least

Definitions

  • WordNet 3.6
    • adj least the superlative of `little' that can be used with mass nouns and is usually preceded by `the'; a quantifier meaning smallest in amount or extent or degree "didn't care the least bit","he has the least talent of anyone"
    • adv least used to form the superlative "The garter snake is the least dangerous snake"
    • n least something that is of no importance "it is the least I can do","that is the least of my concerns"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: A maple tree is usually tapped when the tree is at least 45 years old and has a diameter of 12 inches
    • adv Least In the smallest or lowest degree; in a degree below all others; as, to reward those who least deserve it.
    • conj Least See Lest conj.
    • a Least lēst (Math) Smallest, either in size or degree; shortest; lowest; most unimportant; as, the least insect; the least mercy; the least space. Least is often used with the, as if a noun. "I am the least of the apostles.""He who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses
      The tempted with dishonor."
      "Upon the mast they saw a young man, at least if he were a man, who sat as on horseback.""He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Over 96% of American households purchase bananas at least once each month.
    • least Smallest; little in size or degree, etc., beyond all others: answering as superlative to little.
    • least In the smallest or lowest degree; in a degree below all others: as, to reward those who least deserve it.
    • least An obsolete spelling of lest.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The Sumatran tiger has the most stripes of all the tiger subspecies, the Siberian tiger has the least.
    • adj Least lēst (serves as superl. of Little) little beyond all others: smallest
    • adv Least in the smallest or lowest degree
    • conj Least lēst (Spens.) Same as Lest.
    • ***

Quotations

  • Phil Weltman
    Phil Weltman
    “The path of least resistance is the path of the loser.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “Failure is the path of least persistence”
  • Lord Alfred Tennyson
    Lord%20Alfred%20Tennyson
    “Who is wise in love, love most, say least.”
  • Malcolm S. Forbes
    Malcolm%20S.%20Forbes
    “Pay your people the least possible and you'll get from them the same.”
  • Source Unknown
    Source Unknown
    “A mistake at least proves that somebody stopped talking long enough to DO something.”
  • George Farquhar
    George%20Farquhar
    “Those who know the least obey the best.”

Etymology

Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
OE. last, lest, AS. lǣsast, lǣsest, superl. of lǣssa, less. See Less (a.)

Usage

In literature:

I never saw her; at least, I cannot remember ever seeing her, and she was not Scotch.
"The Day of Judgment" by Joseph Hocking
So at least Patience believed.
"Ralph the Heir" by Anthony Trollope
Privately, at least; publicly, not for at least ten days.
"The Alembic Plot" by Ann Wilson
His genius was of all things that which interested him least.
"The Creators" by May Sinclair
She was the least selfish of human beings, the least opinionative, the most good-natured.
"The Bertrams" by Anthony Trollope
He had never earned it through the least malice, however.
"Antony Gray,--Gardener" by Leslie Moore
Angus Dalrymple, M.D., was not an Englishman, as he had tried to explain to Sora Nanna, though without the least success.
"Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2)" by F. Marion Crawford
I shouldn't have the least idea what to say to anyone about the Bible lesson.
"The Chautauqua Girls At Home" by Pansy, AKA Isabella M. Alden
He had, at least, never seen anything like that either on the Pacific slope or in Western Canada.
"Hawtrey's Deputy" by Harold Bindloss
I have not the least idea how to manage you; not the least.
"Daisy" by Elizabeth Wetherell
But in spite of his leisurely look, he had not in the least the seeming of a holiday-maker.
"Somehow Good" by William de Morgan
If these words only can be found, it is a sign at least that one is on the right track.
"The Cryptogram" by James De Mille
Communication, if not identical with, is at least a form of, what has been referred to here as social interaction.
"Introduction to the Science of Sociology" by Robert E. Park
We assuredly find it least where we look for it most.
"The Prairie Child" by Arthur Stringer
Of all of them, the least dishonorable was theft.
"The Saracen: Land of the Infidel" by Robert Shea
God's pity, let me get at least one letter done without you interrupting me.
"The Saracen: The Holy War" by Robert Shea
So sensitive to outside impressions is this child that he quickly responds to the least suggestion and with the least effort.
"The Book of Khalid" by Ameen Rihani
He wanted to get a salary in some way that he could at least live on.
"The "Genius"" by Theodore Dreiser
If one cannot be a genius one can at least be an artist.
"Ancestors" by Gertrude Atherton
At least I'm not filling the breeze with a lot of questions out loud.
"Dave Dawson on Guadalcanal" by Robert Sydney Bowen
***

In poetry:

