At least
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:

  • at least — {adv. phr.} 1. or[at the least] At the smallest guess; no fewer than; no less than. * /You should brush your teeth at least twice a day./ * /At least three students are failing in mathematics./ * /Mr. Johnson must weigh 200 pounds at least./… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • at least — {adv. phr.} 1. or[at the least] At the smallest guess; no fewer than; no less than. * /You should brush your teeth at least twice a day./ * /At least three students are failing in mathematics./ * /Mr. Johnson must weigh 200 pounds at least./… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • at least — at (the very) least 1. more exactly. I can handle it – at least, I think I can. The car was damaged, but at least no one was hurt. Usage notes: often used to make a statement sound less strong 2. whatever happens. At least Josh tried to apologize …   New idioms dictionary

  • At least — At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • at least — ► at least 1) not less than. 2) if nothing else. 3) anyway. Main Entry: ↑least …   English terms dictionary

  • at least — index only Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • at least — adverb 1. if nothing else ( leastwise is informal and leastways is colloquial) (Freq. 60) at least he survived they felt at any rate Jim felt relieved though still wary the influence of economists or at any rate of economics is far reaching • Syn …   Useful english dictionary

  • at least — 1) not less than a particular amount or number, and possibly more Mr Gray will remain the director for three years at least. The disease killed at least 120 people in England last year. We are expecting to at least double our money. at the very… …   English dictionary

  • at\ least — adv. phr. 1. or at the least At the smallest guess; no fewer than; no less than. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. At least three students are failing in mathematics. Mr. Johnson must weigh 200 pounds at least. Compare: all of 2.… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • at least — phrasal 1. at the minimum < at least once a week > 2. in any case < at least you have a choice > …   New Collegiate Dictionary

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