From Anglo-Norman paramont, paramount (“paramount, pre-eminent; above”), from Old French par, per (“by”) + amont, amunt (“upward”). Par is derived from Latin per (“by means of, through”), from Proto-Indo-European *per- (“to go through; to carry forth, fare”); amont and amunt are from Latin ad montem (“to the mountain; upward”), from ad (“up to”) (ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *h₂éd (“at; to”)) + montem (the accusative singular of mōns (“mount, mountain”), ultimately from Proto-Indo-European *men- (“to stand out, tower”)).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈpæɹəmaʊnt/
Audio (Southern England) (file)
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈpæɹəˌmaʊnt/, /ˈpɛ-/
- Hyphenation: par‧a‧mount
paramount (not comparable)
- (often postpositive) Highest, supreme; also, chief, leading, pre-eminent.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, “Eye Witness”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 483591931, page 249:
- The story struck the depressingly familiar note with which true stories ring in the tried ears of experienced policemen. […] The second note, the high alarum, not so familiar and always important since it indicates the paramount sin in Man's private calendar, took most of them by surprise although they had been well prepared.
- Of the highest importance.
- (obsolete) Of a law, right, etc.: having precedence over or superior to another.
- Synonyms: see Thesaurus:superior
paramount (plural paramounts)
- A chief or superior; (specifically, chiefly South Africa) an African chief having the highest status in a region; a paramount chief.
- (obsolete) A supreme ruler; an overlord; (specifically, historical) in the feudal system, a landowner who did not derive ownership of the land from anyone else, and who was able to grant fees to others; a lord paramount.
- ^ “paramount, adj., n., and adv.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “paramount1, adj.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ Compare “per, prep.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “per, prep.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.
- ^ Compare “amount, v.”, in OED Online , Oxford, Oxfordshire: Oxford University Press, December 2020; “amount, v.”, in Lexico, Dictionary.com; Oxford University Press, 2019–present.