foremost

[fawr-mohst, -muhst, fohr-]
adjective, adverb
first in place, order, rank, etc.: the foremost surgeons.

Origin:
before 1000; fore1 + -most; replacing Middle English, Old English formest, equivalent to form(a) first, variant of fruma (compare Latin prīmus) + -est -est


primary, prime, chief, principal, paramount.
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World English Dictionary
foremost (ˈfɔːˌməʊst)
 
adj, —adv
first in time, place, rank, etc
 
[Old English formest, from forma first; related to Old Saxon formo first, Old High German fruma advantage]

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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Etymonline
Word Origin & History

foremost
O.E. fyrmest "earliest, first, most prominent," from P.Gmc. *formo- (related to O.E. fruma "beginning"), superl. of the root of Eng. fore + additional superl. suffix -est. Cf. O.Fris. formest, Goth. frumists. Altered on the assumption that it is a compound of fore and most.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

foremost

see first and foremost.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
As a dramatic writer, he has been frequently criticized, and cannot be placed in the foremost rank.
He is said to be one of the foremost interpreters of that composer's works.
At the wedding, my new job was not foremost in my mind.
Rabinowitz is among the world's foremost jaguar experts.
Idioms & Phrases
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