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[awl-mohst, awl-mohst] /ˈɔl moʊst, ɔlˈmoʊst/
very nearly; all but:
almost every house; almost the entire symphony; to pay almost nothing for a car; almost twice as many books.
Origin of almost
before 1000; Middle English; Old English (e)al māst, variant of æl mǣst nearly
Can be confused
almost, most (see usage note at most)
Synonym Study
Almost, most, nearly, well-nigh all mean within a small degree of or short space of. Almost implies very little short of: almost exhausted; almost home. Most is colloquial for almost. Nearly implies a slightly greater distance or degree than almost: nearly well; nearly to the city. Well-nigh, a more literary word, implies a barely appreciable distance or extent: well-nigh forgotten; well-nigh home.
Usage note
See most. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for almost
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The request, thus aided by flattery, was almost unanimously granted.

    Philothea Lydia Maria Child
  • almost every Barbarian at the table had made his own fortune.

    The Spenders Harry Leon Wilson
  • They're really one and a half sizes too small, and almost kill me.

  • It was almost impossible to win their confidence, or to get information from them.

  • She was almost in; it was only a slight dizziness, yet she could not see the light-house.

    Malbone Thomas Wentworth Higginson
British Dictionary definitions for almost


little short of being; very nearly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for almost

Old English eallmæst "nearly all, for the most part," literally "mostly all;" see all + most. Modern form from 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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