to say the least


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to say the least

Without any exaggeration; to put it plainly or mildly. We were disappointed, to say the least, but we decided to put it behind us and get on with the project. My roommates were making out in the living room when I came home last night. It was awkward, to say the least.
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to say the least

at the very least; without overemphasizing the subject; to put it mildly. We were not at all pleased with her work—to say the least. When they had an accident, they were upset to say the least.
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to say the least

Not to exaggerate, as in When the ring turned up in the lost and found, she was delighted, to say the least. This idiom was first recorded in 1809.
See also: least, say

to say the least

COMMON People use to say the least to show that their real opinion is even stronger than what they have just said. There was something odd about the situation, to say the least. What they discovered was interesting, to say the least.
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to say the least (or the least of it)

used as an understatement or euphemism to imply that the reality is more extreme, usually worse.
1997 Spectator References in Mr Cole's letter to the ‘bottle’ were, to say the least, distasteful.
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to ˌsay the (very) ˈleast

used to say that you are using the least strong way of saying something: I’m not very happy with his work, to say the least.
See also: least, say
References in periodicals archive ?
On the strength of very large sales in site licenses, the Federal Personnel Guide had its most profitable year ever; and my consulting sprang back to life with a vengence, after a period (starting approximately 9/11/01 and lasting until Spring 2003) when it was dormant to say the least.
The response has been, to say the least, overwhelming--and in more ways than one.
Seeing things from the bottom can be eye opening, to say the least. The book falls short of a full-blown peace treaty between management and those in the trenches, but it could lead to a more agreeable workplace and, with a wry smile, help bosses get the most out of their employees.
The question of how white Baptists in the South interacted with southern culture is a complex question, to say the least. Spain offers a simple answer, one that scholars today will find too narrowly researched and analyzed.
The workload of a journal editor and staff is demanding to say the least. These individuals are charged with preparing each issue carefully and expediently so that articles, editorials, reviews, case reports, and letters are published correctly and in a timely fashion.
For starters, returning to your 10-hour-a-day desk job the day after the race could be a little uncomfortable to the lower extremities, to say the least. But remember too that as sore as you may be after you've completed the event, one of the best things you can do to begin recovering is get out and walk a bit.
And the fact that Wood doesn't even register that such consideration is necessary is troubling to say the least.
The film is audacious, to say the least, and undoubtedly distributor-defying, but Ascension deserved a big-screen debut at an event like the New Film Festival.
Some have suggested instead that the Fed try to achieve a "neutral" approach to purchasing securities across the yield curve, a tricky feat to say the least. After all, reading markets can be difficult.
When I saw the new, post-makeover CW recently, I was ecstatic to say the least. The colors, design and layout of the material immediately made me want to pick up the issue and read, read, read.
His passion for working with the various subject matters we deal with was inspiring to say the least. He is one of the main reasons for the esteem I have for the scientists who make up this industry.
One word of caution: The area around the subway stop is dicey, to say the least, so keep your hand on your wallet until you get to rue des Rosiers, where the different antique markets are located.
To say the least, the newspaper and TV coverage were not positive looks into the metalcasting world.
A sampling from embark.com, a college preparation Web site, shows the conditions are sometimes very particular, to say the least.--Tom Kuntz
But by all accounts, most of these adoptions have been difficult, to say the least. Apart from the "normal" turbulence generated by such a major institutional change, we have also seen plenty of disasters (even a couple in the multimillion-dollar range): projects that went so far over budget and past deadlines that they had to be completely discarded; software companies that were sued; users who were left disappointed and cynical; and at least one investigation by a state inspector general.