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Uttermost vs. Utmost: What's the Difference?

Edited by Aimie Carlson || By Harlon Moss || Updated on November 29, 2023
Uttermost means the greatest or farthest extent, while utmost refers to the highest degree or greatest effort possible.

Key Differences

Uttermost implies the extreme limit or greatest extent of something, often in terms of space or distance. Utmost, conversely, denotes the highest degree or maximum effort in a given situation.
Uttermost is often used to describe physical boundaries or the furthest reach. Utmost, however, is commonly associated with effort, intensity, or importance.
The term uttermost can be used both literally, as in the furthest point, and figuratively, as in the utmost importance. Utmost, while similar, is more frequently used in contexts requiring extreme effort or priority.
In usage, uttermost can describe the outer limits of physical locations or the extreme of an abstract concept. Utmost typically refers to the greatest possible amount or degree in abstract concepts like care, seriousness, or effort.
Uttermost may also convey a sense of finality or an endpoint, whereas utmost often implies a dynamic process of striving to reach the highest possible level.

Comparison Chart


Greatest extent, farthest point or limit.
Highest degree, greatest effort or intensity.

Usage Context

Physical boundaries, outer limits.
Effort, intensity, importance.


Space, distance, reach.
Effort, care, priority.


Finality, endpoint.
Dynamic striving, maximum potential.

Common Usage

Literal and figurative.
Mostly figurative.

Uttermost and Utmost Definitions


The maximum possible.
Her patience was tested to the uttermost.


The highest point of something.
Her concern for safety is of the utmost importance.


The greatest or farthest extent.
The explorer reached the uttermost edge of the forest.


The greatest possible amount or degree.
He put his utmost effort into the project.


The extreme limit or degree.
He searched to the uttermost corners of the earth.


The peak or climax of something.
The play reached its utmost point of tension.


The highest or most extreme.
This matter is of uttermost importance.


The most extreme or severe.
The situation demands the utmost seriousness.


Farthest in space or time.
The lighthouse stood at the uttermost point of the cape.


Representing the limit of one's ability or potential.
She achieved the utmost in her athletic career.




Being or situated at the most distant limit or point; farthest
The utmost tip of the peninsula.




Of the highest or greatest degree, amount, or intensity; most extreme
A matter of the utmost importance.


What does uttermost mean?

Uttermost refers to the greatest or farthest extent of something.

Can uttermost be used for abstract concepts?

Yes, uttermost can also describe the extreme of an abstract concept.

How is utmost different from uttermost?

Utmost denotes the highest degree or greatest effort, focusing on intensity rather than distance.

Can utmost refer to a level of importance?

Yes, utmost can refer to something of the highest importance or priority.

Does uttermost have a synonym?

Uttermost is synonymous with terms like 'furthest' or 'extreme.'

Does uttermost imply a physical location?

Uttermost can imply a physical location but is also used for non-physical extents.

Can utmost be used in a physical sense?

Utmost is usually used in a figurative sense, less so for physical measurements.

Is uttermost a relative term?

Uttermost is an absolute term, indicating the maximum extent.

Can utmost be quantified?

Utmost is not typically quantified but used to express a qualitative degree.

Is utmost always about effort?

While often associated with effort, utmost can refer to any maximum degree or intensity.

Is utmost a common word?

Utmost is relatively common, especially in formal or serious contexts.

Is uttermost used in everyday language?

Uttermost is less common in everyday speech and more formal or literary.

Can uttermost refer to time?

Yes, it can refer to the furthest point in time or history.

How is utmost used in a sentence?

It's often used to describe the highest degree of effort, care, or importance.

Does uttermost have a spatial connotation?

Yes, it often has a spatial connotation, indicating the farthest point.

Is utmost suitable for formal writing?

Yes, utmost is suitable and commonly used in formal writing.

Can uttermost be used metaphorically?

Yes, it can be used metaphorically to describe the extreme of any situation.

What is a common context for utmost?

Utmost is commonly used in contexts requiring maximum effort, care, or seriousness.

Are uttermost and utmost interchangeable?

They are not completely interchangeable as they have different nuances.

Is utmost used in legal contexts?

Utmost is used in legal and formal contexts to indicate extreme importance or effort.
About Author
Written by
Harlon Moss
Harlon is a seasoned quality moderator and accomplished content writer for Difference Wiki. An alumnus of the prestigious University of California, he earned his degree in Computer Science. Leveraging his academic background, Harlon brings a meticulous and informed perspective to his work, ensuring content accuracy and excellence.
Edited by
Aimie Carlson
Aimie Carlson, holding a master's degree in English literature, is a fervent English language enthusiast. She lends her writing talents to Difference Wiki, a prominent website that specializes in comparisons, offering readers insightful analyses that both captivate and inform.

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