Definition of most in English:


determiner & pronoun

  • 1

    superlative of many, much
  • 2Greatest in amount or degree.

    [as determiner] ‘they've had the most success’
    [as pronoun] ‘they had the most to lose’
    • ‘I would be of the view that managers with an open mind are the ones that have most success.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Seven celebrities with the most votes are guaranteed a place in the Academy.’
    • ‘I gather that generally it's men who make the most fuss when they are not well, but not me.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Economic liberalism appears to be the approach with most success in practice.’
    • ‘Players keep their tricks individually, and whoever takes the most card points loses.’
    • ‘Jazz studies happened to be the area that I spent the most time in, so I went for that degree.’
    • ‘The YMCA will also be giving a prize to the school which enters the most children.’
    • ‘However, as science tells us, the most heat lost from the human body is out the top of the head.’
    • ‘At the end of the week these votes were being counted and the case with the most votes would win the contest.’
    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
    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. 2.1The majority of; nearly all of.
      [as determiner] ‘most oranges are sweeter than these’
      [as pronoun] ‘I spent most of the winter on the coast’
      • ‘The biggest gaps in the evidence remain in general practice, where most patients are treated.’
      • ‘Like most economists her main worry is whether consumers can bear the strain.’
      • ‘The bugs are only a few thousandths of a millimetre across and lack the cell walls which most bacteria have.’
      • ‘Despite the risks, most experts think shares will do better than other assets.’
      • ‘The main point most people agreed on was that businesses needed to become more efficient.’
      • ‘The main thing that was going through my mind is that most girls miss out on all this kind of stuff.’
      • ‘Since most computers do not yet possess faces or bodies, they cannot manifest this behaviour.’
      • ‘The regulatory bodies cover most professionals who work in health care including nurses.’
      • ‘But most owners said the main thing holding them back was not knowing where to go for help.’
      • ‘Tom attended most of the monthly fairs in Belmullet and most days had a few ponies for sale.’
      • ‘It all adds weight to the old theory that most people lead lives of quiet desperation.’
      • ‘It is through the mass media that most people today obtain their information on political matters.’
      • ‘The main structure of the building is in place and most fixtures have been installed.’
      • ‘Because when torn down to the basic constructs, most religions share many common themes.’
      • ‘They issued it as a general statement to the press, which is why most papers did not touch it.’
      • ‘Like most people of my generation, I regard this as a relic of a less enlightened age.’
      • ‘Firefighters said fires were started in two separate spots and spread through most of the building.’
      • ‘A good starting point would be the mother, who is the major influence for most children up to age three.’
      • ‘Cars were far from common and farming was the main source of income for most families.’
      • ‘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
      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

    superlative of much
  • 2To the greatest extent.

