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[uht-mohst or, esp. British, -muh st] /ˈʌtˌmoʊst or, esp. British, -məst/
of the greatest or highest degree, quantity, or the like; greatest:
of the utmost importance.
being at the farthest point or extremity; farthest:
the utmost reef of the island.
Also, uttermost. the greatest degree or amount:
the utmost that can be said; The hotel provides the utmost in comfort.
the most or best of one's abilities, powers, etc.:
He did his utmost to finish on time.
the extreme limit or extent:
His patience was taxed to the utmost.
Origin of utmost
before 900; Middle English utmest, Old English ūtemest. See out, -most
Can be confused
upmost, uppermost, utmost.
1. maximum, highest, foremost, chief, major. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for utmost
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • No matter, Julia will do her utmost to take Blanche away from you.

    The Barber of Paris Charles Paul de Kock
  • He sprang to the rock, and exerted his utmost strength to dislodge it.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • It was a task that tried the powers of that gathering to the utmost.

  • He was still exerting his strength to the utmost when the whistle of the locomotive was heard.

    Brave and Bold Horatio Alger
  • Arbaces fought with the utmost bravery, and slew many of the Assyrians, but was wounded.

British Dictionary definitions for utmost


adjective (prenominal)
of the greatest possible degree or amount: the utmost degree
at the furthest limit: the utmost town on the peninsula
the greatest possible degree, extent, or amount: he tried his utmost
Word Origin
Old English ūtemest, from ūte out + -mestmost
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 utmost

Old English utmest (Anglian) "outermost," double superlative of ut "out" (see out) + -most.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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