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[awl-mohst, awl-mohst] /ˈɔl moʊst, ɔlˈmoʊst/
very nearly; all but:
almost every house; almost the entire symphony; to pay almost nothing for a car; almost twice as many books.
Origin of almost
before 1000; Middle English; Old English (e)al māst, variant of æl mǣst nearly
Can be confused
almost, most.
Almost (most ), nearly, well-nigh all mean within a small degree of or short space of. Almost implies very little short of: almost exhausted; almost home. Most is colloquial for almost. Nearly implies a slightly greater distance or degree than almost : nearly well; nearly to the city. Well-nigh, a more literary word, implies a barely appreciable distance or extent: well-nigh forgotten; well-nigh home.
Usage note
See most. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for almost
  • The result is that almost two-thirds of the university's total tuition revenue comes from one-third of its students.
  • Climbing roses are almost as popular as their shrubby counterparts, and they likewise need regular water and fertilizer to thrive.
  • Nature has no lines, whereas drawing almost always contains lines.
  • The second observation point rests in almost the exact same position due east of the towers.
  • Strolling through one is almost as calming as meditation.
  • The deeper cause was that it was built almost entirely on debt.
  • The result is a sheltered but almost seamless house that resembles an airy garden pavilion.
  • The family got together almost only during the summer holidays.
  • Ten resolutions could globally ensure a basic human right at almost unnoticeable cost.
  • Females almost never leave their tightly knit matriarchal families.
British Dictionary definitions for almost


little short of being; very nearly
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for almost

Old English eallmæst "nearly all, for the most part," literally "mostly all;" see all + most. Modern form from 15c.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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