Definitions

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

  • adjective More prominent or important than others, especially in position or rank: synonym: chief.
  • adjective First in physical position or place.
  • adverb Above all else; most importantly.
  • adverb In the front or first position.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • First in place, time, quality, station, honor, or dignity.

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

  • adjective First in time or place; most advanced; chief in rank or dignity.

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

  • adjective first, either in time or in space
  • adjective of a higher rank or position; paramount
  • adjective nautical closest to the bow
  • adverb in front
  • adverb prominently forward

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

  • adverb before anything else
  • adverb prominently forward
  • adjective situated closest to the bow
  • adjective preceding all others in spatial position
  • adjective ranking above all others

Etymologies

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

[Alteration of Middle English formest, first, from Old English; see per in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English formest, fyrmest ("earliest, first, most prominent"), from the Proto-Germanic superlative *formo- (related to Old English fruma ("beginning")), with the additional superlative suffix -est. Compare Old Saxon formo ("first"), Old High German fruma ("advantage"), cf. Old Frisian formest, Gothic frumists; compare also Latin prīmus as an Indo-European cognate. Corresponds to fore + -most. See also first.

Examples

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