Meaning of MOST in English


[most] adj [ME, fr. OE maest; akin to OHG meist most, OE mara more--more at more] (bef. 12c) 1: greatest in quantity, extent, or degree "the ~ ability"

2: the majority of "~ people"

[2]most adv (bef. 12c) 1: to the greatest or highest degree--often used with an adjective or adverb to form the superlative "the ~ challenging job he ever had"

2: to a very great degree "was ~ persuasive" [3]most n (12c): the greatest amount "it's the ~ I can do" -- at most or at the most : as an extreme limit "took him an hour at most" [4]most pron, sing or pl in constr (13c): the greatest number or part "~ become discouraged and quit" [5]most adv [by shortening] (ca. 1584): almost "we'll be crossing the river ~ any time now --Hamilton Basso" usage Although considered by some to be unacceptable in all cases, most is often used to mean "almost" in both spoken and, to a lesser extent, written English to modify the adjectives all, every, and any; the pronouns all, everyone, everything, everybody, anyone, anything, and anybody; and the adverbs everywhere, anywhere, and always. Other uses of this sense of most are dialectal.

Merriam-Webster English vocab.      Английский словарь Merriam Webster.