adjective, a superl. of little with less or lesser as compar.
adverb superl. of little with less as compar.
- 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.
Origin of least
British Dictionary definitions for at least
- 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 elseyou should at least try
- at the least
Word Origin for least
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 (1 of 2)
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 at any rate; in any case.
Idioms and Phrases with at least (2 of 2)
In addition to the idioms beginning with least
- least of all
- least resistance, line of
- at least
- in the least
- last but not least
- to say the least