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’
    • ‘Even the government now accepts that this will not happen, but might at worst delay enlargement by some months.’
    • ‘Many devastated householders are now trying to sort out homes that are at best damp and at worst in need of serious building work.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘He said the problem was at best causing an obstruction and at worst could cause a serious accident.’
    • ‘Growth for the first six months of 2001 is at best flat and at worst down a few percentage points.’
    1. 1.1 Under the most unfavourable interpretation.
      ‘the cabinet's reaction to the crisis was at best ineffective and at worst irresponsible’
      • ‘I believe that much of the thinking promoted by the liberal left is lazy at best and downright irresponsible at worst.’
      • ‘I hope that at worst they are being mercenary and irresponsible and thoughtless.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A narrow focus on electioneering is at best ineffective, and at worst disastrous.’
      • ‘Even for a lay person such as I am, this goal seems misguided, at best, and seriously damaging at worst.’
      • ‘Marian Wilkinson's reporting in the SMH is at best ordinary, at worst dreadful.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘To abandon the barely existent rights that animals are afforded is irresponsible at best, and sadistic at worst.’
      • ‘You want to see human nature at its absolute worst?’