Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The principal street of a small town.
  • n. The inhabitants of small towns considered as a group.
  • n. A place that represents narrowness of view and smug complacency.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A main thoroughfare, usually one in a small town having the largest concentration of retail businesses.
  • n. The attitudes, environment, or life style of a small town; -- usually capitalized, and often used attributively.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. street that serves as a principal thoroughfare for traffic in a town
  • n. any small town (or the people who inhabit it); generally used to represent parochialism and materialism (after a novel by Sinclair Lewis)

Etymologies

Sense 2, after Main Street, a novel by Sinclair Lewis.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

  • On streets I had walked a thousand times—the historic main street of Mott, quiet, crooked Doyers, busy East Broadway—I try to slow down and see them anew.

    American Chinatown

  • One of the bands was from Dixon High School, and for a moment or two I had a vision of the school, the main street in Dixon, Lowell Park, the lush cliffs overlooking the Rock River.

    An American Life

  • MANY people looked, a few followed, when Edith Carr slowly came down the main street of Mackinac, pausing here and there to note the glow of colour in one small booth after another, overflowing with gay curios.

    A Girl of the Limberlost

  • Playfully, down the main street toward Mercy Bay, through the grain store and the fabric shop, the girl scampered away from Angie.

    The Welkening

  • Each had a huge production lot dominated by barn-like soundstages where the interior scenes of movies were shot, a make-believe New York City neighborhood, and a western town with false-fronted saloons and a dusty main street for exterior shots.

    An American Life

  • In May, Gouverneur Morris crashed the phaeton while driving too fast down the main street in Richmond—his earlier accident had failed to reform his reckless streak.

    Robert Morris

  • Shooter is DQed! shouted the range officer but made no step forward as the three beefy guards closed in behind Texas Red and the crowd parted in the thrust of the armed man and his armed bodyguards as they headed down the main street of the town of Cold Water, through the corridor of stunned competitors and fans.

    A Bob Lee Swagger eBook Boxed Set

  • The main street of Alet-les-Bains is the Avenue Nicolas Pavillon, named after its most famous bishop whose incumbency lasted from 1637 to 1677.

    The Templar Revelation

  • It was well after nine P.M. when Matt returned to his small rented bungalow just off the main street of Shawsburg, Maryland.

    Moon Dance

  • We had not traveled far down the main street of Dedham before Warthrop turned his horse down a narrow lane that wound through a dense stand of poplars, at the head of which a small, inconspicuous sign hung upon a rusting steel pike: MOTLEY HILL SANATORIUM.

    The Monstrumologist

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