utmost

adjective
ut·​most | \ˈət-ˌmōst, especially Southern -məst\

Definition of utmost 

(Entry 1 of 2)

1 : situated at the farthest or most distant point : extreme the utmost point of the earth— John Hunt

2 : of the greatest or highest degree, quantity, number, or amount a matter of utmost concern

utmost

noun

Definition of utmost (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : the most possible : the extreme limit : the highest attainable point or degree the utmost in reliability

2 : the highest, greatest, or best of one's abilities, powers, and resources will do our utmost to help

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Synonyms & Antonyms for utmost

Synonyms: Adjective

consummate, last, max, maximum, most, nth, outside, paramount, supreme, top, ultimate, uttermost

Antonyms: Adjective

least, minimal, minimum, slightest

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Did You Know?

Adjective

Utmost traces back to the Old English Ūtmest, a superlative adjective formed from the adverb Ūt, meaning "out." Ūtmest eventually evolved into utmost, perhaps influenced by the spelling of the word most. Not surprisingly, the earlier sense of utmost carries the same meaning as outermost. The second sense of utmost, meaning "of the greatest or highest degree," first appeared in English in the 14th century but didn't see frequent use until almost 400 years later. A related word is utter, meaning "absolute" or "total," as in the phrase utter chaos; it comes from Old English utera, meaning "outer," and ultimately from Ūt.

Examples of utmost in a Sentence

Adjective

supreme power that extended to the utmost points of the empire inhabitants of the war-ravaged region are experiencing the utmost misery imaginable

Noun

This new system represents the utmost in modern technology. It's designed to provide the utmost in comfort. We had to push ourselves to the utmost to finish the job in time.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

The officer was not injured, however officer safety is of the utmost importance to Axon. Fox News, "NYPD pulls 3,000 body cams off street after one exploded," 22 Oct. 2018 Milanese aristocratic families are notoriously averse to showing off their possessions, privacy being of utmost importance here, ingrained in a culture of elegant discretion. Tiziana Cardini, Vogue, "Swarovski Hosts a Party for the Book of Dreams in a Fantastical Setting," 21 Sep. 2018 While infused occasionally and subtly with rich Western ingredients like truffles and foie gras, simplicity and freshness remains of utmost importance, and adulterating dishes with too many flavors is frowned upon. Casey Quackenbush / Hong Kong, Time, "'We're Not Educated.' The Untold Story of Lung King Heen, the World's First Michelin Three-Star Chinese Restaurant," 12 July 2018 And, to be sure, Israeli policies toward the Palestinians and American Jewish support for those policies are of the utmost importance in Jewry. Abraham Riesman, Daily Intelligencer, "Can the young activists of IfNotNow change the conversation about Israel and the Palestinians, or will their contradictions hold them back?," 12 July 2018 The safety and security of our FoX family is of the utmost importance in all parts of the world. Martin Rogers, USA TODAY, "Alexi Lalas confronted by angry fan at World Cup in Moscow," 19 June 2018 Integrity, communication and respect are of utmost importance. San Francisco Chronicle, "Service is time and attention. It’s about being present with what’s happening in the moment. So in order to be of service to people, you really have to be aware of what it is that they need, and not assume anything.”," 26 May 2018 But Gabbard said protecting the marine ecosystem is of utmost importance to the economy of Hawaii, which attracts 9 million tourists a year. Peter Fimrite, SFChronicle.com, "Hawaii to ban sunscreen that damages coral," 7 July 2018 Attention to detail of the utmost level, from every handmade ceramic tea cup to delicate glassware that feels like holding a hologram. Bon Appetit, "Momofuku Ko," 25 June 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

In response, decent, smart people were trying their utmost to help them. Rhonda Garelick, The Cut, "The Thai Cave Rescue Cannot Save Us From National Shame," 11 July 2018 At every Hal Smith Restaurant, the safety of our guests and employees is our utmost concern. Elizabeth Chuck /, NBC News, "Gunman opens fire in Oklahoma City restaurant — is shot dead by bystanders," 25 May 2018 If range anxiety and the need to road trip an EV is your utmost concern, then stick to Elon's Muskmobiles. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Forget about that Tesla—the Jaguar I-Pace is the most compelling EV yet," 14 June 2018 Having scored four against the Foxes last season, Kane and his Tottenham teammates will be doing their utmost to ensure that history does in fact repeat itself. SI.com, "Tottenham Hotspur vs Leicester City Match Preview: Classic Encounter, Key Battle, Team News & More," 12 May 2018 Juve did their utmost to turn the tide, and Handanovic had to make a smart low save against Costa and a brilliant stop from substitute Paulo Dybala's fine free kick. SI.com, "Juventus Comes Back From 2-1 Deficit to Beat 10-Man Inter," 28 Apr. 2018 Our family would like to express their utmost regret, sorrow for what happened to innocent victims. Richard Winton, latimes.com, "Nasim Aghdam raged at YouTube, but her family is stunned it ended in gunfire," 5 Apr. 2018 At Lufthansa Group, the safety, health and security of our passengers is the utmost of importance and a first priority. Alexandra Deabler, Fox News, "Dog stranded in Germany after airline deems him unfit to fly because of 'panicked reaction'," 29 Mar. 2018 The safety of our students and staff is our utmost priority. David Anderson, The Aegis, "Police investigate report of written threat made at Aberdeen High School," 31 Jan. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'utmost.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of utmost

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for utmost

Adjective

Middle English, alteration of utmest, from Old English ūtmest, superlative adjective, from ūt out, adverb — more at out

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Learn More about utmost

Dictionary Entries near utmost

utilize

ut infra

Utman Khel

utmost

Uto-Aztecan

utopia

utopian

Statistics for utmost

Last Updated

14 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for utmost

The first known use of utmost was before the 12th century

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More Definitions for utmost

utmost

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of utmost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: greatest or highest in degree, number, or amount

: farthest or most distant

utmost

noun

English Language Learners Definition of utmost (Entry 2 of 2)

: the highest point or degree that can be reached

utmost

adjective
ut·​most | \ˈət-ˌmōst \

Kids Definition of utmost

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: of the greatest or highest degree or amount The message is of the utmost importance.

utmost

noun

Kids Definition of utmost (Entry 2 of 2)

: the greatest or highest degree or amount She stretched her arm to the utmost.

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Comments on utmost

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