at the worst


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at the worst

At or of the worst, least favorable, or least desirable outcome possible. Often indicates a belief or insinuation that such an outcome will not be disastrous or that a more positive outcome is as likely. Our house wasn't too badly damaged from the flood. We'll have to replace the downstairs carpets at the worst. Although I didn't study for the test, I figured I'd get a B at the worst because the teacher takes his questions right from our homework.
See also: worst

at worst

1. In the worst possible scenario. In this usage, "the" can be used between "at" and "worst." At the worst, Doug will be an hour late. They're selling some nice stuff at the yard sale, so I think they'll make a few hundred bucks at worst.
2. In one's least positive, effective, or successful state. In this usage, a pronoun is used between "at" and "worst." I'm at my worst when I'm tired. The team is at their worst when they're not working together.
See also: worst