Utmost or Upmost?

Our most common search themes:

What is the difference between utmost and upmost?

Utmost means of the greatest degree or most extreme. For example:
  • Success in anything is through happiness. Being happy is of the utmost importance. (Maharishi Mahesh Yogi)
Upmost means at the highest or most upward position. For example:
  • Take the upmost book from the pile.

Utmost or Upmost?

The words utmost and upmost are often confused because they sound similar and their meanings are close. However, they are not interchangeable.


The adjective utmost means of the greatest degree or most extreme. Utmost is a superlative. (Although rare, it can also be used as a noun.)

  • Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. (Carolina Herrera)
  • I try to be me to the utmost. (Donald Glover)
  • (This is an example of utmost being used as a noun.)


The adjective upmost means located at the top, highest, or most upward position. The word upmost is far rarer than utmost (evidence). (NB: Upmost is mostly seen when mistakenly used for utmost.)

  • I placed the trophy on the upmost shelf.
  • The sweetest fruit is found on the upmost branch.

Upmost Importance or Utmost Importance?

Writers are often confused whether to write utmost importance or upmost importance. The correct version is utmost importance as this means importance to the greatest degree. Remember, the word upmost is reserved for the highest physical location (as opposed to the greatest degree).

What are adjectives? What is a superlative? List of easily confused words

More Free Help...

All the lessons and tests on Grammar Monster are free. Here's some more free help:

Follow Us on Twitter Follow us on Twitter
Like us on Facebook Follow us on Facebook
by Craig Shrives Follow us on Google+
mail tip Sign up for our daily tip emails
Chat about grammar Ask a grammar question
Search Search this site

Buy Some Help...

Too busy to read everything on Grammar Monster? Here are the paid services we recommend to learn grammar and to keep your writing error free:

Paste your text into Grammarly's online interface for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Press F2 while using Word, PowerPoint, etc., for corrections and recommendations. (Free trial available)

Send your text to a trained editor and grammar geek for checking. (Free trial available)

Learn English (or another language) with a state-of-the-art program. (Free trial available)

Buy Our Book...

Buy "Grammar Rules: Writing with Military Precision" by Craig Shrives (founder of Grammar Monster).

More info...