determiner & pronoun(usually the least)
adverbBack to top
- To the smallest extent or degree: my best number was the one I had practiced the least turning up when he was least expected only the least expensive lot sold I never hid the truth, least of all from youMore example sentences
- As the drivers of old bangers are the least able to afford to invest heavily in a new car, this policy seems unfair.
- Paragliders are not cheap, though they represent one of the least expensive ways to get into the air.
- Those who are entitled to tax credits are the least able to afford this delay.
adjectiveBack to top
- 1Not less than; at the minimum: clean the windows at least once a weekMore example sentences
at the minimum, no/not less than; more than; anyway, at all events, leastways/leastwise
- They were blocking every exit, and Whitehall had at least ten vans full of officers.
- It would appear that if you know at least one full line from a play, you can probably find it online.
- Petunias are easy to grow so long as they are in full sun for at least part of the day.
- 2If nothing else (used to add a positive comment about a generally negative situation): the options aren’t complete, but at least they’re a startMore example sentences
- What this means is that the relationship is not going anywhere, at least not in a positive way.
- Not a plan for action, certainly, but at least a creative push in a positive direction.
- You might be bored stupid and your boss may be a complete cretin, but at least your office is dry.
at the least (or very least)
- 1(Used after amounts) not less than; at the minimum: stay ten days at the leastMore example sentences
- People can view the art at any time the theatre is open and everybody is encouraged to view each exhibition at the least once before it comes down.
- 2Taking the most pessimistic or unfavorable view: a program that is, at the very least, excellent PR for the hospitalMore example sentences
- But in the subjective world, I can use this magical view, and, at the very least, believe my eyes.
- You'll understand if I consider this a load of hog wash, or at the least a terribly limited view of things.
- We couldn't help reflecting that, in Stirling's time, such a shunt would have meant broken limbs at the very least.
least said, soonest mended
- • proverb A difficult situation will be resolved more quickly if there is no more discussion of it.More example sentences
- Even the opposition does not press the question, and has little to say on the subject, as they too may have exploited the same funds in the past, or intend to in the future - so least said, soonest mended!
not in the least
- Not in the smallest degree; not at all: he was not in the least taken abackMore example sentences
- The liar's punishment is not in the least that he is not believed but that he cannot believe anyone else.
- He has no very grave quarrel with it; he does not in the least wish to crucify it; only, he cannot believe it.
- The land is not in the least bit fertile and yet the cattle herds grow larger and larger.
to say the least
- Used as an understatement (implying the reality is more extreme, usually worse): his performance was disappointing to say the leastMore example sentences
- The attitude of other large bodies in Ireland was, to say the least of it, critical and suspicious.
- It is, to say the least of it, a welcome refuge from your landlady's ornamental flower-vases.
- The style is simple and easy, the reasoning logical and sound, and the author's grasp on the profoundest teaching of the Bible is, to say the least of it, unusual and refreshing.
Old English lǣst, lǣsest, of Germanic origin; related to less.
On the punctuation of least in compound adjectives, see well1 (usage).