Yet is my greeffe not faind,
Wherein I starve and pine,
Whoe feeleth most shall finde it least
Comparinge his with mine.
"A Fancy" by Edward Dyer
I want to know—I am willing,
Let me at least have a chance!
Shall I give the monkey-boy my shilling?—
I want to serve at once.
"Willie's Question" by George MacDonald
Twisting into thread
Cannot be done with it, yet
This parting path
Runs thinly through my heart,
Or, that's how it feels, at least.
"Twisting into thread" by Ki no Tsurayuki
Be must and mould, be trampled dust,
Be nothing that is fair to see:
One day, at least, of glorious life
Was thine of all eternity.
"Solace" by Maurice Thompson
A million sleepless lids, they say,
Will be at least a warning;
And so the flowers would watch by day,
The stars from eve to morning.
"Album Verses" by Oliver Wendell Holmes
This at least can not be doubted,--
That our globe will one day roll
Cold and lifeless thro' its orbit,
Like a corpse without its soul.
"Discouragement" by John Lawson Stoddard

In news:

At Least for Awhile .
Kentucky Derby winner Animal Kingdom is injured and is expected to out for at least two weeks.
It's happened at least once.
Aeros owner Ken Babby to announce affiliation with Indians for at least four more years.
Or that is at least how the movies play it out to be.
Page 1 of 2 Digital signage is evolving and maturing to the point where the display hardware is becoming the least important part of the technology.
Mavericks point guard Jason Kidd will miss at least one game due to the lower back injury he suffered during Thursday night's loss to the San Antonio Spurs.
In 2010 there will be a redistricting in New York state, a process that the Democrats will at least now be able to control.
A fact that was really driven home (for me at least) by their appearance at the 2009 MTV Europe Music Awards in Berlin today.
It may seem strange that the four-time champion is, for the moment at least, happy to hang back as he chases a record-tying fifth victory.
That's at least seven baguettes a week.
CBO didn't have time — at least, that's what CBO says.
The October Surprise hoax is laid to rest -- at least outside the Clinton Administration.
"I feel like I've failed," he told the five supervisors Tuesday, as he made the case that the county should contribute at least $100,000 toward year-round air service subsidies next year.
I see at least two lessons learned solutions: 1) {long term} Get everyone collaborating better.
***

In science:

Having recognized w(0; φ) as a least squares estimator of A, we close this section with some remarks from least squares methodology that we consider relevant.
On Optimal Detection of Point Sources in CMB Maps
Now suppose that with probability at least β , u(0) lies in (0, π/2) and with probability at least β it lies in (π/2, π); by shift-invariance of the law of PΓ , this implies the same is true of u(v ) for any v .
Random Surfaces
B3 of such bicycles is at least one with probability at least Ω(1/n) .
Random MAX SAT, Random MAX CUT, and Their Phase Transitions
This morphological selection bias has been built into the sample—most known GCs in earlier work and our study were selected at least in part because of their spatial extent—yet it shows that at least some GCs can be separated from stars given the seeing in our images.
The Globular Cluster System of NGC 5128 I. Survey and Catalogs
Since ̺(1Mk ) ≤ d′ and ¯ψl (1Mk )Fl ¯ψl (1Mk ) has rank at least k for all l, it follows that hlFl hl has rank at least k if only l is large enough.
On topologically finite-dimensional simple C*-algebras
It is to be proved now that every vertex of Φ of degree 2 which is not in W ′ weighs at least 1, and every vertex of Φ of degree 1 which is not in W ′ weighs at least 2.
Diagrams with Selection and Method for Constructing Boundedly Generated and Boundedly Simple Groups
C) ∆ is connected and has at least 3 vertices; (LT) all labels me , for e ∈ E (∆) , are at least 3; and (TF) ∆ has no triangles (no simple circuits of length 3).
Automorphisms and abstract commensurators of 2-dimensional Artin groups
We let Z1 be an arbitrary unit vector in W ⊥ ; since Z1 has unit length, at least one of its coordinates has magnitude at least 1/√n.
On random $\pm 1$ matrices: Singularity and Determinant
Each signal processing path has at least one source beginning computation and at least one sink ending it.
EPspectra: A Formal Toolkit for Developing DSP Software Applications
Since n > 5, at least one of the connected components Σ1 and Σ2 of the diagram ΣQ contains at least three nodes, and we may assume that Σ1 = Ak , k ≥ 3.
On simple ideal hyperbolic Coxeter polytopes
It is known that line graphs have least eigenvalue at least −2 ([GR, Chapter 12]).
Salem numbers, Pisot numbers, Mahler measure and graphs
If n is large enough then, whenever V1 , V2 are disjoint sets of at least εn vertices of Gn = G(n, κ) such that V1 ∪ V2 contains at least εn vertices of each type, the expected number of edges from V1 to V2 in Gn is at least θn.
The phase transition in inhomogeneous random graphs
There are types i and j such that V1 contains at least ε′n vertices of type i, and V2 at least ε′n vertices of type j .
The phase transition in inhomogeneous random graphs
It follows that for some s, V1 contains at least ε′n vertices of type is , and V2 contains at least ε′n vertices of type is+1 .
The phase transition in inhomogeneous random graphs
Let us say that a component C of Gn is bad if it has at least A log n and at most n/A vertices, and meets S1 in at least A log n/k vertices.
The phase transition in inhomogeneous random graphs
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