least


least
least DETERMINER & PRONOUN (usu. the least) smallest in amount, extent, or significance.
ADJECTIVE used in names of very small animals and plants: least shrew.
ADVERB to the smallest extent or degree.
at least — Cf. at least
at the least (or very least) — Cf. ↑at very least
least said, soonest mended — Cf. ↑least said, soonest mended
not in the least — Cf. ↑not in the least
not least — Cf. ↑not least
to say the least — Cf. ↑to say the least
ORIGIN Old English, related to LESS(Cf. ↑less).

English terms dictionary. 2015.

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  • least — [ list ] function word *** Least is the superlative form of little and can be used in the following ways: as a determiner (followed by an uncountable noun): He generally takes the path of least resistance. (after the ): These farming methods… …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • 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… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • least — [lēst] adj. [ME lest < OE læsest, læst, superl. of læssa, LESS] 1. alt. superl. of LITTLE 2. smallest or slightest in size, degree, importance, etc. [the least movement] 3. Biol. very small: used in names of species or varieties [least… …   English World dictionary

  • least — 1. Least of all means ‘especially not’ and should only be used in negative contexts: • I am not going to try to play the role of prophet, least of all Jeremiah Listener, 1973. 2. Use less, not least, when contrasting two things: • The latter… …   Modern English usage

  • Least — Least, adv. In the smallest or lowest degree; in a degree below all others; as, to reward those who least deserve it. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • least — least; least·ways; least·wise; …   English syllables

  • Least — Least, conj. See {Lest}, conj. [Obs.] Spenser. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • least — (adj.) O.E. læst, earlier læsest smallest (superlative of lytel small ), from P.Gmc. superlative *laisistaz (see LESS (Cf. less)). Qualifying phrase at least is M.E. æt læstan. As a noun, from early 12c.; as an adverb, c.1200 …   Etymology dictionary

  • Least — may refer to: *Little *Child …   Wikipedia

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