Definition of most in US English:

most

determiner & pronoun

  • 1Greatest in amount or degree.

    as determiner ‘they've had the most success’
    as pronoun ‘we had the most to lose’
    • ‘At the end of the week, it is up to viewers to vote for the presenter who brought the most flair to the evening weather.’
    • ‘At the end of the week these votes were being counted and the case with the most votes would win the contest.’
    • ‘However, as science tells us, the most heat lost from the human body is out the top of the head.’
    • ‘Jazz studies happened to be the area that I spent the most time in, so I went for that degree.’
    • ‘It has the most votes and the most candidates, so it takes the most work to analyse.’
    • ‘Williams put up the most resistance like a fighter who knows he has lost but is too proud to admit it.’
    • ‘Economic liberalism appears to be the approach with most success in practice.’
    • ‘Seven celebrities with the most votes are guaranteed a place in the Academy.’
    • ‘Players keep their tricks individually, and whoever takes the most card points loses.’
    • ‘The YMCA will also be giving a prize to the school which enters the most children.’
    • ‘I gather that generally it's men who make the most fuss when they are not well, but not me.’
    • ‘I would be of the view that managers with an open mind are the ones that have most success.’
    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. 1.1 The majority of; nearly all of.
      as determiner ‘most oranges are sweeter than these’
      as pronoun ‘I spent most of the winter on the coast’
      • ‘They issued it as a general statement to the press, which is why most papers did not touch it.’
      • ‘Like most economists her main worry is whether consumers can bear the strain.’
      • ‘A good starting point would be the mother, who is the major influence for most children up to age three.’
      • ‘Despite the risks, most experts think shares will do better than other assets.’
      • ‘Because when torn down to the basic constructs, most religions share many common themes.’
      • ‘It all adds weight to the old theory that most people lead lives of quiet desperation.’
      • ‘The main thing that was going through my mind is that most girls miss out on all this kind of stuff.’
      • ‘The bugs are only a few thousandths of a millimetre across and lack the cell walls which most bacteria have.’
      • ‘Tom attended most of the monthly fairs in Belmullet and most days had a few ponies for sale.’
      • ‘Like most people of my generation, I regard this as a relic of a less enlightened age.’
      • ‘The main structure of the building is in place and most fixtures have been installed.’
      • ‘Firefighters said fires were started in two separate spots and spread through most of the building.’
      • ‘Since most computers do not yet possess faces or bodies, they cannot manifest this behaviour.’
      • ‘It is through the mass media that most people today obtain their information on political matters.’
      • ‘Cars were far from common and farming was the main source of income for most families.’
      • ‘But most owners said the main thing holding them back was not knowing where to go for help.’
      • ‘The regulatory bodies cover most professionals who work in health care including nurses.’
      • ‘The biggest gaps in the evidence remain in general practice, where most patients are treated.’
      • ‘The main point most people agreed on was that businesses needed to become more efficient.’
      • ‘They will often be bossy with carers and show levels of assertion that most children generally do not.’
      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

adverb

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

    ‘the most important event of my life’
    ‘sandy plains where fire tends to spread most quickly’
    • ‘This is probably the most controversial issue ever to have arisen in British higher education.’
    • ‘It was probably the most politically incorrect remark that's ever been made in my hearing.’
    • ‘People can be guilty of the most terrible crimes and still feel themselves to be blameless.’
    • ‘Eden was one of the most distinguished figures ever to be Foreign Secretary.’
    • ‘The most important thing to remember with respect to this film is that it is not a documentary.’
    • ‘The event took place on the day of North Korea's most important national holiday.’
    • ‘One of the most interesting questions to ask would be what altitude this aircraft was flying at when it came down.’
    • ‘Roads and ports were swept away, making it impossible to get to some of the most devastated areas quickly.’
    • ‘Fresh garlic contains several compounds, the most important of which is allicin.’
    • ‘This was probably one of the most significant developments in the history of man.’
    • ‘It was probably the most sensible thing the Government has ever done on the railways.’
    • ‘Until now, he has been seen as probably Russia's most commercially minded leader.’
    • ‘This week the city prepares to launch its most ambitious programme to date.’
    • ‘You may love it, you may hate it, but either way, it's certainly the most interesting thing here.’
    • ‘Fawkes was captured as he was about to commit one of the most recklessly bold crimes of that or any century.’
    • ‘To call a person a liar, is, to my mind, the most serious and damning thing that a person can do.’
    • ‘It was probably the most stressful experience professionally I had ever had at that time.’
    • ‘It was probably the most diplomatic thing she had ever said and I appreciated it.’
    • ‘What Ryan had said to her was probably the most reassuring thing that anyone had ever said to her.’
    • ‘He showed incredible strength of character under the most extreme circumstances.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘Let us know what sort of avatars you'd most like to see added to the shop.’
    • ‘I look forward most of all to arranging my library and my writing space when I move out.’
    • ‘What they desire most of all is freer access to the world's best markets for their products.’
    • ‘Are you positive this is what you most want?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘The music Russell loves most of all is timeless and perhaps the director's work will prove to be too.’
    • ‘There the thing I miss most of all is the company of other people.’
    • ‘As everyone knows, that's what a starving African child needs most of all.’
    • ‘What his video game reminds me of most of all, though, is the very dawn of computing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘What amazed me most of all was that the best known band didn't come on until eight minutes from the end.’
    • ‘What I crave most of all is originality, and artists willing to take genuine creative risks.’
    • ‘Importantly, these are the kinds of extremes that matter most to human wellbeing.’
    • ‘She loved the people, the landscape, the freedom, and maybe most of all the mountains.’
    • ‘What surprised me most of all was her book extract, with tales of her horrific childhood.’
    • ‘What I hate most of all is how quiet she is; before the accident she was always talking or laughing.’
    • ‘Once we'd sobered up, we agonised most of all over the theft of the champagne.’
    • ‘A person's condition in life was marked most of all by their age, gender, and social class.’
    • ‘These are the things which I value most of all; blogging comes secondary to all of them.’
  • 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.’
    • ‘Either way they will all most probably be disposed of before the end of the year.’
    • ‘If anything, the stroke has made him a stronger man, and most probably a different kind of painter.’
    • ‘He is most probably a local man and will have told someone about what he has done.’
    • ‘We have spent some time perusing your family website and found it most interesting.’
    • ‘It most certainly was not a life-changing experience, but it did provide amusements.’
    • ‘History will most certainly exact a heavy price from them for being such imbeciles.’
    • ‘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
    View synonyms
  • 4North American informal Almost.

