Definition of most in English:

most

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
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    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’

adverb

  • 1Forming the superlative of adjectives and adverbs, especially those of more than one syllable.

    ‘the most important event of my life’
    ‘he was the most ambitious of all’
    • ‘The event took place on the day of North Korea's most important national holiday.’
    • ‘You may love it, you may hate it, but either way, it's certainly the most interesting thing here.’
    • ‘It was probably the most sensible thing the Government has ever done on the railways.’
    • ‘Eden was one of the most distinguished figures ever to be Foreign Secretary.’
    • ‘He showed incredible strength of character under the most extreme circumstances.’
    • ‘It was probably the most stressful experience professionally I had ever had at that time.’
    • ‘Roads and ports were swept away, making it impossible to get to some of the most devastated areas quickly.’
    • ‘People can be guilty of the most terrible crimes and still feel themselves to be blameless.’
    • ‘It was probably the most politically incorrect remark that's ever been made in my hearing.’
    • ‘It was probably the most diplomatic thing she had ever said and I appreciated it.’
    • ‘To call a person a liar, is, to my mind, the most serious and damning thing that a person can do.’
    • ‘Until now, he has been seen as probably Russia's most commercially minded leader.’
    • ‘What Ryan had said to her was probably the most reassuring thing that anyone had ever said to her.’
    • ‘This was probably one of the most significant developments in the history of man.’
    • ‘This is probably the most controversial issue ever to have arisen in British higher education.’
    • ‘Fawkes was captured as he was about to commit one of the most recklessly bold crimes of that or any century.’
    • ‘One of the most interesting questions to ask would be what altitude this aircraft was flying at when it came down.’
    • ‘Fresh garlic contains several compounds, the most important of which is allicin.’
    • ‘This week the city prepares to launch its most ambitious programme to date.’
    • ‘The most important thing to remember with respect to this film is that it is not a documentary.’
  • 2To the greatest extent.

    ‘the things he most enjoyed’
    ‘what she wanted most of all’
    • ‘The thing that covers most of the earth is the thing that we need most: water.’
    • ‘What I hate most of all is how quiet she is; before the accident she was always talking or laughing.’
    • ‘What I crave most of all is originality, and artists willing to take genuine creative risks.’
    • ‘She loved the people, the landscape, the freedom, and maybe most of all the mountains.’
    • ‘I look forward most of all to arranging my library and my writing space when I move out.’
    • ‘These are the things which I value most of all; blogging comes secondary to all of them.’
    • ‘There the thing I miss most of all is the company of other people.’
    • ‘Are you positive this is what you most want?’
    • ‘This was pretty bad, but for some reason the thing that seemed to offend me most of all about the shop was the café at the top.’
    • ‘The music Russell loves most of all is timeless and perhaps the director's work will prove to be too.’
    • ‘A person's condition in life was marked most of all by their age, gender, and social class.’
    • ‘What his video game reminds me of most of all, though, is the very dawn of computing.’
    • ‘What amazed me most of all was that the best known band didn't come on until eight minutes from the end.’
    • ‘As everyone knows, that's what a starving African child needs most of all.’
    • ‘Importantly, these are the kinds of extremes that matter most to human wellbeing.’
    • ‘What surprised me most of all was her book extract, with tales of her horrific childhood.’
    • ‘Murray appears to have all the talent to be the player we all want him to be, but the thing he needs most of all right now is time.’
    • ‘What they desire most of all is freer access to the world's best markets for their products.’
    • ‘Once we'd sobered up, we agonised most of all over the theft of the champagne.’
    • ‘Let us know what sort of avatars you'd most like to see added to the shop.’
  • 3Extremely; very.

    ‘it was most kind of you’
    ‘that is most probably correct’
    • ‘Thank you for your thoughtful, helpful, and most kind review of my manuscript.’
    • ‘We have spent some time perusing your family website and found it most interesting.’
    • ‘He is most probably a local man and will have told someone about what he has done.’
    • ‘It most certainly was not a life-changing experience, but it did provide amusements.’
    • ‘If anything, the stroke has made him a stronger man, and most probably a different kind of painter.’
    • ‘History will most certainly exact a heavy price from them for being such imbeciles.’
    • ‘Either way they will all most probably be disposed of before the end of the year.’
    • ‘That is now no longer a fair representation of their view, and it most certainly is not of mine.’
    very, extremely, awfully, dreadfully, really, frightfully, exceptionally, exceedingly, immensely, thoroughly, uncommonly, remarkably, eminently, extraordinarily, incredibly, most, positively, decidedly, downright
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  • 4North American informal Almost.

    ‘most everyone understood’
    • ‘When this song came out, most everyone listened to it on the verge of laughter.’
    • ‘She does have a few fears, but they are unknown by most everyone because of her toughness.’
    • ‘I imagine most everyone who has gone through schooling has experienced a fairly similar situation.’

Phrases

  • 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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation:

most

/məʊst/