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most

[mohst] /moʊst/
adjective, superl. of much or many with more as compar.
1.
in the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number:
to win the most votes.
2.
in the majority of instances:
Most operations are successful.
3.
greatest, as in size or extent:
the most talent.
noun
4.
the greatest quantity, amount, or degree; the utmost:
The most I can hope for is a passing grade.
5.
the greatest number or the majority of a class specified:
Most of his writing is rubbish.
6.
the greatest number:
The most this room will seat is 150.
7.
the majority of persons:
to be more sensitive than most.
8.
the most, Slang. the ultimate in something:
He's the most. That movie was the most.
adverb, superl. of much with more as compar.
9.
in or to the greatest extent or degree (in this sense often used before adjectives and adverbs, and regularly before those of more than two syllables, to form superlative phrases having the same force and effect as the superlative degree formed by the termination -est):
most rapid; most wisely.
10.
very:
a most puzzling case.
11.
Informal. almost or nearly.
Idioms
12.
at the most, at the maximum.
Also, at most.
13.
for the most part. part (def 34).
14.
make the most of, to use to greatest advantage; utilize fully:
to make the most of an opportunity.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English most(e), Old English māst; replacing Middle English mest(e), Old English mǣst; cognate with German meist, Gothic maists. See more
Can be confused
almost, most.
Synonyms
11. See almost.
Usage note
11. The adverb most, a shortened form of almost, is far from being either a recent development or an Americanism. It goes back to the 16th century in England, where it is now principally a dialect form. In American English it occurs before such pronouns as all, anyone, anybody, everyone, and everybody; the adjectives all, any, and every; and adverbs like anywhere and everywhere: Most everyone around here is related to everyone else. You can find that plant most anywhere. This use of most is often objected to, but it is common in the informal speech of educated persons. It is less common in edited writing except in representations of speech.

-most

1.
a combining form of most occurring in a series of superlatives:
foremost; utmost.
Origin
Middle English -most; replacing Middle English, Old English -mest, double superlative suffix, equivalent to -ma superlative suffix (as in Old English forma first; compare Latin prīmus) + -est1; later identified with most

many

[men-ee] /ˈmɛn i/
adjective, more, most.
1.
constituting or forming a large number; numerous:
many people.
2.
noting each one of a large number (usually followed by a or an):
For many a day it rained.
noun
3.
a large or considerable number of persons or things:
A good many of the beggars were blind.
4.
the many, the greater part of humankind.
pronoun
5.
many persons or things:
Many of the beggars were blind. Many were unable to attend.
Origin
before 900; Middle English mani, meni, Old English manig, menig; akin to Old Saxon, Old High German manag, menig, Danish mange, Gothic manags
Related forms
overmany, adjective
Synonyms
1. multifarious, multitudinous, myriad; divers, sundry, various. Many, innumerable, manifold, numerous imply the presence or succession of a large number of units. Many is a popular and common word for this idea: many times. Numerous, a more formal word, refers to a great number or to very many units: letters too numerous to mention. Innumerable denotes a number that is beyond count or, more loosely, that is extremely difficult to count: the innumerable stars in the sky. Manifold implies not only that the number is large but also that there is variety or complexity.
Antonyms
1. few, single.

much

[muhch] /mʌtʃ/
adjective, more, most.
1.
great in quantity, measure, or degree:
too much cake.
noun
2.
a great quantity, measure, or degree:
Much of his research was unreliable.
3.
a great, important, or notable thing or matter:
The house is not much to look at.
adverb, more, most.
4.
to a great extent or degree; greatly; far:
to talk too much; much heavier.
5.
nearly, approximately, or about:
This is much like the others.
Idioms
6.
make much of,
  1. to treat, represent, or consider as of great importance:
    to make much of trivial matters.
  2. to treat with great consideration; show fondness for; flatter.
7.
much as,
  1. almost the same as:
    We need exercise, much as we need nourishment.
  2. however much:
    Much as she wanted to stay at the party, she had to leave.
8.
not so much, Informal. not (def 3).
Origin
1150-1200; Middle English muche, moche, apocopated variant of muchel, mochel, Old English mycel; replacing Middle English miche(l), Old English micel great, much (cf. mickle), cognate with Old Norse mikill, Gothic mikils, Greek mégal-, suppletive stem of mégas great
Can be confused
much, very (see usage note at very)
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for most
  • His friends suggested he should paint the things he loved the most.
British Dictionary definitions for most

