most


most
I. 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
>
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
>
Usage: 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.

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.

Synonyms: