from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • adjective Greatest in number.
  • adjective Greatest in amount, extent, or degree.
  • adjective In the greatest number of instances.
  • noun The greatest amount or degree.
  • noun Slang The greatest, best, or most exciting. Used with the:
  • pronoun The greatest part or number.
  • adverb In or to the highest degree or extent. Used with many adjectives and adverbs to form the superlative degree.
  • adverb Very.
  • adverb Informal Almost.
  • idiom (at (the) most) At the maximum.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • In the greatest or highest or in a very great or high degree, quantity, or extent; mostly; chiefly; principally.
  • Used before adjectives and adverbs to form a superlative phrase, as more is to form a comparative: as, most vile; most wicked; most illustrious; most rapidly.
  • A double superlative suffix associated with -more, a comparative suffix, now taken as a suffixal form of most, as used in forming superlatives, as in foremost, hindmost, uppermost, utmost, inmost, topmost, etc. Compare -more.
  • Greatest in size or extent; largest: superlative of much or mickle in its original sense ‘great,’ ‘large.’
  • Greatest in age; oldest.
  • Greatest in rank, position, or importance; highest; chief.
  • Greatest in amount, degree, or intensity: superlative of much.
  • Greatest in number; numerous beyond others; amounting to a considerable majority: superlative of many: used before nouns in the plural.
  • noun The greatest or greater number: in this sense plural.
  • noun Greatest value, amount, or advantage; utmost extent, degree, or effect.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adverb In the greatest or highest degree.
  • Consisting of the greatest number or quantity; greater in number or quantity than all the rest; nearly all.
  • Greatest in degree.
  • obsolete Highest in rank; greatest.
  • in reference to the larger part of a thing, or to the majority of the persons, instances, or things referred to; as, human beings, for the most part, are superstitious; the view, for the most part, was pleasing.
  • [Obs.] generally. See An end, under End, n.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • determiner Superlative form of much.
  • adverb Superlative form of many.
  • adverb Superlative form of much.
  • adverb Forms the superlative of many adjectives.
  • adverb To a great extent or degree; highly; very.
  • noun uncountable The greatest amount.
  • noun countable A record-setting amount.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adjective (superlative of `many' used with count nouns and often preceded by `the') quantifier meaning the greatest in number
  • adverb (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
  • adverb very
  • adverb used to form the superlative
  • adjective the superlative of `much' that can be used with mass nouns and is usually preceded by `the'; a quantifier meaning the greatest in amount or extent or degree


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

[Middle English, from Old English mǣst, māst; see mē- in Indo-European roots. Adv., sense 3, short for almost.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English mǣst, from Proto-Germanic. Cognate with Dutch meest, German meist, Swedish mest.


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