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What is another word for mainspring?

Need synonyms for mainspring? Here's a list of similar words from our thesaurus that you can use instead.

(figuratively) The most important reason, motive or cause for something
“In Murphy's account, the mainspring of Douglas's public career was his aching, but never fulfilled, ambition for the presidency.”
A thing at a rudimentary stage that shows potential for development
An important quality or feature on which a particular thing depends or is based
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A coiled shape or device
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