Dictionary > English Dictionary > Definition, synonym and antonym of Least
Meaning of least by Wiktionary Dictionary



    • IPA: /liːst/, SAMPA: /li:st/
    • Rhymes: -iːst
    • Homophone: leased


    least ( comparative less )

    1. Superlative form of little.;The smallest amount of [something uncountable] .
      He earns the least money in his family .
      Of all the sisters, she has the least patience .
      I can only afford to pay the least of the bills .

    Usage notes

    Some grammarians recommend to use least only with uncountable nouns, as in the examples above with the smallest amount of sense:

    To such grammarians least is the superlative of a little, not that of little, so it does not mean smallest, but the smallest amount of. With plural nouns, they recommend fewest .


    least ( negative superlative )

    1. Used for forming superlatives of adjectives, especially those that do not form the superlative by adding -est .
      It was the least surprising thing .



    frequency based on Project Gutenberg corpus">Most common English words: says « wife « hear « #310: least » person » case » fact


    • lates, leats, salet, setal, slate, stale, steal, stela, taels, tales, teals, tesla

Explanation of least by Wordnet Dictionary


    1. used to form the superlative

    2. The garter snake is the least dangerous snake
    1. the superlative of `little' that can be used with mass nouns and is usually preceded by `the'

    2. didn't care the least bit
      he has the least talent of anyone
    1. something that is of no importance

    2. it is the least I can do
      that is the least of my concerns

    Definition of least by GCIDE Dictionary


    1. Least ( lēst ), a. [OE. last, lest, AS. lǣsast, lǣsest, superl. of lǣssa less. See Less, a.] [Used as the superlative of little.] 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. 1 Cor. xv. 9.

      At least, or At the least, at the least estimate, consideration, chance, etc.; being no less than; hence, at any rate; at all events; even. See However.

      He who tempts, though in vain, at least asperses

      The tempted with dishonor. Milton.

      Upon the mast they saw a young man, at least if he were a man, who sat as on horseback. Sir P. Sidney.

      -- In least, or In the least, in the least degree, manner, etc. “He that is unjust in the least is unjust also in much.” Luke xvi. 10. -- Least squares ( Math. ), a method of deducing from a number of carefully made yet slightly discordant observations of a phenomenon the most probable values of the unknown quantities. It takes as its fundamental principle that the most probable values are those which make the sum of the squares of the residual errors of the observation a minimum.

    2. Least, adv. In the smallest or lowest degree; in a degree below all others; as, “to reward those who least deserve it”.

    3. Least, conj. See Lest, conj. [Obs.] Spenser.