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

Phrases

  • at (the) most

    • Not more than.

      ‘the walk took four minutes at the most’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She sees her father at most twice a year now, having discovered that the only thing a family shares is its past.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘There are, at most, six bridleways in the Baildon area, all of which require riders to use roads to get to them.’
      • ‘He was convinced that this sedative would leave the horse's system in a week, or at most a fortnight.’
      • ‘It must have been only a few seconds, a minute at the most, but it felt like an eternity.’
      • ‘It doesn't happen often - twice a year at most - and usually it passes within an hour or so.’
  • be the most

    • informal Be the best of all; be the ultimate.

      • ‘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’
      • ‘Fruit trees - apples, pears and plums for the most part - are weighed down with a good year's crop.’
      • ‘It was a love-hate relationship and, for the most part, she was on the wrong end of it.’
      • ‘He is a part of the broadcasting system and believes it has treated him fairly for the most part.’
      • ‘The tourists have, for the most part, voted with their feet and continue to stay away in droves.’
      • ‘Papa remained stoic for the most part, but sounded rather choked when he wished me goodbye.’
      • ‘Perhaps the fact that none of it is real and is based for the most part on fantasy shouldn't matter.’
      • ‘The amendments that have been passed fall, for the most part, into clear categories.’
      • ‘He avoids interviews for the most part, but when he gives them he picks his words carefully.’
      • ‘Our feet take quite a hammering and are, for the most part, overlooked by many of us.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the garden the green spears of Spring bulbs, daffodils for the most part, are well through the soil.’
      • ‘He had spent his life in India, for the most part as a political agent at the courts of Indian princes.’
      • ‘It is for the most part well written and presents us with some valuable insights.’
      • ‘A lovely sunny day for the most part, though it clouded over somewhat towards the evening.’
      • ‘I got the impression that it had been well planned and well thought out for the most part.’
      • ‘Most daily newspapers are available online and, for the most part, you can read them for free.’
      • ‘This was a highly entertaining game, played for the most part at a fast and furious pace.’
      • ‘The twentieth century has received a dismal press and, for the most part, deservedly so.’
      • ‘In consequence the autumn colours are muted, just soft dusty yellows for the most part.’
      • ‘During the nine days he survived prison, the boy was for the most part completely isolated.’
      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’
      • ‘To attain this end, I seized those opportunities that came my way and made the most of them.’
      • ‘When Veronica travels to Tanzania she is always moved by the people's ability to make the most of what little they have.’
      • ‘They can help you make the most of your capital and advise on how to get more.’
      • ‘In this way, then, I am making the most of what modern life does so well: democratizing knowledge.’
      • ‘Have we endeavoured to be better people, to make the most of our lives, to be tolerant and accepting?’
      • ‘We were lucky to be drawn at home, which is a big advantage, and we made the most of it.’
      • ‘We had seized this opportunity to be alone together and decided to make the most of it.’
      • ‘They have grasped their limited opportunities and made the most of them.’
      • ‘‘People were just getting on with things and making the most of what little they had,’ she said.’
      • ‘And her life experience to date seems that of a high-achiever making the most of the advantages afforded her.’
      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

/mōst//moʊst/