most [mohst] Word Origin adjective, superl. of much or many with more as compar.
- in the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: to win the most votes.
- in the majority of instances: Most operations are successful.
- greatest, as in size or extent: the most talent.
- the greatest quantity, amount, or degree; the utmost: The most I can hope for is a passing grade.
- the greatest number or the majority of a class specified: Most of his writing is rubbish.
- the greatest number: The most this room will seat is 150.
- the majority of persons: to be more sensitive than most.
- the most, Slang. the ultimate in something: He’s the most. That movie was the most.
adverb, superl. of much with more as compar.
- in or to the greatest extent or degree (in this sense often used before adjectives and adverbs, and regularly before those of than two syllables, to form superlative phrases having the same force and effect as the superlative degree formed by the termination -est): most rapid; most wisely.
- very: a most puzzling case.
- Informal. almost or nearly.
- at the most, at the maximum.Also at most.
- for the most part. .
- make the most of, to use to greatest advantage; utilize fully: to make the most of an opportunity.
Origin of most before 900; Middle English most(e), Old English māst; replacing Middle English mest(e), Old English mǣst; cognate with German meist, Gothic maists. SeeCan be confused mostSynonym study 11. See .Usage note 11. The adverb most, a shortened form of almost, is far from being either a recent development or an Americanism. It goes back to the 16th century in England, where it is now principally a dialect form. In American English it occurs before such pronouns as all, anyone, anybody, everyone, and everybody; the adjectives all, any, and every; and adverbs like anywhere and everywhere: Most everyone around here is related to everyone else. You can find that plant most anywhere. This use of most is often objected to, but it is common in the informal speech of educated persons. It is less common in edited writing except in representations of speech. British Dictionary definitions for at the most most determiner
- a great majority of; nearly allmost people like eggs
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural)most of them don’t know; most of it is finished
- the most
- the superlative of , you have the most money; the most apples
- (as pronoun)the most he can afford is two pounds
- at most or at the most at the maximumthat girl is four at the most
- for the most part generally
- make the most of to use to the best advantageshe makes the most of her accent
- than most than most othersthe leaves are greener than most
- the most slang, mainly US wonderfulthat chick’s the most
- the most used to form the superlative of some adjectives and adverbsthe most beautiful daughter of all
- the superlative of people welcome a drink most after work
- (intensifier)a most absurd story
- US and Canadian informal, or dialect almostmost every town in this state; John is the more intelligent of the two; he is the most intelligent of the students
Word Origin for most Old English māst or mǣst, whence Middle English moste, mēst; compare Old Frisian maest, Old High German meist, Old Norse mestr usage More and most should be distinguished when used in comparisons. More applies to cases involving two persons, objects, etc, most to cases involving three or more Word Origin and History for at the most most adj.
Old English mast “greatest number, amount, extent,” earlier mæst, from Proto-Germanic *maistaz (cf. Old Saxon mest, Old Frisian mast, Old Norse mestr, Dutch meest, German meist, Gothic maists “most”), superlative form of Proto-Germanic *maiz, root of Old English ma, mara (see). Used in Old English as superlative of micel “great, large” (see ). Vowel influenced by more. Original sense of “greatest” survives in phrase for the most part (c.1400). Slang meaning “the best, extremely good” is attested from 1953. Also used as an adverb in Old English. Phrase make the most of (something) is by 1520s. Related: Mostly. Double superlative mostest is 1885, from U.S. Southern and Black English.
Idioms and Phrases with at the most at the most
see under at most.
see at most; for the most part; make the most of.