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.
see under at least
least of all
least resistance, line of
in the least
last but not least
to say the least
- At the mercy of
compassionate or kindly forbearance shown toward an offender, an enemy, or other person in one’s power; compassion, pity, or benevolence: Have mercy on the poor sinner. the disposition to be compassionate or forbearing: an adversary wholly without mercy. the discretionary power of a judge to pardon someone or to mitigate punishment, especially to send to […]
- At the most
in the greatest quantity, amount, measure, degree, or number: to win the most votes. in the majority of instances: Most operations are successful. greatest, as in size or extent: the most talent. the greatest quantity, amount, or degree; the utmost: The most I can hope for is a passing grade. the greatest number or the […]
the outer , surface, or part; exterior: The outside of the house needs painting. the external aspect or appearance. the space without or beyond an enclosure, institution, boundary, etc.: a prisoner about to resume life on the outside. a position away or farther away from the inside or center: The horse on the outside finished […]
- At the outset
Also, from the outset. At the start, from the start. For example, He wanted to explain his position from the outset, but there wasn’t time, or At the outset the problem seemed simple, but then it became quite complicated. The noun outset is rarely heard today except in these phrases. [ Mid-1700s ]