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Etymology 1[edit]

From a +‎ main (strength, power, force).



amain (comparative more amain, superlative most amain)

  1. (archaic) With full force; forcefully, violently. [from 16th c.]
    • 1596, Edmund Spenser, The Faerie Queene, VI.6:
      So likewise turnde the Prince upon the Knight, / And layd at him amaine with all his will and might.
    • 1670, John Milton, The History of Britain, that Part especially now called England; from the first traditional Beginning, continued to the Norman Conquest. Collected out of the antientest and best Authours thereof, The Second Book:
      They on the hill, which were not yet come to blows, perceiving the fewness of their enemies, came down amain.
    • 1671, John Milton, “Samson Agonistes, a Dramatic Poem. Of that Sort of Dramatic Poem which is Call’d Tragedy.”, in Paradise Regain’d. A Poem. In IV Books. To which is Added, Samson Agonistes, London: Printed by J. M[acock] for John Starkey at the Mitre in Fleetstreet, near Temple-Bar, OCLC 228732398, lines 637–638, page 42:
      Under his ſpecial eie / Abſtemious I [Samson] grew up and thriv'd amain; / He led me on to mightieſt deeds / Above the nerve of mortal arm / Againſt the uncircumciſ'd, our enemies.
    • 1793, Samuel Taylor Coleridge, Christabel, line 87
      They spurred amain, their steeds were white:
    • 1799, William Wordsworth, The Two-Part Prelude, Book I:
      Suspended by the blast which blew amain,
      Shouldering the naked crag, oh at that time,
      While on the perilous ridge I hung alone,
      With what strange utterance did the loud dry wind
      Blow through my ears!
  2. (archaic) At full speed; in great haste. [from 16th c.]
    • Holinshed
      They fled amain.
    • Dante Gabriel Rosetti, Chimes, VII, lines 5-6
      The heavy rain it hurries amain
      And heaven and the hurricane.
  3. (Britain dialectal) Out of control.
    • 1790, Felling/Heworth, Errington:
      two waggons coming after me amain [...]

Etymology 2[edit]

French amener.


amain (third-person singular simple present amains, present participle amaining, simple past and past participle amained)

  1. (nautical) To lower the topsail, in token of surrender; to yield.




Borrowed from Old Norse almanna (for everyone).


amain m

  1. (Jersey) of easy use




  1. uncle