1. More prominent or important than others, especially in position or rank: the foremost researchers in the field. See Synonyms at chief.
2. First in physical position or place: the foremost ranks of the advancing warriors.
1. Above all else; most importantly: was first and foremost a soldier.
2. In the front or first position: kept the idea foremost in her mind.
[Alteration of Middle English formest, first, from Old English; see per1 in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2018 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.