: utmost \UT-mohst\ adjective
1 : situated at the farthest or most distant point : extreme 2 : of the greatest or highest degree, quantity, number, or amount
Dustin has the utmost respect for his uncle, who returned to school after many years to attain his degree.
“These programs are of the utmost importance, as they allow students to learn from others who are not like themselves, sharpening their intellects, their opinions and ideas, while promoting open-mindedness both in and out of the classroom.” — From an article by Leah Ward Sears in The Atlanta Journal-Constitution, July 15, 2013
Did you know?
“Utmost” traces back to the Old English “ūtmest,” a superlative adjective formed from the adverb “ūt,” meaning “out.” “Ūtmest” eventually evolved into “utmost,” perhaps influenced by the spelling of the word “most.” Not surprisingly, the earlier sense of “utmost” carries the same meaning as “outermost.” The second sense of “utmost,” meaning “of the greatest or highest degree,” first appeared in English in the 14th century but didn’t see frequent use until almost 400 years later. A related word is “utter,” meaning “absolute” or “total,” as in the phrase “utter chaos”; it comes from Old English “utera,” meaning “outer,” and ultimately from “ūt.”
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