Difference Between Main, Mane, and Maine (With Table)

Main, Mane, and Maine, each of these are homophones (spelt similarly). However, their meanings are completely different from each other. 

Main vs Mane vs Maine

The basic difference between Main, Mane, and Maine is that Main gets used to denote when something is important and has a great value. On the other hand, the Mane is the word used to indicate the long hair that grows from the shoulder of a horse, lion, and other animals with fur. While Maine is the name given to one of the cities of the United States. 

Main gets used for denoting the work of greater importance. It is an adjective, but sometimes it gets used as a noun. For instance, denoting the cable connection to a building such as water, gas, electricity etc.

A mane is the long and thick hair of a person. Other than this, it also gets used for denoting the flowing-long hair of fur animals like horses, lions, etc. In these animals, mane grows along the neck.

Maine refers to one of the cities of the United States of America. It is the part of the area that belongs to New England. 

Comparison Table Between Main, Mane, and Maine

DefinitionMain gets used for referring to something of utmost importanceA mane is the flowing and long hair of fur animals. Sometimes it also gets used for denoting the long hair of humans. Maine is a city in the United States of America.
Example1. The main reason for your fever is Typhoid.
2. What is the main reason for your absence?
1. This horse’s mane is so adorable.
2. The lion’s mane looks as furious as he is.
3. At the party, I observed that Salini has a lioness mane.
1. John has joined the group of Maine golf professionals. We are very proud of him.
2. Jessy lives in Maine.
PronunciationIt gets pronounced as MeinMeinIt also gets pronounced as Mein
OriginMain originates from the English word ‘Maegen’. Maegan came from the Proto-Germanic word ‘Magina’, which originated from the Proto Indo European word ‘Megh’ or ‘Mogh’. The meaning of each of these is the same, strong. It originated from the word Manu, which originated from the word Mano, a Proto-Germanic word. And this word came from the Mon, which was originally a Proto Indo European. It is the name of places and named after people who once lived there.
AdverbThe adverb of main is mainly which means ‘most of it’.Mane is not used as an adverb.  It has no adverb but it can be used as an adjective to denote the things that come from here.
NounIt is also used as a noun referring to pipes that provide services to buildings.  For instance, electricity main. It is only used as a noun and used for denoting hair related things.Maine is used as a noun to describe the places.

What is Main?

Main was used first in the eighteenth century as a British English word, which originally originated from The English word Maegen. At that time, Main was used for denoting large, strong, and bulky things. While the word Maegen meant power, force, and sometimes even strength. It was the fifteenth century when Main meant chief. 

At present, Main is used as an adjective for denoting something that has a principal value. It is also used for the denoting cable connection of water, electricity and other things. In Britain (or British English), it is called Mains.

Some examples of this word are-

1. The main performance of yesterday’s party was more interesting than the other ones.

2. We should thank god as the main part of the pipe was not ruined otherwise it could have created problems.

What is Mane?

Mane originated from the English word Manu, which was used to denote the hair of fur animals. This hair grows along the neck of fur animals. The word mane is also used for denoting the long and thick hair of humans.

The word Manu originated from the Proto-Germanic word Mano which means Mane. The word Mano came from the Proto Indo European word Mon. But the word mon did not mean hair, rather it meant neck.

Some examples of this word are-

1. Her toothbrush gets trapped in her mane.

2. Horse’s mane is as beautiful as the horse’s.

What is Maine?

Maine is a city that belongs to the United States of America. It is situated in the area of New England. It is believed that Maine is named by the French Explorer based on the region of Mayne in France. Another theory that is famous about the name Maine is that it is named like this to distinguish it as the Mainland.

There are many places with the name Maine. The two cities in the state of Wisconsin are named Maine and also there is one city in New York with the name Maine. Other than the name of places, there is no importance to this word.

Some examples of this word are-

1. Have you eaten the sweet Maine lobster?

2. John visited the Maine river in France and he quite liked it.

Main Differences Between Main, Mane, and Maine

  1. Main denotes the important things. On the other hand, Mane is the long hair of fur animals and Maine is the name of a place.
  2. Main is used as a noun. On the other hand, Mane is only used as a noun and Maine is also used only as a noun. 
  3. Main is used as an adjective. On the other hand, Mane and Maine are not used as an adverb.


Main, Mane, and Maine originated from Celtic or Germanic words. But none of these has the same meaning and is used in different contexts. Although they have the same pronunciation.


  1. https://www.jstor.org/stable/3640268
  2. https://www.jstage.jst.go.jp/article/jvms/64/7/64_7_607/_article/-char/ja/