least Idiom, Proverb
Advice is least heeded when most needed.
When a problem is serious, people often do not follow the advice given.
at leastnot very much, very little to ask At least he could have phoned. He could have done that.
at least|leastadv. phr.
1. or at the least At the smallest guess; no fewer than; no less than. You should brush your teeth at least twice a day. At least three students are failing in mathematics. Mr. Johnson must weigh 200 pounds at least. Compare:
ALL OF. 2. Whatever else you may say; anyhow; anyway. It was a clumsy move, but at least it saved her from getting hit. She broke her arm, but at least it wasn't the arm she writes with. The Mortons had fun at their picnic yesterday at least the children did they played while their parents cooked the food. He's not coming at least that's what he said. Compare:
AT ANY RATE.
at the leastat the least
see under at least
in the leastin any way, at all Oil prices went up, but the price of gas didn't change in the least.
in the least|leastadv. phr.
Even a little; in any degree or amount.
Used in negative, interrogative, and conditional sentences. Sue did not understand physics in the least. Are you in the least interested in sewing? Mother won't be upset if you come for supper; I'll be surprised if she cares in the least. Mike was not upset in the least by the storm. It is no trouble to help you. Not in the least. Compare:
last but not leastthe last one on the list but not the least important Last but not least is Carla, winner of the spelling contest.
last but not least|last|leastadv. phr.
In the last place but not the least important. Billy will bring sandwiches, Alice will bring cake, Susan will bring cookies, John will bring potato chips, and last but not least, Sally will bring the lemonade.
In addition to the idioms beginning with least
, also see at least
; in the least
; last but not least
; to say the least
* * *
- least of all
- least resistance, line of
least of all
Idiom(s): least of all
Theme: IMPORTANCE - LACKING
least; of smallest importance. (Informal.)
• There were many things wrong with the new house. Least of all, the water faucets leaked.
• What a bad day. Many things went wrong, but least of all, I tore my shirt.
least resistance, line ofleast resistance, line of
Also, path of least resistance. The easiest method, way, or course of action. For example, He tends to do what most people seem to want, taking the line of least resistance. This term employs resistance in the sense of “the physical opposition of one thing or force to another,” a usage dating from the early 1600s. It has been used figuratively since about 1900.
Least said soonest mended.The more discreet you are, the less damage you cause.
line of least resistanceIdiom(s): line of least resistance
the course of action that will cause least trouble or effort.
• Jane won't stand up for her rights. She always takes the line of least resistance.
• Joan never states her point of view. She takes the line of least resistance and agrees with everyone else.
line of least resistance|least resistance|line|patn. phr. The easiest way; the way that takes least effort. In becoming a doctor like his father John had really just followed the line of least resistance. Some parents take the path of least resistance with their children and let them do as they please.
not in the leastnot at all毫不；一点也不
I am not in the least suspicious of it．对此我毫不怀疑。
She wasn't in the least afraidher Dad was with her．她一点儿也不害怕，因为她父亲和她在一起。
not in the least|in the least|leastadv. phr. Not at all. She was not in the least interested in listening to a long lecture on ethics.
path of least resistanceIdiom(s): path of least resistance
to do the easiest thing; to take the easiest route.
• John will follow the path of least resistance.
• I like challenges. I won't usually take the path of least resistance.
to say the leastIdiom(s): to say the least
at the very least; without dwelling on the subject.
• We were not at all pleased with her work—to say the least.
• When they had an accident, they were upset to say the least.
to say the least|least|say|the leastv. phr. To understate; express as mildly as possible. After all we did for him, his behavior toward us, to say the least, was a poor way to show his appreciation.
when least expectedIdiom(s): when least expected
when one does not expect (something).
• An old car is likely to give you trouble when least expected.
• My pencil usually breaks when least expected.