Foremost definition

fôrmōst
Above all else; most importantly.

Was first and foremost a soldier.

adverb
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First in rank or importance; leading.
adjective
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First in physical position or place.

The foremost ranks of the advancing warriors.

adjective
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In the front or first position.

Kept the idea foremost in her mind.

adverb
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First in place or time.
adjective
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Before all else; first.
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The definition of foremost is something most important, highest ranking or most relevant.

The most important reason behind a decision is an example of the foremost reason.

adjective
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First, either in time or in space.
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(nautical) Closest to the bow.
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More prominent or important than others, especially in position or rank.

The foremost researchers in the field.

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Origin of foremost

  • Alteration of Middle English formest first from Old English per1 in Indo-European roots

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

  • 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.

    From Wiktionary

  • The Old English suffix -mest was eventually conflated with the word most through folk etymology, so that it is now interpreted as fore +‎ -most; former was back-formed analogically.

    From Wiktionary