most determiner, pronoun, adverb BrE [məʊst] NAmE [moʊst] determiner, pronoun (used as the superlative of ‘much’, ‘a lot of’, ‘many’)
1. the largest in number or amount
• Who do you think will get (the) most votes?
• She had the most money of all of them.
• I spent most time on the first question.
• Who ate the most?
• The director has the most to lose. The can be left out in informal BrE.
2. more than half of sb/sth; almost all of sb/sth
• I like most vegetables.
• Most classical music sends me to sleep.
• As most of you know, I've decided to resign.
• Most of the people I had invited turned up.
• There are thousands of verbs in English and most (of them) are regular. The is not used with most in this meaning.
Old English māst, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meest and German meist.
Idiom: at most
1. used to form the superlative of adjectives and adverbs of two or more syllables
• the most boring/beautiful part
• It was the people with the least money who gave most generously. When most is followed only by an adverb, the is not used
• This reason is mentioned most frequently, but
• This is the most frequently mentioned reason.
2. to the greatest degree
• What did you enjoy (the) most?
• It was what she wanted most of all. The is often left out in informal English.
3. (formal) very; extremely; completely
• It was most kind of you to meet me.
• We shall most probably never meet again.
• This technique looks easy, but it most certainly is not.
4. (NAmE, informal) almost
• I go to the store most every day.
[most] Old English māst, of Germanic origin; related to Dutch meest and German meist.
1. (superlative of `many' used with count nouns and often preceded by `the') quantifier meaning the greatest in number
- who has the most apples?
- most people like eggs
- most fishes have fins
2. 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
- made the most money he could
- what attracts the most attention?
- made the most of a bad deal
1. used to form the superlative
- the king cobra is the most dangerous snake
Syn: to the highest degree
- a most welcome relief
3. (of actions or states) slightly short of or not quite accomplished; all but
- the job is (just) about done
- the baby was almost asleep when the alarm sounded
- we're almost finished
- the car all but ran her down
- he nearly fainted
- talked for nigh onto 2 hours
- the recording is well-nigh perfect
- virtually all the parties signed the contract
- I was near exhausted by the run
- most everyone agrees
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