a) The main, central lode of a natural resource, near which smaller deposits of the same ore etc. exist

Once the Western mining company has exploited a motherlode with state of the art equipment, it often abandons the minor lodes to primitive local enterprise

b) The main prize, best cut or pick etc. by far, dwarfing all others

Luckily the philistine castle-burglars missed the motherlode: his lordships historical memorabilia collection

Syn: lions share

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