There are 2 main definitions of paramount in English:

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paramount 1

Pronunciation: /ˈperəˌmount/


1More important than anything else; supreme: the interests of the child are of paramount importance
More example sentences
  • Free trade is a principle which recognizes the paramount importance of individual action.
  • Victory is paramount and anything that gets in the way is deemed the enemy that must be destroyed at all costs.
  • I didn't do anything about it; her happiness was still of paramount importance in my mind.
1.1 [attributive] Having supreme power: a paramount chief
More example sentences
  • Social contact with the outside world was absolutely crucial to maintaining the power of paramount chiefs.
  • The role of the United States as a paramount power is somewhat comparable to Great Britain in the nineteenth century.
  • It wasn't land ownership exactly, but the paramount chiefs were allowed to allocate land rights to residents.



Pronunciation: /ˈperəˌmountsē/
Example sentences
  • At the same time it proclaimed the sanctity of the emperor's person and the paramountcy of his power.
  • All the rules and regulations laid down by FIFA over the years have stipulated in minute details that professional players and clubs must at all times be guided by the paramountcy of nations.
  • Suborned peoples, of all creeds and cultures, were permitted to conduct their affairs autonomously - so long as they recognized his paramountcy.


Example sentences
  • Whether a challenged legislative enactment, state or local, possessing aspects of "state-wide concern" and of "local affairs," is primarily or paramountly a matter of "local affairs and government" under the home rule amendment or of "state-wide concern" under the exception thereto is for the courts to determine.
  • Einstein was indeed a giant of physics; but why this zeal to idolize and ultimately deify him? Are we biased to the same degree for all the other paramountly important scientists? Do we, first of all, at least know all the other paramountly important scientists?


Mid 16th century (in the sense 'highest in jurisdiction' in the phrases lord paramount and paramount chief): from Anglo-Norman French paramont, from Old French par 'by' + amont 'above'.

  • mountain from Middle English:

    The Latin word mons ‘mountain’ was extended in French to create the ancestor of mountain. It is also the source of mount (Old English), paramount (mid 16th century) ‘highest’, and amount (Middle English). The story behind the proverb if the mountain won't come to Muhammad, Muhammad must go to the mountain, was told in 1625 by the philosopher Francis Bacon. Muhammad was once challenged to prove his credentials as a prophet by summoning Mount Safa to come to him. Inevitably, the mountain did not move in response to his summons, but Muhammad had a ready answer for this. He observed that if the mountain had moved it would have crushed him and all his followers to death. Therefore it was only right that now he should go to the mountain and give thanks to God for his mercy in sparing them all from this disaster. The phrase to move mountains means both ‘to achieve apparently impossible results’ and ‘to make every effort’. In the first sense it goes back to Paul's First Epistle to the Corinthians: ‘And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries, and all knowledge; and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, and have not charity, I am nothing.’ The contrast of size between mountains and molehills has been exploited since the late 16th century hence make a mountain out of a molehill.

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Syllabification: par·a·mount

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There are 2 main definitions of paramount in English:

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Paramount 2

Pronunciation: /ˈperəˌmount/
A city in southwestern California, southeast of Los Angeles; population 55,236 (est. 2008).

For editors and proofreaders

Syllabification: Par·a·mount

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