• Most


    • UK enPR: mōst, IPA: /məʊst/
    • US enPR: mōst, IPA: /moʊst/
    • Rhymes: -əʊst


    From Middle English most, moste, from Old English mǣst, māst, from Proto-Germanic *maistaz, *maist. Cognate with West Frisian meast, Dutch meest, German meist, Danish and Swedish mest, Icelandic mestur.

    Full definition of most


    1. Superlative form of much.Most people like chocolate.Most simply choose to ignore it.Most want the best for their children.


    • almost all



    1. Superlative form of many.
      Most bakers and dairy farmers have to get up early.
      • 1963, Margery Allingham, The China Governess Chapter 20, The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen....The second note, the high alarum, not so familiar and always important since it indicates the paramount sin in Man's private calendar, took most of them by surprise although they had been well prepared.
      • 2013-08-16, John Vidal, Dams endanger ecology of Himalayas, Most of the Himalayan rivers have been relatively untouched by dams near their sources. Now the two great Asian powers, India and China, are rushing to harness them as they cut through some of the world's deepest valleys.
    2. Superlative form of much.
      Most of the world's water is salty.
      • 2013-08-03, Boundary problems, Economics is a messy discipline: too fluid to be a science, too rigorous to be an art. Perhaps it is fitting that economists’ most-used metric, gross domestic product (GDP), is a tangle too. GDP measures the total value of output in an economic territory. Its apparent simplicity explains why it is scrutinised down to tenths of a percentage point every month.
    3. (With a definite article) Forms the superlative of many adjectives.
      This is the most important example.
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, The Mirror and the Lamp Chapter 7, With some of it on the south and more of it on the north of the great main thoroughfare that connects Aldgate and the East India Docks, St. Bede's at this period of its history was perhaps the poorest and most miserable parish in the East End of London.
      • 1922, Ben Travers, A Cuckoo in the Nest Chapter 1, the awfully hearty sort of Christmas cards that people do send to other people that they don't know at all well. You know. The kind that have mottoes.... And then, when you see senders, you probably find that they are the most melancholy old folk with malignant diseases.
    4. To a great extent or degree; highly; very.
      This is a most unusual specimen.
      • 1895, H. G. Wells, The Time Machine Chapter XNow, I still think that for this box of matches to have escaped the wear of time for immemorial years was a strange, and for me, a most fortunate thing.


    Related terms



    (usually uncountable; plural mosts)
    1. (uncountable) The greatest amount.The most I can offer for the house is $150,000.
    2. (countable) A record-setting amount.

    Usage notes

    In the sense of record, used when the positive denotation of best does not apply.


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