smallest in size, amount, degree, etc.; slightest:
He gave the least amount of money of anyone.
lowest in consideration, position, or importance.
something that is least; the least amount, quantity, degree, etc.
South Midland U.S. the youngest in a family or group.
to the smallest extent, amount, or degree:
That’s the least important question of all. He talks least.
at the lowest estimate or figure:
The repairs will cost at least $100.
at any rate; in any case:
You didn’t get a good grade, but at least you passed the course.
Also, at the least.
not in the least, not in the smallest degree; not at all:
I am not in the least concerned about the outcome of the World Series.
the least, the superlative of little you have the least talent of anyone
(as pronoun; functioning as sing): least isn’t necessarily worst
if nothing else: you should at least try
at the least
at the least, at least, at the minimum: at the least you should earn a hundred pounds
(usually used with a negative) in the least, in the slightest degree; at all: I don’t mind in the least
the least, superlative of little they travel the least of all
of very little importance or rank
Old English læst, earlier læsest “smallest” (superlative of lytel “small”), from Proto-Germanic superlative *laisistaz (see less). Qualifying phrase at least is Middle English æt læstan. As a noun, from early 12c.; as an adverb, c.1200.
Also, at the least. According to the lowest possible assessment, no less than. For example, At least a dozen more chairs are needed, or The job will take four hours at the least. [ c. 1050 ]
Anyway, anyhow, as in At least you got there on time, or The children enjoyed the dessert at least. [ c. 1050 ]
For synonyms, see in any case
least of all
least resistance, line of
in the least
last but not least
to say the least
- At leisure
freedom from the demands of work or duty: She looked forward to retirement and a life of leisure. time free from the demands of work or duty, when one can rest, enjoy hobbies or sports, etc.: Most evenings he had the leisure in which to follow his interests. unhurried ease: a work written with leisure […]
- At length
the longest extent of anything as measured from end to end: the length of a river. the measure of the greatest dimension of a plane or solid figure. extent from beginning to end of a series, enumeration, account, book, etc.: a report running 300 pages in length. extent in time; duration: the length of a […]
- At liberty
freedom from arbitrary or despotic government or control. freedom from external or foreign rule; independence. freedom from control, interference, obligation, restriction, hampering conditions, etc.; power or right of doing, thinking, speaking, etc., according to choice. freedom from captivity, confinement, or physical restraint: The prisoner soon regained his liberty. permission granted to a sailor, especially in […]
- At loggerheads
a thick-headed or stupid person; blockhead. . . a ball or bulb of iron with a long handle, used, after being heated, to melt tar, heat liquids, etc. a rounded post, in the stern of a whaleboat, around which the harpoon line is passed. a circular inkwell having a broad, flat base. at loggerheads, engaged […]