- The definition of least is the lowest in importance or the smallest of something.
- An example of least is one penny being the lowest value U.S. coin; the least amount of value.
- An example of least is someone doing the smallest amount of work necessary; the least necessary.
The penny has the least value of United States currency.
least definition by Webster's New World
- smallest or slightest in size, degree, importance, etc.: the least movement
- Biol. very small: used in names of species or varieties: least flycatcher
Origin: Middle English lest ; from Old English læsest, læst, superlative of læssa, less
- in the smallest degree
least definition by American Heritage Dictionary
adjective A superlative of little.
- Lowest in importance or rank.
- a. Smallest in magnitude or degree.b. Slightest or tiniest: didn't care the least bit.
Origin: Middle English, from Old English lǣst; see leis-2 in Indo-European roots.
least - Phrases/Idioms
at (the) least
- at the very lowest figure or amount; with no less
- at any rate; in any event
not in the least
- According to the lowest possible assessment; not less than: waited at least an hour.
- In any event; anyway: You might at least answer.
in the least
least of all
Variant of little
- small in size; not big, large, or great
- small in amount, number, or degree; not much
- short in duration or distance; brief; not long
- small in importance or power: the rights of the little man
- small in force, intensity, etc.; weak
- trivial; trifling
- lacking in breadth of vision; narrow-minded; illiberal: a little mind
- young: said of children or animals
- younger: her little brother
Origin: Middle English littel ; from Old English lytel (akin to German dialect, dialectal lützel) ; from base of lyt, small (; from Indo-European base an unverified form leud-, to stoop from source Welsh lludded, fatigue), influenced, influence by Old Norse litill, small (akin to Gothic leitils) ; from Indo-European base an unverified form lei-, to decline, be lean from source less
- in a small degree; to a slight extent; only slightly; not much
- not in the least: he little suspects the plot
- small amount, degree, etc.: often used with a and having adverbial force: a little crazy
- not much: little will be done about it
- a short time or distance
- littleness noun