- 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 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.
- 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.
Origin of least
- the least the superlative of little you have the least talent of anyone
- (as pronoun; functioning as sing)least isn't necessarily worst
- at least
- if nothing elseyou should at least try
- at the least
- at the least or at least at the minimumat the least you should earn a hundred pounds
- in the least (usually used with a negative) in the slightest degree; at allI don't mind in the least
- the least superlative of little they travel the least of all
- of very little importance or rank
Word Origin and History for at least
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.
Idioms and Phrases with at least
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]