or ... (23 of 26 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/mainspring

Wiktionary:

mainspring | mainsprings [plural]

The principal spring of a clockwork mechanism, that drives it by uncoiling. | [figurative] The most important reason for something. (19 of 26 words, 2 definitions, 2 usage examples)

en​.wiktionary​.org​/wiki​/mainspring

Random House Dictionary:

mainspring

the principal spring in a mechanism, as in a watch. | the chief motive power; the impelling cause. (17 of 24 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

dictionary​.infoplease​.com​/mainspring

Britannica Encyclopedia:

spring [machine component]

in technology, elastic machine component able to deflect under load in a prescribed manner and to recover its initial shape when unloaded. The ... (23 of 443 words, 2 images)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/561280​/spring

spring [water]

in hydrology, opening at or near the surface of the Earth for the discharge of water from underground sources. A spring is a natural discharge point ... (26 of 494 words, 1 image)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/561291​/spring

spring [season]

in climatology, season of the year between winter and summer during which temperatures gradually rise. It's generally defined in the Northern ... (21 of 189 words, 1 image)

www​.britannica​.com​/E​Bchecked​/topic​/561288​/spring

Columbia Encyclopedia:

spring

in geology, natural flow of water from the ground or from rocks, representing an outlet for the water that has accumulated in permeable rock strata ... (25 of 426 words)

www​.infoplease​.com​/ce​6​/sci​/A​0846355​.html

spring

in mechanics, any of several elastic devices used variously to store and to furnish energy, to absorb shock, to sustain the pressure between ... (23 of 187 words)

www​.infoplease​.com​/ce​6​/sci​/A​0846356​.html

Encarta Dictionary:

mainspring | mainsprings [plural]

the largest and most important spring in the mechanism of a watch or clock | the driving or motivating force behind something (21 of 53 words, 2 definitions, pronunciation)

encarta​.msn​.com​/dictionary 1861627882​/definition​.html  [offline]

Audio references

Collins Dictionary:

mainspring

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "mainspring"

www​.collinsdictionary​.com​/dictionary​/english​/mainspring

Macmillan British Dictionary:

mainspring [countable, formal] | mainsprings [plural]

Audio: British English pronunciation of "mainspring"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/british​/mainspring

Macmillan American Dictionary:

mainspring [countable, formal] | mainsprings [plural]

Audio: North American pronunciation of "mainspring"

www​.macmillandictionary​.com​/dictionary​/american​/mainspring

Cambridge Dictionary:

mainspring [formal]

Audio 1: British English pronunuciation of "mainspring"

Audio 2: North American English pronunuciation of "mainspring"

dictionary​.cambridge​.org​/dictionary​/british​/mainspring

the Free Dictionary:

mainspring

Audio 1: North American English pronunciation of "mainspring"

Audio 2: British English pronunciation of "mainspring"

Audio 3: North American English pronunciation of "mainspring" by speech synthesizer

www​.thefreedictionary​.com​/mainspring

Google Dictionary:

mainspring | mainsprings [plural]

Audio: English pronunciation of "mainspring"

www​.google​.com​/#hl=en&tbs=dfn​:1&fp=1&q=mainspring

Merriam-Webster Pronunciation:

mainspring

Audio: North American pronunciation of "mainspring"

www​.merriam-webster​.com​/audio​.php file=mainsp​01 word=mainspring

YourDictionary Audio:

mainspring

Audio: North American English pronunciation of "mainspring" by speech synthesizer

www​.yourdictionary​.com​/mainspring

Page last updated: 2013-06-26

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