Definition of most in English:


pronoun & determiner

  • 1Greatest in amount or degree.

    [as determiner] ‘they've had the most success’
    [as pronoun] ‘she had the most to lose’
    nearly all, almost all, the greatest number, the greatest part, the greatest quantity, the majority, the bulk, the lion's share, the mass, the preponderance
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The majority of; nearly all of.
      [as determiner] ‘the two-pin sockets found in most European countries’
      [as pronoun] ‘I spent most of the winter on the coast’
      nearly all, almost all, the greatest number, the greatest part, the greatest quantity, the majority, the bulk, the lion's share, the mass, the preponderance
      View synonyms


  • at (the) most

    • Not more than.

      ‘the walk took four minutes at the most’
      • ‘There are, at most, six bridleways in the Baildon area, all of which require riders to use roads to get to them.’
      • ‘The time spent on individual study varies throughout the year but is probably two to three hours a week at the most.’
      • ‘Work began on Friday night, but traffic was light yesterday with delays of only a few minutes at most.’
      • ‘Once the system is re-connected it takes about two minutes at most to reach full pressure.’
      • ‘He felt as though he had been running for hours when it had only been a mere ten minutes at most.’
      • ‘It must have been only a few seconds, a minute at the most, but it felt like an eternity.’
      • ‘He was convinced that this sedative would leave the horse's system in a week, or at most a fortnight.’
      • ‘It doesn't happen often - twice a year at most - and usually it passes within an hour or so.’
      • ‘She sees her father at most twice a year now, having discovered that the only thing a family shares is its past.’
      • ‘I returned to my office about half an hour later for one or two minutes at most to collect some more papers, and left again.’
  • be the most

    • informal Be the best of all.

      • ‘The six players named to the all-star team were the most of any school in the region.’
  • for the most part

    • In most cases; usually.

      ‘the older members, for the most part, shun him’
      • ‘This was a highly entertaining game, played for the most part at a fast and furious pace.’
      • ‘Most daily newspapers are available online and, for the most part, you can read them for free.’
      • ‘Our feet take quite a hammering and are, for the most part, overlooked by many of us.’
      • ‘Fruit trees - apples, pears and plums for the most part - are weighed down with a good year's crop.’
      • ‘In the garden the green spears of Spring bulbs, daffodils for the most part, are well through the soil.’
      • ‘He is a part of the broadcasting system and believes it has treated him fairly for the most part.’
      • ‘I got the impression that it had been well planned and well thought out for the most part.’
      • ‘In consequence the autumn colours are muted, just soft dusty yellows for the most part.’
      • ‘The tourists have, for the most part, voted with their feet and continue to stay away in droves.’
      • ‘Perhaps the fact that none of it is real and is based for the most part on fantasy shouldn't matter.’
      • ‘A lovely sunny day for the most part, though it clouded over somewhat towards the evening.’
      • ‘He avoids interviews for the most part, but when he gives them he picks his words carefully.’
      • ‘He had spent his life in India, for the most part as a political agent at the courts of Indian princes.’
      • ‘The twentieth century has received a dismal press and, for the most part, deservedly so.’
      • ‘Papa remained stoic for the most part, but sounded rather choked when he wished me goodbye.’
      • ‘It was a love-hate relationship and, for the most part, she was on the wrong end of it.’
      • ‘It is for the most part well written and presents us with some valuable insights.’
      • ‘The amendments that have been passed fall, for the most part, into clear categories.’
      • ‘During the nine days he survived prison, the boy was for the most part completely isolated.’
      • ‘It was a dull job for the most part, but it paid for my tap classes, and you know how much I love to tap.’
      mostly, mainly, in the main, on the whole, largely, by and large, to a large extent, to a great degree, predominantly, chiefly, principally, basically, substantially, overall, in general, effectively, to all intents and purposes, especially, primarily, generally, usually, typically, commonly, as a rule, altogether, all in all, on balance, on average
      View synonyms
  • make the most of

    • 1Use to the best advantage.

      ‘he was eager to make the most of his visit’
      • ‘When Veronica travels to Tanzania she is always moved by the people's ability to make the most of what little they have.’
      • ‘We were lucky to be drawn at home, which is a big advantage, and we made the most of it.’
      • ‘They can help you make the most of your capital and advise on how to get more.’
      • ‘Have we endeavoured to be better people, to make the most of our lives, to be tolerant and accepting?’
      • ‘They have grasped their limited opportunities and made the most of them.’
      • ‘And her life experience to date seems that of a high-achiever making the most of the advantages afforded her.’
      • ‘In this way, then, I am making the most of what modern life does so well: democratizing knowledge.’
      • ‘‘People were just getting on with things and making the most of what little they had,’ she said.’
      • ‘To attain this end, I seized those opportunities that came my way and made the most of them.’
      • ‘We had seized this opportunity to be alone together and decided to make the most of it.’
      1. 1.1Represent at its best.
        ‘how to make the most of your features’
        • ‘Once you get the knack for making the most of what you've got, you will never go back to looking dilapidated again.’
        • ‘Striking this seam of rock marked the beginning of a fundamental change in the way she gardened, and she decided to concentrate on making the most of what she had by planting with alpines.’


Old English māst, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meest and German meist.