    ‘the things he most enjoyed’
    ‘what she wanted most of all’
    • ‘What they desire most of all is freer access to the world's best markets for their products.’
    • ‘What his video game reminds me of most of all, though, is the very dawn of computing.’
    • ‘As everyone knows, that's what a starving African child needs most of all.’
    • ‘What I hate most of all is how quiet she is; before the accident she was always talking or laughing.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I look forward most of all to arranging my library and my writing space when I move out.’
    • ‘A person's condition in life was marked most of all by their age, gender, and social class.’
    • ‘The music Russell loves most of all is timeless and perhaps the director's work will prove to be too.’
    • ‘Importantly, these are the kinds of extremes that matter most to human wellbeing.’
    • ‘These are the things which I value most of all; blogging comes secondary to all of them.’
    • ‘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 I crave most of all is originality, and artists willing to take genuine creative risks.’
    • ‘What amazed me most of all was that the best known band didn't come on until eight minutes from the end.’
    • ‘She loved the people, the landscape, the freedom, and maybe most of all the mountains.’
    • ‘Are you positive this is what you most want?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There the thing I miss most of all is the company of other people.’
    • ‘What surprised me most of all was her book extract, with tales of her horrific childhood.’
    • ‘Once we'd sobered up, we agonised most of all over the theft of the champagne.’
    1. 2.1Forming 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.’
      • ‘This week the city prepares to launch its most ambitious programme to date.’
      • ‘It was probably the most stressful experience professionally I had ever had at that time.’
      • ‘You may love it, you may hate it, but either way, it's certainly the most interesting thing here.’
      • ‘He showed incredible strength of character under the most extreme circumstances.’
      • ‘People can be guilty of the most terrible crimes and still feel themselves to be blameless.’
      • ‘Until now, he has been seen as probably Russia's most commercially minded leader.’
      • ‘The most important thing to remember with respect to this film is that it is not a documentary.’
      • ‘Roads and ports were swept away, making it impossible to get to some of the most devastated areas quickly.’
      • ‘It was probably the most sensible thing the Government has ever done on the railways.’
      • ‘It was probably the most diplomatic thing she had ever said and I appreciated it.’
      • ‘Eden was one of the most distinguished figures ever to be Foreign Secretary.’
      • ‘One of the most interesting questions to ask would be what altitude this aircraft was flying at when it came down.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Fresh garlic contains several compounds, the most important of which is allicin.’
      • ‘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 politically incorrect remark that's ever been made in my hearing.’
      • ‘Fawkes was captured as he was about to commit one of the most recklessly bold crimes of that or any century.’
      • ‘The event took place on the day of North Korea's most important national holiday.’
  • 3Extremely; very.

    ‘it was most kind of you’
    ‘that is most probably correct’
    • ‘That is now no longer a fair representation of their view, and it most certainly is not of mine.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Either way they will all most probably be disposed of before the end of the year.’
    • ‘History will most certainly exact a heavy price from them for being such imbeciles.’
    • ‘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.’
    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’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘When this song came out, most everyone listened to it on the verge of laughter.’


  • at (the) most

    • Not more than.

      ‘the walk took four minutes at the most’
      • ‘Once the system is re-connected it takes about two minutes at most to reach full pressure.’
      • ‘It must have been only a few seconds, a minute at the most, but it felt like an eternity.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Work began on Friday night, but traffic was light yesterday with delays of only a few minutes at most.’
      • ‘He felt as though he had been running for hours when it had only been a mere ten minutes at most.’
      • ‘The time spent on individual study varies throughout the year but is probably two to three hours a week at the most.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He avoids interviews for the most part, but when he gives them he picks his words carefully.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It is for the most part well written and presents us with some valuable insights.’
      • ‘It was a love-hate relationship and, for the most part, she was on the wrong end of it.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Papa remained stoic for the most part, but sounded rather choked when he wished me goodbye.’
      • ‘He had spent his life in India, for the most part as a political agent at the courts of Indian princes.’
      • ‘Most daily newspapers are available online and, for the most part, you can read them for free.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Perhaps the fact that none of it is real and is based for the most part on fantasy shouldn't matter.’
      • ‘I got the impression that it had been well planned and well thought out for the most part.’
      • ‘A lovely sunny day for the most part, though it clouded over somewhat towards the evening.’
      • ‘This was a highly entertaining game, played for the most part at a fast and furious pace.’
      • ‘The tourists have, for the most part, voted with their feet and continue to stay away in droves.’
      • ‘The amendments that have been passed fall, for the most part, into clear categories.’
      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’
      • ‘We had seized this opportunity to be alone together and decided to make the most of it.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘They have grasped their limited opportunities and made the most of them.’
      • ‘To attain this end, I seized those opportunities that came my way 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We were lucky to be drawn at home, which is a big advantage, and we made the most of it.’
      • ‘‘People were just getting on with things and making the most of what little they had,’ she said.’
      1. 1.1Represent at its best.
        ‘how to make the most of your features’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Once you get the knack for making the most of what you've got, you will never go back to looking dilapidated again.’


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