Meaning of MOST in English


I. ˈmōst adjective

Etymology: Middle English, from Old English mǣst; akin to Old High German meist most, Old English māra more — more at more

Date: before 12th century

1. : greatest in quantity, extent, or degree

the most ability

2. : the majority of

most people

II. adverb

Date: before 12th century

1. : to the greatest or highest degree — often used with an adjective or adverb to form the superlative

the most challenging job he ever had

2. : to a very great degree

was most persuasive

III. noun

Date: 12th century

: the greatest amount

it's the most I can do

- at most

IV. pronoun

Usage: singular or plural in construction

Date: 13th century

: the greatest number or part

most become discouraged and quit

V. adverb

Etymology: by shortening

Date: circa 1584

: almost

we'll be crossing the river most any time now — Hamilton Basso


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's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.