[uht-mohst or, esp. British, -muhst]


of the greatest or highest degree, quantity, or the like; greatest: of the utmost importance.
being at the farthest point or extremity; farthest: the utmost reef of the island.


Also uttermost. the greatest degree or amount: the utmost that can be said; The hotel provides the utmost in comfort.
the most or best of one's abilities, powers, etc.: He did his utmost to finish on time.
the extreme limit or extent: His patience was taxed to the utmost.

Origin of utmost

before 900; Middle English utmest, Old English ūtemest. See out, -most
Can be confusedupmost uppermost utmost

Synonyms for utmost

1. maximum, highest, foremost, chief, major.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for utmost

Contemporary Examples of utmost

Historical Examples of utmost

  • They landed, and with the utmost haste proceeded toward the city.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • He sprang to the rock, and exerted his utmost strength to dislodge it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • He was still exerting his strength to the utmost when the whistle of the locomotive was heard.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • The wayfarers all gazed in the utmost astonishment at the interruption.

    The White Company

    Arthur Conan Doyle

  • Then he went on quickly, with a tone of utmost positiveness.

    Within the Law

    Marvin Dana

British Dictionary definitions for utmost



adjective (prenominal)

of the greatest possible degree or amountthe utmost degree
at the furthest limitthe utmost town on the peninsula


the greatest possible degree, extent, or amounthe tried his utmost

Word Origin for utmost

Old English ūtemest, from ūte out + -mest 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

Word Origin and History for utmost

Old English utmest (Anglian) "outermost," double superlative of ut "out" (see out) + -most.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper