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Prepositional phraseEdit

in the main

  1. Principally; on the whole; for the most part.
    • 1814 July, [Jane Austen], chapter I, in Mansfield Park: A Novel. In Three Volumes, volume I, London: Printed for T[homas] Egerton, [], OCLC 39810224, page 8:
      [] I entirely agree with you in the main as to the propriety of doing everything one could by way of providing for a child one had in a manner taken into one's own hands; []
    • 1869 August, Charles Dickens, "On Mr. Fechter's Acting", The Atlantic Monthly:
      Mr. Fechter has been in the main more accustomed to speak French than to speak English.
    • 1914, James Joyce, "The Dead" in Dubliners:
      "A new generation is growing up in our midst . . . and its enthusiasm, even when it is misdirected, is, I believe, in the main sincere."
    • 2011 Feb. 28, John Cloud, "Sex Addiction: A Disease or a Convenient Excuse?," Time (retrieved 13 August 2013):
      Bill Clinton's philandering was regarded as a moral failing or a joke — but not, in the main, as an illness.