Definition of foremost in English:



  • Most prominent in rank, importance, or position.

    ‘one of the foremost art collectors of his day’
    • ‘The primary and foremost duty of the father is to provide funds for all essential requirements.’
    • ‘Learn from the foremost experts in the fine art world during the new Gallery Seminars.’
    • ‘He spent hours with them every day, and it was of foremost importance to him to instil in them his own personal and cultural standards.’
    • ‘He is of the country's foremost attorneys in the field of art and licensing law.’
    • ‘It is the parents' primary and foremost responsibility to care for their children.’
    • ‘He is one of the country's foremost attorneys in the field of art and licensing law.’
    • ‘By the seventeenth century, Austria was the foremost German state and a major European power.’
    • ‘She is one of the foremost artists in Israel and was a principal dancer of the Batsheva Dance Company.’
    • ‘As a state legislator, Rogers was both sponsor of the law and its foremost beneficiary.’
    • ‘No madman had ever restored one of the greatest races in the world to the position of one of the foremost nations in the world as it was at the present time.’
    • ‘Paris is now regarded as one of the foremost art centres in the West, but this status was hard won.’
    • ‘A number of the foremost pioneer missionaries to these islands also served in Australia.’
    • ‘It marked a watershed in Renaissance art and established Michelangelo as the foremost sculptor of his time.’
    • ‘Despite being one of the UK's foremost poets, fame really isn't her bag.’
    • ‘That notorious night out is the foremost allegation in a catalogue of misdemeanours that the player will be reminded of for as long as he lives.’
    • ‘The early modern Italian courts saw the creation of some of Europe's foremost collections of works of art.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, the foremost step on the road to recovery for any alcoholic is for him to admit he has a problem and needs help.’
    • ‘The foremost right that follows from this principle is the right to be free, not to be a slave.’
    • ‘He is the foremost figure in the modern world of traditional Japanese martial arts.’
    • ‘We know that burning fossil fuels is the foremost contributor to climate change.’
    leading, principal, premier, prime, elite, top, top-tier, top-level, first-rate, greatest, best, supreme, pre-eminent, major, most important, most prominent, most influential, most skilled, most illustrious, outstanding, notable, noteworthy, of note
    first, primary, main, paramount, chief, key, central
    number-one, top-notch
    View synonyms


  • Before anything else in rank, importance, or position; in the first place.

    ‘it was, foremost, the first unequivocal demonstration of the process’
    • ‘It seems Cassavetes was foremost a humanist who lived to record our crazy, mad ways.’
    • ‘From Wednesday pulling pints will be foremost on her mind as she takes over Kelly's, Narraghmore.’
    • ‘Thus, the Chinese individual thinks foremost of himself in relation to other people and the way in which they are connected.’
    • ‘There has to be room for both the wild fish and the fish farms to survive, and it will be my task to keep that fact foremost in the mind of decision-makers.’
    • ‘A week in which recovery and reflection have been foremost in my actions.’
    • ‘Indeed, evangelical Christians should be foremost in good deeds and leaders in works of charity.’
    • ‘First and foremost I don't go anywhere without several plastic carrier bags.’
    • ‘First and foremost, at primary level, there is the family doctor programme in the community.’
    • ‘Sauvignon Blanc ranks foremost among them, with Chardonnay not too far behind.’
    • ‘For a decision like this, ethical considerations deserve to be foremost in our minds.’
    • ‘But deep inside, he is foremost an actor and as such far more serious than he appears.’
    • ‘He understands that the poem is foremost a form of communication, and fails if it becomes inscrutable.’
    • ‘First and foremost, our family and relationship are what's important.’
    • ‘We all share one earth and peace among all people should be foremost in our governments and minds.’
    • ‘After releasing it, he burst out with the question that was foremost in his thoughts.’
    • ‘Though Shiva is popularly known as the God of Destruction, for sadhus he is foremost the Master of Yogis.’
    • ‘Though he has spent half his life running what is now Britain's second largest property company, he is foremost a financier.’
    • ‘The preacher walked on, pleased to see that the little girl had Jesus foremost in her heart.’
    • ‘First and foremost I would like to ask the Namibian people and civil servants the following question.’
    • ‘As the election process is foremost in all our minds, this tinder-dry tome is hot property right now.’


Old English formest, fyrmest, from forma ‘first’ (ultimately a superlative formed from the Germanic base of fore)+ -est. Compare with first and former. The current spelling arose by association with fore and most.