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From main +‎ -ly.



mainly ‎(not comparable)

  1. (obsolete) Forcefully, vigorously. [14th-17th c.]
  2. (obsolete) Of the production of a sound: loudly, powerfully. [14th-19th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, II.31:
      But in the end, mainly crying out, he fell to raling and wringing his master, upbraiding him that he was not a true Philosopher [].
  3. (obsolete) To a great degree; very much. [15th-19th c.]
  4. Chiefly; for the most part. [from 17th c.]
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 12, Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      She had Lord James' collar in one big fist and she pounded the table with the other and talked a blue streak. Nobody could make out plain what she said, for she was mainly jabbering Swede lingo, but there was English enough, of a kind, to give us some idee.