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EnglishEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Middle English mayne londe; equivalent to main +‎ land. Compare Scots mayn-land, magan-land, madin-land (mainland), Faroese meginland (mainland), Icelandic meginland (mainland).

PronunciationEdit

NounEdit

mainland (plural mainlands)

  1. The main landmass of a country or continent.
    • 1719, Daniel Defoe, Robinson Crusoe:
      ...I got to the mainland, where, to my great comfort, I clambered up the cliffs of the shore and sat me down upon the grass, free from danger and quite out of the reach of the water.
    • 2005, comment (not durably archived):
      You may have not realised when I was using the term mainland Europe, I was excluding the British Isles.

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