At least


At least
At At, prep. [AS. [ae]t; akin to OHG. az, Goth., OS., & Icel. at, Sw. [*a]t, Dan. & L. ad.] Primarily, this word expresses the relations of presence, nearness in place or time, or direction toward; as, at the ninth hour; at the house; to aim at a mark. It is less definite than in or on; at the house may be in or near the house. From this original import are derived all the various uses of at. It expresses: [1913 Webster]

1. A relation of proximity to, or of presence in or on, something; as, at the door; at your shop; at home; at school; at hand; at sea and on land. [1913 Webster]

2. The relation of some state or condition; as, at war; at peace; at ease; at your service; at fault; at liberty; at risk; at disadvantage. [1913 Webster]

3. The relation of some employment or action; occupied with; as, at engraving; at husbandry; at play; at work; at meat (eating); except at puns. [1913 Webster]

4. The relation of a point or position in a series, or of degree, rate, or value; as, with the thermometer at 80[deg]; goods sold at a cheap price; a country estimated at 10,000 square miles; life is short at the longest. [1913 Webster]

5. The relations of time, age, or order; as, at ten o'clock; at twenty-one; at once; at first. [1913 Webster]

6. The relations of source, occasion, reason, consequence, or effect; as, at the sight; at this news; merry at anything; at this declaration; at his command; to demand, require, receive, deserve, endure at your hands. [1913 Webster]

7. Relation of direction toward an object or end; as, look at it; to point at one; to aim at a mark; to throw, strike, shoot, wink, mock, laugh at any one. [1913 Webster]

{At all}, {At home}, {At large}, {At last}, {At length}, {At once}, etc. See under {All}, {Home}, {Large}, {Last} (phrase and syn.), {Length}, {Once}, etc.

{At it}, busily or actively engaged.

{At least}. See {Least} and {However}.

{At one}. See {At one}, in the Vocabulary. [1913 Webster]

Syn: {In}, {At}.

Usage: When reference to the interior of any place is made prominent in is used. It is used before the names of countries and cities (esp. large cities); as, we live in America, in New York, in the South. At is commonly employed before names of houses, institutions, villages, and small places; as, Milton was educated at Christ's College; money taken in at the Customhouse; I saw him at the jeweler's; we live at Beachville. At may be used before the name of a city when it is regarded as a mere point of locality. ``An English king was crowned at Paris.'' --Macaulay. ``Jean Jacques Rousseau was born at Geneva, June, 28, 1712.'' --J. Morley. In regard to time, we say at the hour, on the day, in the year; as, at 9 o'clock, on the morning of July 5th, in the year 1775. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

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