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Yours, Etc.: Origins and Uses of 8 Sign-Offs

in the least

Also, in the slightest. At all, in the smallest degree. These terms are nearly always used in a negative context. For example, I don't care in the least what you do with the money, or It doesn't matter in the slightest whether or not you attend. [ c. 1600 ]
They may also be put as not in the least or not in the slightest, as in I am not in the least worried about the outcome, or The heat doesn't bother me in the slightest. In the least dates from about 1600; in the slightest has been used in the sense of “emphatically unimportant or trifling” since the late 1500s.
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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