Meaning of MOST in English


/mohst/ , adj., superl. of much or many with more as compar.

1. in the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: to win the most votes.

2. in the majority of instances: Most operations are successful.

3. greatest, as in size or extent: the most talent.

4. for the most part . See part (def. 18).


5. the greatest quantity, amount, or degree; the utmost: The most I can hope for is a passing grade.

6. the greatest number or the majority of a class specified: Most of his writing is rubbish.

7. the greatest number: The most this room will seat is 150.

8. the majority of persons: to be more sensitive than most.

9. at the most , at the maximum. Also, at most .

10. make the most of , to use to greatest advantage; utilize fully: to make the most of an opportunity.

11. the most , Slang. the ultimate in something: He's the most. That movie was the most.

adv., superl. of much with more as compar.

12. in or to the greatest extent or degree (in this sense often used before adjectives and adverbs, and regularly before those of more 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.

13. very: a most puzzling case.

14. Informal. almost or nearly.

[ bef. 900; ME most ( e ), OE mast; r. ME mest ( e ), OE maest; c. G meist, Goth maists. See MORE ]

Syn. 14. See almost .

Usage. 14. 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.

Random House Webster's Unabridged English dictionary.      Полный английский словарь Вебстер - Random House .