Least squares
Least Least (l[=e]st), a. [OE. last, lest, AS. l[=ae]sast, l[=ae]sest, superl. of l[=ae]ssa less. See {Less}, a.] [Used as the superlative of little.] Smallest, either in size or degree; shortest; lowest; most unimportant; as, the least insect; the least mercy; the least space. [1913 Webster]

Note: Least is often used with the, as if a noun. [1913 Webster]

I am the least of the apostles. --1 Cor. xv. 9. [1913 Webster]

{At least}, or {At the least}, at the least estimate, consideration, chance, etc.; being no less than; hence, at any rate; at all events; even. See {However}. [1913 Webster]

He who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses The tempted with dishonor. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

Upon the mast they saw a young man, at least if he were a man, who sat as on horseback. --Sir P. Sidney.

{In least}, or {In the least}, in the least degree, manner, etc. ``He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.'' --Luke xvi. 10.

{Least squares} (Math.), a method of deducing from a number of carefully made yet slightly discordant observations of a phenomenon the most probable values of the unknown quantities.

Note: It takes as its fundamental principle that the most probable values are those which make the sum of the squares of the residual errors of the observation a minimum. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • least squares — least′ squares′ n. sta a statistical method of estimating values from a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the observations and the values to be found Also called least′ squares′ meth od. Etymology …   From formal English to slang

  • least squares — n. a statistical method used to find the curve that most closely approximates a set of data: it is based on minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between expected and observed values of the data …   English World dictionary

  • Least squares — The method of least squares is a standard approach to the approximate solution of overdetermined systems, i.e., sets of equations in which there are more equations than unknowns. Least squares means that the overall solution minimizes the sum of… …   Wikipedia

  • least squares — noun a method of fitting a curve to data points so as to minimize the sum of the squares of the distances of the points from the curve • Syn: ↑method of least squares • Topics: ↑statistics • Hypernyms: ↑statistical method, ↑statistical procedure… …   Useful english dictionary

  • Least Squares — Die Methode der kleinsten Quadrate (bezeichnender auch: der kleinsten Fehlerquadrate; englisch: Least Squares Method) ist das mathematische Standardverfahren zur Ausgleichungsrechnung. Es ist eine Wolke aus Datenpunkten gegeben, die physikalische …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • Least Squares — A statistical method used to determine a line of best fit by minimizing the sum of squares created by a mathematical function. A square is determined by squaring the distance between a data point and the regression line. The least squares… …   Investment dictionary

  • least squares — Statistics. a method of estimating values from a set of observations by minimizing the sum of the squares of the differences between the observations and the values to be found. Also called least squares method, method of least squares. [1860 65] …   Universalium

  • least squares — noun plural Date: 1825 a method of fitting a curve to a set of points representing statistical data in such a way that the sum of the squares of the distances of the points from the curve is a minimum …   New Collegiate Dictionary

  • least squares — noun a method of estimating a quantity or fitting a graph to data so as to minimize the sum of the squares of the differences between the observed values and the estimated values …   English new terms dictionary

  • least squares — /list ˈskwɛəz/ (say leest skwairz) plural noun a statistical method of determining constants from observations, by minimising squares of residuals between observations and their theoretical expected values …   Australian English dictionary

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