June 24, 2013
paramount (adjective)
\PAIR-uh-mount\ Hear it!
What does it mean?
: superior to all others : supreme
How do you use it?
Nico's earnest desire for a good grade in physics was paramount to every other desire he had.
Are you a word wiz?

A paramount aspect of your understanding of words is a knowledge of their origins. Which of the words below do you think shares a root with "paramount"?

The "-mount" part of "paramount" comes from the Old French word "mont," meaning "mountain." Both "amount" and "Vermont" also stem from the French "mont." The verb "amount" is from the French word "amont," meaning "upward," a combination of "a-" ("toward") and "mont." "Vermont" is made up of the French words "vert" ("green") and "mont." French explorers in Vermont's early history gave this name to the region because thick forests of evergreen trees kept the mountains green all year round. The mountains that run through Vermont include the chain called the Green Mountains, and they give Vermont its nickname, The Green Mountain State.
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