foremost[fôr′mōst′; also, -məst]
The most important reason behind a decision is an example of the foremost reason.
- first in place or time
- first in rank or importance; leading
Origin of foremostMiddle English foremeste ; from Old English formest (akin to Old Frisian formest, Gothic frumists), superlative of Old English forma, itself a superlative of fore (see fore); later understood and spelled as fore + most
- More prominent or important than others, especially in position or rank: the foremost researchers in the field. See Synonyms at chief.
- First in physical position or place: the foremost ranks of the advancing warriors.
- Above all else; most importantly: was first and foremost a soldier.
- In the front or first position: kept the idea foremost in her mind.
Origin of foremostAlteration of Middle English formest, first, from Old English; see per1 in Indo-European roots.
From Old English formest, fyrmest (“earliest, first, most prominent”), from Proto-Germanic *frumistaz, from the locative stem *fur-, fr- + the superlative suffix *-umistaz. The suffix *-umistaz was a compound suffix, created from the rarer comparative suffix *-umô (as in Old English fruma) + the regular superlative suffix *-istaz (English -est). Cognate with Old Frisian formest, Gothic (frumists). See for, first and Old English fruma for more.