most

/məʊst/
determiner
1.
  1. a great majority of; nearly all most people like eggs
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as sing or plural) most of them don't know, most of it is finished
2.
the most
  1. the superlative of many, much you have the most money, the most apples
  2. (as pronoun) the most he can afford is two pounds
3.
at most, at the most, at the maximum that girl is four at the most
4.
for the most part, generally
5.
make the most of, to use to the best advantage she makes the most of her accent
6.
than most, than most others the leaves are greener than most
7.
(slang, mainly US) the most, wonderful that chick's the most
adverb
8.
the most, used to form the superlative of some adjectives and adverbs the most beautiful daughter of all
9.
the superlative of much people welcome a drink most after work
10.
(intensifier) a most absurd story
11.
(US & Canadian, informal or dialect) almost most every town in this state, John is the more intelligent of the two, he is the most intelligent of the students
Usage note
More and most should be distinguished when used in comparisons. More applies to cases involving two persons, objects, etc, most to cases involving three or more
Word Origin
Old English māst or mǣst, whence Middle English moste, mēst; compare Old Frisian maest, Old High German meist, Old Norse mestr

many

/ˈmɛnɪ/
determiner
1.
sometimes preceded by a great or a good
  1. a large number of many coaches, many times
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural) many are seated already
2.
foll by a, an, or another, and a singular noun. each of a considerable number of many a man
3.
preceded by as, too, that, etc
  1. a great number of as many apples as you like, too many clouds to see
  2. (as pronoun; functioning as plural) I have as many as you
noun
4.
the many, the majority of mankind, esp the common people the many are kept in ignorance while the few prosper Compare few (sense 7)
See also more, most
Word Origin
Old English manig; related to Old Frisian manich, Middle Dutch menech, Old High German manag

-most

suffix
1.
forming the superlative degree of some adjectives and adverbs hindmost, uppermost
Word Origin
Old English -mǣst, -mest, originally a superlative suffix, later mistakenly taken as derived from mǣst (adv) most

much

/mʌtʃ/
determiner
1.
  1. (usually used with a negative) a great quantity or degree of there isn't much honey left
  2. (as pronoun) much has been learned from this
2.
(informal) a bit much, rather excessive
3.
as much, exactly that I suspected as much when I heard
4.
make much of, See make of (sense 4)
5.
not much of, not to any appreciable degree or extent he's not much of an actor really
6.
(informal) not up to much, of a low standard this beer is not up to much
7.
(used with a negative) think much of, to have a high opinion of I don't think much of his behaviour
adverb
8.
considerably they're much better now
9.
practically; nearly (esp in the phrase much the same)
10.
(usually used with a negative) often; a great deal it doesn't happen much in this country
11.
much as, as much as, even though; although much as I'd like to, I can't come
adjective
12.
(predicative; usually used with a negative) impressive or important this car isn't much
See also more, most
Word Origin
Old English mycel; related to Old English micel great, Old Saxon mikil, Gothic mikils; compare also Latin magnus, Greek megas
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 most
many
O.E. monig, manig, from P.Gmc. *managaz (cf. O.S. manag, Swed. mången, O.Fris. manich, Du. menig, Ger. manch, Goth. manags), from PIE *monogho- (cf. O.C.S. munogu "much, many," O.Ir. menicc, Welsh mynych "frequent"). Pronunciation altered by influence of any (see manifold).
most
O.E. mast "greatest number, amount, extent," earlier mæst, from P.Gmc. *maistaz (cf. O.S. mest, O.N. mestr, Ger. meist, Goth. maists "most"), superlative form of P.Gmc. *maiz, root of O.E. ma, mara (see more). Used in O.E. as superl. of micel "great, large" (see mickle). Vowel influenced by more. Original sense of "greatest" survives in phrase for the most part (c.1400). Slang meaning "the best, extremely good" is attested from 1953. Related: Mostly. Double superlative mostest is 1885, from U.S. Southern and Black English.
much
c.1200, worn down by loss of unaccented last syllable from M.E. muchel, from O.E. micel "great in amount or extent," from P.Gmc. *mekilaz, from PIE *meg- "great." For vowel evolution, see bury.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for most

many

Related Terms

one too many


The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Related Abbreviations for most

MOST

magneto-optical storage technology
The American Heritage® Abbreviations Dictionary, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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Idioms and Phrases with most
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Encyclopedia Article for most

Most

city, northwestern Czech Republic. It lies along the Bilina River, southwest of Utsi nad Labem. It was mentioned in early 11th-century German documents as Brux, which means "bridge," as does its Czech name. This probably refers to an ancient structure spanning marshy ground near the old town.

Learn more about Most with a free trial on Britannica.com
Encyclopedia Britannica, 2008. Encyclopedia Britannica Online.
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