Definition of least adverb from the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary



BrE BrE//liːst//
; NAmE NAmE//liːst//
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  •  to the smallest degree He always turns up just when you least expect him. She chose the least expensive of the hotels. I never hid the truth, least of all from you.
  • Word OriginOld English lǣst, lǣsest, of Germanic origin; related to less.Idioms
    1. 1  not less than It'll cost at least 500 dollars. She must be at least 40. Cut the grass at least once a week in summer. I've known her at least as long as you have.
    2. 2  used to add a positive comment about a negative situation She may be slow but at least she's reliable.
    3. 3  even if nothing else is true or you do nothing else You could at least listen to what he says. Well, at least they weren't bored.
    4. 4  used to limit or make what you have just said less definite synonym anyway They seldom complained—officially at least. It works, at least I think it does.
    used when mentioning the last person or thing of a group, in order to say that they are not less important than the others Last but not least, I'd like to thank all the catering staff.
    least said soonest mended
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    (British English, saying) a bad situation will pass or be forgotten most quickly if nothing more is said about it
    the less/least said the better
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    the best thing to do is say as little as possible about something
    (choose, follow, take, etc.) the line of least resistance
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    (to choose, etc.) the easiest way of doing something
    especially The documentary caused a lot of bad feeling, not least among the workers whose lives it described.
    See the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary entry: least