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.

Antonyms for paramount Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for paramountly

Historical Examples of paramountly

  • Whether the destiny was evil or good did not paramountly interest her.

    Hilda Lessways

    Arnold Bennett

  • She perceived that her duty was to tell some stories, in a case of this kind, wherein the end justified the means so paramountly.

    Cripps, the Carrier

    R. D. (Richard Doddridge) Blackmore

British Dictionary definitions for paramountly



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 paramountly



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