Definition of at the least (or very least) in English:

at the least (or very least)


  • 1(used after amounts) not less than; at the minimum.

    ‘stay ten days at the least’
    • ‘People can view the art at any time the theatre is open and everybody is encouraged to view each exhibition at the least once before it comes down.’
  • 2Taking the most pessimistic or unfavourable view.

    ‘a programme which is, at the very least, excellent PR for the hospital’
    • ‘We know at the very least that he was one of the last people to speak to her.’
    • ‘You'll understand if I consider this a load of hog wash, or at the least a terribly limited view of things.’
    • ‘At least then he could have tried to dissuade her or, at the very least, adjusted his strategy accordingly.’
    • ‘Begin in the middle of something, where there's smoke, or, at the very least, a crackle of flame.’
    • ‘But in the subjective world, I can use this magical view, and, at the very least, believe my eyes.’
    • ‘The Secretary of State himself considered that the views of the Chief Medical Officer were at the very least relevant.’
    • ‘‘With the president endorsing it, at the very least it makes Americans who have that position more respectable, for lack of a better phrase,’ he said.’
    • ‘But, at the least, they are very important even when not decisive.’
    • ‘We couldn't help reflecting that, in Stirling's time, such a shunt would have meant broken limbs at the very least.’
    • ‘When we don't, projects tend to fail, or at the least to be less interesting to us.’
    to put it mildly, putting it mildly, without any exaggeration, at the very least, as an understatement
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