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foremost (adj.)

Middle English formest, from Old English fyrmest, formest "earliest, first, most prominent," from Proto-Germanic *furmista-/*frumista- (related to Old English fruma "beginning"), from PIE *pre-mo-, suffixed (superlative) form of root *per- (1) "forward," hence "through, in front of, before, first" + additional superlative suffix -est. For the -m-, see -most, and compare similarly formed Old Frisian formest, Gothic frumists. Altered on the assumption that it is a compound of fore and most. The same compound without the superlative -m- is first. Also in Old English as an adverb, "first of all, at first, in the first place."

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Definitions of foremost from WordNet
1
foremost (adj.)
ranking above all others;
the foremost figure among marine artists
Synonyms: first / world-class
foremost (adj.)
preceding all others in spatial position;
the foremost compartment of the ship
Synonyms: frontmost
foremost (adj.)
situated closest to the bow;
the foremost compartment of the ship
2
foremost (adv.)
prominently forward;
he put his best foot foremost
Synonyms: first
foremost (adv.)
before anything else;
Synonyms: first / firstly / first of all / first off
From wordnet.princeton.edu