[ mohst ]
/ moʊst /
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See synonyms for: most / mosts on Thesaurus.com

adjective, superlative of much or many, with more as comparative.
adverb, superlative of much, with more as comparative.
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Idioms about most

Origin of most

First recorded before 900; Middle English most(e), Old English māst; replacing Middle English mest(e),Old English mǣst; cognate with German meist, Gothic maists; see more

synonym study for most

11. See almost.

usage note for most

11. The adverb most, a shortened form of almost, is far from being either a recent development or an Americanism. It goes back to the 16th century in England, where it is now principally a dialect form. In American English it occurs before such pronouns as all, anyone, anybody, everyone, and everybody; the adjectives all, any, and every; and adverbs like anywhere and everywhere: Most everyone around here is related to everyone else. You can find that plant most anywhere. This use of most is often objected to, but it is common in the informal speech of educated persons. It is less common in edited writing except in representations of speech.


almost, most

Other definitions for most (2 of 2)


a combining form of most occurring in a series of superlatives: foremost; utmost.

Origin of -most

Middle English -most; replacing Middle English, Old English -mest, double superlative suffix, equivalent to -ma superlative suffix (as in Old English forma first; compare Latin prīmus) + -est1; later identified with most
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2022


What does -most mean?

The combining formmost is used like a suffix meaning “most” in the sense of “in the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number.” Essentially, it is used to denote a superlative. It is often used in everyday and technical terms, particularly to indicate figurative or literal position or location.

The form –most comes from Middle English –most. The Latin equivalent was –issimus, which is found in terms such as bravissimo. Find out more at our entry for bravissimo.

Examples of -most

One example of a term that features the form –most is utmost, “of the greatest or highest degree, quantity, or the like; greatest.”

The suffix –most means denotes a superlative, as we know, but what about the ut– part of the word? The ut– element means “out,” from Old English úte or út. Utmost literally means “farthest [from the center].”

What are some words that use the combining form –most?

What are some other forms that –most may be commonly confused with?

Break it down!

Given the meaning of –most, what does uppermost mean?

How to use most in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for most (1 of 2)

/ (məʊst) /


Word Origin for most

Old English māst or mǣst, whence Middle English moste, mēst; compare Old Frisian maest, Old High German meist, Old Norse mestr

usage for most

More and most should be distinguished when used in comparisons. More applies to cases involving two persons, objects, etc, most to cases involving three or more

British Dictionary definitions for most (2 of 2)


forming the superlative degree of some adjectives and adverbshindmost; uppermost

Word Origin for -most

Old English -mǣst, -mest, originally a superlative suffix, later mistakenly taken as derived from mǣst (adv) most
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with most


see at most; for the most part; make the most of.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.