In the 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:

  • in the least — {adv. phr.} Even a little; in any degree or amount. Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences. * /Sue did not understand physics in the least./ * /Are you in the least interested in sewing?/ * /Mother won t be upset if you come… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • in the least — {adv. phr.} Even a little; in any degree or amount. Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences. * /Sue did not understand physics in the least./ * /Are you in the least interested in sewing?/ * /Mother won t be upset if you come… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • not in the least — {adv. phr.} Not at all. * /She was not in the least interested in listening to a long lecture on ethics./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • not in the least — {adv. phr.} Not at all. * /She was not in the least interested in listening to a long lecture on ethics./ …   Dictionary of American idioms

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