do one’s utmost: Idiom Meaning and Origin

What does ‘do one's utmost’ mean?

The idiom "do one's utmost" means to put in maximum effort or do everything possible to achieve a goal.

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The idiom "do one's utmost" is a common phrase used in the English language. It means to put forth the maximum effort or do everything possible in a given situation. People often use this phrase when they are facing a challenging task or problem, and they want to convey their determination and commitment to overcoming it. When someone says they will "do their utmost," they are expressing their willingness to go to great lengths and use all available resources to achieve their goal.

The idiom "do one's utmost" has been around since the 17th century and can be found in many literary works, including plays by William Shakespeare. It has persisted in usage throughout the centuries and continues to be widely employed in modern English. The idiom signifies personal integrity and a sense of responsibility. It implies that an individual is willing to push themselves beyond their limits and do everything possible to fulfill their obligation in a given situation.

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The related idiom "do one's damnedest" is similar in meaning to "do one's utmost." It conveys the idea of putting forth maximum effort and doing everything possible to achieve a desired outcome. The word "damnedest" adds a sense of intensity and urgency to the phrase. When someone says they will "do their damnedest," they are emphasizing their determination and willingness to go the extra mile to accomplish their goal. This idiom is often used in informal contexts to express a strong commitment and dedication.

Another related idiom is "do one's darnedest," which has a similar meaning to "do one's utmost" and "do one's damnedest." The word "darnedest" is a euphemism for "damnedest" and serves to tone down the intensity of the phrase. When someone says they will "do their darnedest," they are expressing their commitment to putting forth maximum effort and doing everything possible to succeed or overcome a challenge. This idiom is often used in casual or lighthearted conversations.

The idiom "do one's utmost" and its related idioms, "do one's damnedest" and "do one's darnedest," all convey a sense of dedication, perseverance, and personal responsibility. These phrases signify an individual's commitment to giving their best and going to great lengths to achieve their goals or overcome challenges. Whether it's in a formal or informal context, using these idioms adds emphasis and intensity to one's determination and willingness to do whatever it takes to succeed.

So the next time you find yourself facing a difficult task or obstacle, remember to "do your utmost," "do your damnedest," or "do your darnedest." These idioms represent a mindset of putting forth maximum effort and doing everything possible to achieve your goals. By embracing these phrases, you are expressing your dedication, perseverance, and personal responsibility to overcome challenges and fulfill your obligations. And by doing so, you will be on your way to achieving success and making a positive impact.

Example usage

Examples of how the idiom do one's utmost can be used in a sentence:

  1. He did his utmost to convince the jury of his client's innocence.
  2. The rescue team did their utmost to save the hiker stranded on the mountain.
  3. Even though she was exhausted, she did her utmost to stay focused during the marathon.

More "Effort" idioms