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Related to at worst: pass along, at first, take up time, in the long term, at the latest, at no time
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.
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
at (the) worst
in the most negative or pessimistic view. At worst, Tom can be seen as greedy. Ann will receive a ticket for careless driving, at the worst.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, at the worst.
1. In the least favorable circumstance; under the most difficult conditions. For example, Convicted of taking a bribe, the official believed that at worst he would be sentenced to a few months in prison . [1500s]
2. In the least favorable view or supposition, as in No harm done; at the worst I'll copy the tax return again. Chaucer used this sense in Troilus and Cressida: "For at the worst, it may yet short our way." [Late 1300s] For the antonym, see at best.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
at ˈbest/ˈworsttaking the most/least hopeful or positive view: Smoking is at best unpleasant and expensive, and at worst lethal.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
at (the) worst
Under the most negative circumstances, estimation, or interpretation: At worst, the storm will make us postpone the trip.
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.