at best

Idioms & Phrases

at best

Under the most favorable circumstances, as in At best we'll be just one week behind schedule, or Cleaning out the attic is a tedious job at best. This idiom, formerly also put as at the best, today is most often used in situations that are actually far from ideal, as in the examples above. [First half of 1300s] For an antonym, see at worst.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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