Something paramount is superior (better and higher) than everything else.
Something paramount can also be the most important.
PAIR uh mount
Part of speech:
(Adjectives are describing words, like "large" or "late."
They can be used in two ways:
1. Right before a noun, as in "paramount concerns."
2. After a linking verb, as in "The concerns were paramount.")
"Paramountcy" is the noun.
There's an adverb, "paramountly," but it always sounds awkward to me.
How to use it:
Talk about a paramount person: a paramount leader, a paramount sovereign, a paramount gentleman.
You can have paramount issues and concerns: "privacy is paramount," "paramount in our organization is academic freedom."
And, one thing can be paramount to another thing or situation: our human rights are paramount to our legal rights; safety is paramount to this venture.
Occasionally we stick this adjective after the noun it describes, which makes the idea sound very serious: "a power paramount," "a title paramount," "a law paramount."
Lastly, you'll often hear the phrase "of paramount importance," but I recommend just saying "paramount" instead. Compare: "Protecting the client's dignity is of paramount importance." vs. "Protecting the client's dignity is paramount."
In educational research, especially when your study participants are children, confidentiality and anonymity are paramount.
There's work that pays the bills, and there's work that feeds your soul, and which one is paramount in your life says a lot about you.
Look away from the screen to explain the definition in your own words. You’ll know you understand what "paramount" means when you can explain it without saying "crucial" or "supreme."
Think of your first priority in life right now, and fill in the blank: "It's clear to everyone who knows me that _____ is paramount right now."
Example: "It's clear to everyone who knows us that raising our daughter is paramount right now."
Spend at least 20 seconds occupying your mind with the game and quote below. Then try the review questions. Don’t go straight to the review now—let your working memory empty out first.
Playing With Words:
We're playing with clichés this month, examining the origins of some colorful ones. I’ll give you a cliché (some of which you might also call a proverb and/or an idiom) and pose a multiple-choice question about its origin. (I used this nifty book as a reference!)
Yesterday's question: When we can’t understand the whole situation because we’re so caught up in the details, “we can’t see the forest for the trees.” How long have we been saying that? Since the 1500s, the 1700s, or the 1900s?
Answer: The 1500s. The staggering age of this cliché may be enough to make you abandon it.
Try this one today: To “go against the grain” is to do something in an abnormal, awkward, or wrong way. Did we get this cliché from working with wheat, wood, or wax?
A Point Well Made:
Douglas Adams: “Anything that is in the world when you’re born is normal and ordinary and is just a natural part of the way the world works. Anything that’s invented between when you’re fifteen and thirty-five is new and exciting and revolutionary and you can probably get a career in it. Anything invented after you’re thirty-five is against the natural order of things.”
1. The opposite of PARAMOUNT is
2. Casual observation suggests that _____ are paramount in this classroom.
A. students, sitting calmly in rows and listening intently, B. teachers, essentially fading into the background as students pursue their own projects,
C. fashionable clothes, the constant topic of students' conversations,
Answers are below.
To be a sponsor and send your own message to readers of this list, please contact Liesl at Liesl@HiloTutor.com.
Make Your Point is crafted with love and brought to you each day for free by Mrs. Liesl Johnson, M.Ed., a word lover, learning enthusiast, and private tutor of reading and writing in the verdant little town of Hilo, Hawaii. For writing tips, online learning, essay guidance, and more, please visit www.HiloTutor.com.
Disclaimer: Word meanings presented here are expressed in plain language and are limited to common, useful applications only. Readers interested in authoritative and multiple definitions of words are encouraged to check a dictionary. Likewise, word meanings, usage, and pronunciations are limited to American English; these elements may vary across world Englishes.
Something paramount is extremely important or of the highest rank. You can see why "-mount" is inside that word--like in "mountain" and "amount," it's based on a Latin phrase meaning "to the hill" or "upward."
We've looked at another related word, too. "T____mount" means "equivalent" or "amounting to as much," and you use it to describe how a second thing is basically just as bad as the first thing. Could you recall that word?
Subscribe to "Make Your Point" for a daily vocabulary boost.