nothing less than

nothing less than (something)

An extreme quality, trait, or characteristic demonstrated in absolute terms. This meal is nothing less than sublime. The instructor demands nothing less than perfection from her pupils.
See also: less, nothing

nothing less than

used to express how extreme something is.
1990 Katherine Frank Emily Brontë Nothing less than the ultimate feminine destiny of marriage had been within her reach, and Charlotte had almost immediately spurned it.
See also: less, nothing

ˈnothing less than

(used for emphasis) very; completely: Their defeat was nothing less than amazing.Her survival was nothing less than a miracle.
See also: less, nothing
References in classic literature ?
Certainly," I replied with inane promptitude, for I had no notion of her drift; but then she ran off in a scurry of laughter, and still puzzled I turned into my room, TO FIND, neatly hung over the end of the bed, nothing less than the dainty petticoat and silk stockings of Sylvia Joy.
Nothing less than a persuasion of universal depravity can lock up the charity of a good man; and this persuasion must lead him, I think, either into atheism, or enthusiasm; but surely it is unfair to argue such universal depravity from a few vicious individuals; nor was this, I believe, ever done by a man, who, upon searching his own mind, found one certain exception to the general rule.
Were the pictures which have been drawn by the political jealousy of some among us faithful likenesses of the human character, the inference would be, that there is not sufficient virtue among men for self-government; and that nothing less than the chains of despotism can restrain them from destroying and devouring one another.
And so unmeasureable is the ambition of princes, that he seemed to think of nothing less than reducing the whole empire of Blefuscu into a province, and governing it, by a viceroy; of destroying the Big-endian exiles, and compelling that people to break the smaller end of their eggs, by which he would remain the sole monarch of the whole world.
It was nothing less than this, the birth of a new baby in London to Mary.
In my terror and turmoil of mind I could imagine nothing less than that the Old Nick, at the moment of our overturn, had annihilated my wife and jumped into her petticoats.
The scene on that fine autumn morning was nothing less than enchanting.
Each veil must seem the only one between you and your hungry lover who will have nothing less than all of you.
All of them expected nothing less than instant death; but to their surprise the wooden creatures flew into the air with them and bore them far away, over miles and miles of wooden country, until they came to a wooden city.
Nothing less than a stomachful would allay the gnawing craving of that great emptiness.
The poems were not great, some of them indeed were nothing less than mawkish, but perhaps they did not deserve the slashing review which appeared in the Edinburgh Review.
From it the doctor was not slow in learning that the balloon was mistaken for nothing less than the moon in person, and that the amiable goddess in question had condescended to approach the town with her three sons--an honor that would never be forgotten in this land so greatly loved by the god of day.
It was a brave bird; and til reaching the sea, it regularly fought and drove me backwards Nothing less than heavy blows would have stopped him; ever inch he gained he firmly kept, standing close before me erec and determined.
This was nothing less than the sudden pouring forth of a rapid succession of the shrillest and most piercing screams, from an upper story; and to all appearance from the very two-pair back, in which the infant Kenwigs was at that moment enshrined.
As I slowly recalled my collegiate studies and paleontological readings in Bowen's textbooks, I realized that I had looked upon nothing less than a diplodocus of the Upper Jurassic; but how infinitely different was the true, live thing from the crude restorations of Hatcher and Holland