Most (mOst), a., superl. of More. [OE. most, mast, mest, AS. mÆst; akin to D. meest, OS. mEst, G. meist, Icel. mestr, Goth. maists; a superl. corresponding to E. more. √103. See More, a.]

1.

Consisting of the greatest number or quantity; greater in number or quantity than all the rest; nearly all. "Most men will proclaim every one his own goodness." Prov. xx. 6.

The cities wherein most of his mighty works were done.
Matt. xi. 20.

2.

Greatest in degree; as, he has the most need of it. "In the moste pride." Chaucer.

3.

Highest in rank; greatest. [Obs.] Chaucer.

Most is used as a noun, the words part, portion, quantity, etc., being omitted, and has the following meanings: 1. The greatest value, number, or part; preponderating portion; highest or chief part. 2. The utmost; greatest possible amount, degree, or result; especially in the phrases to make the most of, at the most, at most.

A quarter of a year or some months at the most.
Bacon.

A covetous man makes the most of what he has.
L'Estrange.

For the most part, in reference to the larger part of a thing, or to the majority of the persons, instances, or things referred to; as, human beings, for the most part, are superstitious; the view, for the most part, was pleasing. --
Most an end, generally. See An end, under End, n. [Obs.] "She sleeps most an end." Massinger.

 

© Webster 1913


Most, adv. [AS. mÆst. See Most, a.]

In the greatest or highest degree.

Those nearest to this king, and most his favorites, were courtiers and prelates.
Milton.

⇒ Placed before an adjective or adverb, most is used to form the superlative degree, being equivalent to the termination -est; as, most vile, most wicked; most illustrious; most rapidly. Formerly, and until after the Elizabethan period of our literature, the use of the double superlative was common. See More, adv.

The most unkindest cut of all.
Shak.

The most straitest sect of our religion.
Acts xxvi. 5.

 

© Webster 1913


Most (?), adv. --
Most-favored- nation clause (Diplomacy), a clause, often inserted in treaties, by which each of the contracting nations binds itself to grant to the other in certain stipulated matters the same terms as are then, or may be thereafter, granted to the nation which receives from it the most favorable terms in respect of those matters.

There was a "most-favored-nation" clause with provisions for the good treatment of strangers entering the Republic.
James Bryce.

Steam navigation was secured by the Japanese as far as Chungking, and under the most-favored-nation clause the right accrued to us.
A. R. Colquhoun.

 

© Webster 1913

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