[awl-mohst, awl-mohst]
very nearly; all but: almost every house; almost the entire symphony; to pay almost nothing for a car; almost twice as many books.

before 1000; Middle English; Old English (e)al māst, variant of æl mǣst nearly

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.

See most. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
almost (ˈɔːlməʊst)
little short of being; very nearly

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

O.E. eallmæst, lit. "mostly all," compound of eal, al "all" + mæst "most."
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Example sentences
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.
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