Utmost or Upmost?

What Is the Difference between "Utmost" and "Upmost"?

"Utmost" and "upmost" are easy to confuse because they are close in meaning. (They are not variant spellings of the same word.)
  • "Utmost" means "to the greatest extent." For example:
    • I love Thanksgiving because it's a holiday based on food and family, two things that are of utmost importance to me. correct tick (Chef Marcus Samuelsson)
  • "Upmost" means "at the highest position" or "uppermost." For example:
    • Cut the upmost branch from the tree to protect the overhead power cable. correct tick
utmost or upmost

More about "Utmost" or "Upmost"

"Utmost" and "upmost" are not interchangeable. (These words have nothing to do with US and UK writing conventions. They are separate words.)


"Utmost" is an adjective that means "to the greatest extent" or "most extreme." "Utmost" is a superlative. (Although rare, it can also be used as a noun.)

Example sentences with "utmost":
  • Attention to detail is of utmost importance when you want to look good. correct tick (Fashion designer Carolina Herrera)
  • I try to be me to the utmost. correct tick (Actor Donald Glover)
  • (This is an example of "utmost" being used as a noun.)


"Upmost" is an adjective meaning "located at the top," "highest," or" most upward positioned."

Example sentences with "upmost":
  • I placed the trophy on the upmost shelf. correct tick
  • The sweetest fruit is found on the upmost branch. correct tick

"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 extent.

Upmost Is Rare!

"Upmost" is far rarer than "utmost" (evidence).

"Upmost" is mostly seen when mistakenly used for "utmost"!

Common Terms with Upmost and Utmost

Here are some common terms with utmost and upmost:

Utmost (to the greatest extend)

  • utmost respect
  • utmost importance
  • utmost attention
  • utmost care
  • utmost confidence
  • utmost contempt
  • utmost discretion
  • utmost dedication
  • utmost gratitude
  • utmost sympathy
  • utmost thanks

Upmost (uppermost)

  • upmost position
  • upmost stair
  • upmost ranking
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This page was written by Craig Shrives.