Definition of at worst (or the worst) in English:

at worst (or the worst)


  • 1In the most serious case.

    ‘at worst the injury could mean months in hospital’
    • ‘Many devastated householders are now trying to sort out homes that are at best damp and at worst in need of serious building work.’
    • ‘He said the problem was at best causing an obstruction and at worst could cause a serious accident.’
    • ‘Even the government now accepts that this will not happen, but might at worst delay enlargement by some months.’
    • ‘Growth for the first six months of 2001 is at best flat and at worst down a few percentage points.’
    • ‘The appeal was not set down until 17th June, so at best the application was just under two months late, and at worst three months late.’
    1. 1.1 Under the most unfavourable interpretation.
      ‘the cabinet's reaction to the crisis was at best ineffective and at worst irresponsible’
      • ‘Even for a lay person such as I am, this goal seems misguided, at best, and seriously damaging at worst.’
      • ‘I believe that much of the thinking promoted by the liberal left is lazy at best and downright irresponsible at worst.’
      • ‘At worst, the cultural differences inherent in such conditions would doom peace talks to failure.’
      • ‘It was unfortunate that the Bulgarian summer this year was temperamental at best, and downright terrible at worst.’
      • ‘Marian Wilkinson's reporting in the SMH is at best ordinary, at worst dreadful.’
      • ‘You want to see human nature at its absolute worst?’
      • ‘At their best, these stories offer opportunities for reflection, sort of a first cut of history; at their worst, they fill up time in a slow news day.’
      • ‘I hope that at worst they are being mercenary and irresponsible and thoughtless.’
      • ‘A narrow focus on electioneering is at best ineffective, and at worst disastrous.’
      • ‘To abandon the barely existent rights that animals are afforded is irresponsible at best, and sadistic at worst.’