in the least

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adj.A superlative of little
1. Lowest in importance or rank.
a. Smallest in magnitude or degree.
b. Slightest or tiniest: didn't care the least bit.
adv.Superlative of little
To or in the lowest or smallest degree.
One that is the lowest or smallest in importance, rank, magnitude, or degree: The dinner menu is the least of my worries tonight. The least you can do is to be polite.
at least
1. According to the lowest possible assessment; not less than: We waited at least an hour.
2. Regardless of what has occurred or will occur; in any case: You might at least answer the letter.
3. Used to emphasize a somewhat positive aspect following a negative one: The results weren't encouraging, but at least they were accurate.
in the least
At all: I don't mind in the least.
least of all
Particularly not: Nobody cared, least of all the manager.

[Middle English, from Old English lǣst; see leis- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend: the least - to any extent at all; "are you in the least interested?" the least - in the slightest degree or in any respect; "Are you at all interested? No, not at all"; "was not in the least unfriendly"
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.
References in periodicals archive ?
I don't think it's in the least bit unintentional." He says the government is "exploiting people's vulnerability and lack of understanding of the law."
England's memory of such things was keener (many RAF bombers raiding Germany had taken off from around Norwich, where Sebald wound up spending more than half his life), but even in the Victorian brick house he settled in, Sebald characterized himself as "chronically unsettled....I've lived here for thirty years, but I don't feel in the least at home."
The central guiding principal of Flores requires that the INS treat all minors with "dignity, respect and special concern for their particular vulnerability as minors." (7) To this end, it is incumbent on the Service to place children in the "least restrictive setting appropriate to the minor's age and special needs," (8) including releasing children to an appropriate caregiver or otherwise housing them in the least restrictive setting possible, such as one of eight shelters opened by the INS to house children in its custody.