U.S. state, probably ultimately from French Maine, region in France (named for the river that runs through it, which has a name of Gaulish origin). The name was applied to that part of coastal North America by French explorers. The Maine law in late 19c.-early 20c. prohibitionist jargon refers to the strict statute passed there in 1851 against the sale and manufacture of intoxicating liquor, which became models for other states.

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