Definition of foremost in English:

Share this entry


Pronunciation: /ˈfɔːməʊst/


Most prominent in rank, importance, or position: one of the foremost art collectors of his day
More example sentences
  • Paris is now regarded as one of the foremost art centres in the West, but this status was hard won.
  • The primary and foremost duty of the father is to provide funds for all essential requirements.
  • The early modern Italian courts saw the creation of some of Europe's foremost collections of works of art.
leading, principal, premier, prime, elite, top, top-tier, top-level, first-rate, greatest, best, supreme, pre-eminent, major, most important, most prominent, most influential, most skilled, most illustrious, outstanding, notable, noteworthy, of note;
first, primary, main, paramount, chief, key, central;
North American  ranking
informal number-one, top-notch


Before anything else in rank, importance, or position; in the first place: it was, foremost, the first unequivocal demonstration of the process
More example sentences
  • From Wednesday pulling pints will be foremost on her mind as she takes over Kelly's, Narraghmore.
  • Though he has spent half his life running what is now Britain's second largest property company, he is foremost a financier.
  • There has to be room for both the wild fish and the fish farms to survive, and it will be my task to keep that fact foremost in the mind of decision-makers.


Old English formest, fyrmest, from forma 'first' (ultimately a superlative formed from the Germanic base of fore) + -est1. Compare with first and former1. The current spelling arose by association with fore and most.

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: fore|most

Share this entry

What do you find interesting about this word or phrase?

Comments that don't adhere to our Community Guidelines may be moderated or removed.