Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Being or situated at the most distant limit or point; farthest: the utmost tip of the peninsula.
  • adj. Of the highest or greatest degree, amount, or intensity; most extreme: a matter of the utmost importance.
  • n. The greatest possible amount, degree, or extent; the maximum: worked every day to the utmost of her abilities.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Situated at the most distant limit; farthest
  • adj. The most extreme; ultimate; greatest
  • n. maximum; greatest possible amount or quantity.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Situated at the farthest point or extremity; farthest out; most distant; extreme.
  • adj. Being in the greatest or highest degree, quantity, number, or the like; greatest.
  • n. The most that can be; the farthest limit; the greatest power, degree, or effort.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Being at the furthest point or extremity or bound; furthest; extreme; last.
  • Of the greatest or highest degree, number, quantity, or the like: as, the utmost assiduity; the utmost harmony; the utmost misery or happiness.
  • n. The extreme limit or extent.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the greatest possible degree
  • adj. of the greatest possible degree or extent or intensity
  • adj. highest in extent or degree
  • adj. (comparatives of `far') most remote in space or time or order

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old English ūtmest : ūt, out; see ud- in Indo-European roots + -mest, -most.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Old English ut ("out") + -most (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Jiang says local authorities are treating the situation in what she described as the utmost seriousness.

    China Determined to Suppress Inner Mongolia Protesters

  • The pictures taken just before Myanmar's foreign minister claims security personnel had exercised what he called the utmost restraint.

    CNN Transcript Oct 3, 2007

  • The pictures taken just before Myanmar's foreign minister claimed security personnel had exercised what he called the utmost restraint.

    CNN Transcript Oct 2, 2007

  • The images just smuggled out by men and women who risked their lives are at least two days old, the pictures taken just before Myanmar's foreign minister claimed security personnel had exercised what he called the utmost restraint.

    CNN Transcript Oct 2, 2007

  • There is also that which we call the utmost perfection, and that is it which cannot be added to, or taken from him; and so God only is perfect.

    Works of John Bunyan — Volume 03

  • And, by the way; Chiapas is not a place with beautiful beaches but has a huge, uninviting and undeveloped coastal region of dismal black sand and turbid Pacific coastal waters interspersed with poverty stricken and impossibly hot and humid villages existing in utmost poverty.

    Plan Puebla-Panama. Yay or Nay?

  • But he does show a passionate interest in this life, and a very strong belief in the importance of the way it is lived in relations to our fellows, so that we may gain the utmost from the ripening processes of experience and of love.

    Shakespeare as Christ

  • Where it had been there was a scar, a deep, magnificent yellow tear that split the purple sky in utmost evasiveness.

    365 tomorrows » 2009 » October : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • At the finish of his term the utmost that he can expect in the way of reward not expressible in terms of the national currency is that not much more than one-half of his countrymen will believe him a scoundrel to the end of their days.

    The Shadow On The Dial, and Other Essays 1909

  • Soldiers are required to do what's called their utmost and to render assistance to their comrades.

    CNN Transcript Nov 7, 2003

Comments

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  • Gangerh, I'm stealing that one! ;-)

    January 28, 2008

  • Is this the opposite of utleast?

    January 27, 2008