Definition of at the least (or very least) in US 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 unfavorable view.

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