• synonyms


[fawr-mohst, -muhst, fohr-]
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adjective, adverb
  1. first in place, order, rank, etc.: the foremost surgeons.
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Origin of foremost

before 1000; fore1 + -most; replacing Middle English, Old English formest, equivalent to form(a) first, variant of fruma (compare Latin prīmus) + -est -est1


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Related Words

arch, champion, chief, front, head, heavy, highest, initial, leading, original, paramount, preeminent, premier, primary, prime, principal, supreme, heavyweight, inaugural, A-1

Examples from the Web for foremost

Contemporary Examples

Historical Examples

  • Who foremost now to climb the leaguered wall, The first to triumph, or the first to fall?

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • It unquestionably established Gladstone as the foremost financier of his day.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • In the Peer's gallery were the foremost members of the House of Lords.

    The Grand Old Man

    Richard B. Cook

  • Foremost among these--one would think--should come his own productions.

  • Among the foremost advocates of the royal usurpations was Dr. Bullivant.

    Dr. Bullivant

    Nathaniel Hawthorne

British Dictionary definitions for foremost


adjective, adverb
  1. first in time, place, rank, etc
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Word Origin

Old English formest, from forma first; related to Old Saxon formo first, Old High German fruma advantage
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

Word Origin and History for foremost


Old English fyrmest "earliest, first, most prominent," from Proto-Germanic *formo- (related to Old English fruma "beginning"), superlative of the root of fore + additional superlative suffix -est. Cf. -most, and cf. also Old Frisian formest, Gothic frumists. Altered on the assumption that it is a compound of fore and most.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with foremost


see first and foremost.

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