[ par-uh-mount ]
/ ˈpær əˌmaʊnt /


chief in importance or impact; supreme; preeminent: a point of paramount significance.
above others in rank or authority; superior in power or jurisdiction.


a supreme ruler; overlord.

Origin of paramount

1525–35; < Anglo-French paramont above, equivalent to par per- + a mont < Latin ad montem to the mountain, hence, in Old French: upward, above; see ad-, mount2
Related formspar·a·mount·cy, nounpar·a·mount·ly, adverbsu·per·par·a·mount, adjective
Can be confusedparamount tantamountparamount ultimate

Synonym study

1. See dominant. Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paramountcy

British Dictionary definitions for paramountcy


/ (ˈpærəˌmaʊnt) /


of the greatest importance or significance; pre-eminent


rare a supreme ruler
Derived Formsparamountcy, nounparamountly, adverb

Word Origin for paramount

C16: via Anglo-Norman from Old French paramont, from par by + -amont above, from Latin ad montem to the mountain
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 paramountcy



1530s, from Anglo-French paramont, Old French paramont "above" (in place, order, degree), mid-14c., from Old French par "by," from Latin per "through, for, by" (see per (prep.)) + amont "up," from a mont "upward" (see amount (v.)). The whole from Latin per ad montem, literally "to the hill."

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper