From Middle English utmest, utemest [and other forms], from Old English ūtmest, ūtemest [and other forms], from ūt, ūte (“out; outdoors, outside”) + -mest (suffix meaning ‘furthest’, used to form superlatives of some adjectives) (and conflated with most). Ūt is derived from Proto-Germanic *ūt (“out, outward”), from Proto-Indo-European *úd (“out, outward”).
- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈʌtmə(ʊ̯)st/
- (General American) enPR: ŭt'mōst, IPA(key): /ˈʌtmoʊ̯st/, [ˈʌʔ-], [ˈət-]
Audio (GA) (file)
- Hyphenation: ut‧most
utmost (not comparable)
- Situated at the most distant limit; farthest, outermost.
- Synonyms: outmost, uttermost, yondermost
- the utmost limits of the land the utmost extent of human knowledge
- , George Herbert, “The Sacrifice”, in [Nicholas Ferrar], editor, The Temple: Sacred Poems, and Private Ejaculations, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: […] Thomas Buck and Roger Daniel; and are to be sold by Francis Green, […], OCLC 1048966979; reprinted London: Elliot Stock, […], 1885, OCLC 54151361, page 26:
- Betwixt two thieves I [Jesus] ſpend my utmoſt breath, / As he that for ſome robberie ſuffereth.
- 1644 October 21, John Evelyn, “[Diary entry for 11 October 1644 (Julian calendar)]”, in William Bray, editor, Memoirs, Illustrative of the Life and Writings of John Evelyn, […] , volume I, 2nd edition, London: Henry Colburn, […], published 1819, OCLC 976971842, page 72:
- [W]e coaſted within 2 leagues of Antibes, which is the utmoſt towne in France.
- 1733, Danby Pickering, “Cap. IX. An Act to Explain and Amend Two Acts of Parliament, […], for Making Navigable the River Dun in the County of York, […]”, in The Statutes at Large, from the Second to the 9th Year of King George II. […], volume XVI, Cambridge, Cambridgeshire: […] Joseph Bentham, […]; for Charles Bathurst, […], published 1765, OCLC 1015505952, page 370:
- [T]he maſters, wardens, ſearchers, aſſiſtants and commonalty of the company of cutlers in Hallamſhire in the county of York, their ſucceſſors and aſſigns, are nominated and appointed undertakers of the ſaid navigation, with power to make the ſaid river navigable, at their own expence, from Holmſtile aforeſaid, up the ſaid river above Holmſtile to the utmoſt extent of Tinſley westward, [...]
- 1852 March, Professor Larrabee, “The Heavens”, in W. C. Larrabee, editor, The Ladies’ Repository: A Monthly Periodical, Devoted to Literature and Religion, volume XII, Cincinnati, Oh.: L. Swormstedt and A. Poe; […], OCLC 247142692, page 109, column 1:
- As yet we are far from having explored the utmost depths of space. Our telescopes have only reached a limited distance into the regions of the heavens.
- 1997, Luigi Giussani, “The Hypothesis of Revelation: Conditions for Its Acceptability”, in John Zucchi, transl., The Religious Sense, Montreal, Que.: McGill–Queen's University Press, →ISBN, page 141:
- Our nature is need for truth and fulfilment, or, in other words, happiness. [...] But this desire, having reached the extreme borders of our life experience, still does not find what it has been searching for: at the utmost frontier of its lived territory, this urgent need of ours still has not found its answer.
- The most extreme; greatest, ultimate.
- the utmost assiduity the utmost harmony the utmost misery or happiness
- c. 1608–1609, William Shakespeare, “The Tragedy of Coriolanus”, in Mr. William Shakespeares Comedies, Histories, & Tragedies: Published According to the True Originall Copies (First Folio), London: […] Isaac Iaggard, and Ed[ward] Blount, published 1623, OCLC 606515358, [Act III, scene i], page 17, column 1:
- Ile go to him, and vndertake to bring him in peace, / Where he ſhall anſwer by a lawfull Forme, / (In peace) to his vtmoſt perill.
- 1752, Jerome Osorio [i.e., Jerónimo Osório], “Book XI”, in James Gibbs, transl., The History of the Portuguese, during the Reign of Emmanuel: […], volume II, London: […] A[ndrew] Millar, […], OCLC 1003956408, page 239:
- She was a lady adorned with many noble virtues: the utmoſt ſtrictneſs in her life and morals, eaſy and affable in her behaviour, and agreeably modeſt in her converſation.
- 1824, W[illiam] Bingley, Animal Biography, or, Popular Zoology; […], volume II (Mammiferous Animals—Birds), 6th edition, London: […] C[harles] and J[ohn] Rivington; [...], OCLC 82377449, pages 26–27:
- The migrations of the Economic Rats, are not less extraordinary than those of the Lemmings. In the spring of the year they collect together in amazing numbers, and proceed in a course directly westward; swimming with the utmost intrepidity over rivers, lakes, and even arms of the sea.
- 1842 December – 1844 July, Charles Dickens, “Wherein Certain Persons are Presented to the Reader, with Whom He may, if He Please, Become Better Acquainted”, in The Life and Adventures of Martin Chuzzlewit, London: Chapman and Hall, […], published 1844, OCLC 977517776, page 16:
- "Bah!" cried John Westlock, with the utmost disgust and disdain the monosyllable is capable of expressing.
- 1892, Walt Whitman, “Children of Adam: I Sing the Body Electric”, in Leaves of Grass […], Philadelphia, Pa.: David McKay, publisher, […], OCLC 1514723, stanza 6, page 84:
- The wildest largest passions, bliss that is utmost, sorrow that is utmost become him well, pride is for him, / The full-spread pride of man is calming and excellent to the soul, [...]
- 1999, Susan Hodges; Roy Carlile, “Utmost Good Faith, Disclosure and Representations”, in Cases and Materials on Marine Insurance Law, London: Cavendish Publishing, →ISBN, page 213:
- A contract of marine insurance is uberrimae fidel or, as enunciated in s 17 of the Marine Insurance Act, 'a contract based upon the utmost good faith'. [...] The obligations to disclose and to abstain from misrepresentations constitute the most significant manifestations of the duty to observe utmost good faith.
- 2001, Elizabeth Bevarly, “The Temptation of Rory Monahan”, in Katherine Garbera; Elizabeth Bevarly, An Irresistible Temptation (Harlequin Man of the Month), Don Mills, Ont.: Harlequin Enterprises, published 2015, →ISBN, chapter 1, page 184:
- Of course, everything was of utmost importance to Isabel Trent, Miriam thought with a sigh. Nevertheless she adopted her expression of utmost gravity as she replied, "Oh? I'm all ears."
- The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout § Translations.
- The greatest possible capability, extent, or quantity; maximum.
- Synonym: yondermost
- at the utmost to the utmost
- 1680, John Bunyan, The Pilgrim’s Progress from This World, to That which is to Come: […], 5th edition, Edinburgh: […] Iohn Cairns, […], OCLC 15598886, page 116:
- [...] I am reſolved to pluck up the heart of a man, and to try my utmoſt to get from under his hand.
- 1704, James Tyrrell, “Book XII. Containing the Reign of King Richard II.”, in The General History of England, both Ecclesiastical and Civil: […], volume III, 2nd part, London: […] W. Rogers, […]; J. Taylor, […]; J. Sprint, […]; and A[ndrew] Bell, […], OCLC 1181415101, page 912:
- [T]he utmoſt they could do, was to perſuade Him to lay aſide all Rancor and Diſcontent againſt thoſe Confederate Lords, and to hearken to their deſires.
- 1843 December 19, Charles Dickens, “Stave Four. The Last of the Spirits.”, in A Christmas Carol. In Prose. Being a Ghost Story of Christmas, London: Chapman & Hall, […], OCLC 55746801, pages 122–123:
- But Scrooge was all the worse for this. It thrilled him with a vague uncertain horror, to know that behind the dusky shroud there were ghostly eyes intently fixed upon him, while he, though he stretched his own to the utmost, could see nothing but a spectral hand and one great heap of black.
- 1963, Margery Allingham, “Meeting Point”, in The China Governess: A Mystery, London: Chatto & Windus, OCLC 483591931, page 232:
- Meanwhile Nanny Broome was recovering from her initial panic and seemed anxious to make up for any kudos she might have lost, by exerting her personality to the utmost. She took the policeman's helmet and placed it on a chair, and unfolded his tunic to shake it and fold it up again for him.
- 2011, Simone de Beauvoir, “January 1947 – October 1951: America”, in Quintin Hoare, transl., Letters to Sartre, New York, N.Y.: Arcade Publishing, →ISBN, page 415:
- We drank martinis, while she gazed into my eyes and talked of Dolores – in tones of the utmost loathing – and of you, in tones of the utmost self-importance.