Conservative vs Least - What's the difference?

conservative | least |

As a proper noun conservative

is conservative party.

As a determiner least is

(little);the smallest amount of [something.

As an adverb least is

used for forming superlatives of adjectives, especially those that do not form the superlative by adding -est .




(en noun)
  • A person who favors maintenance of the status quo or reversion to some earlier status.
  • (US, economics) A fiscal conservative
  • (US, politics) A political conservative
  • (US, social sciences) A social conservative.
  • Synonyms

    * traditionalist * right-winger

    Coordinate terms

    * moderate, liberal, progressive, libertarian, centrist


    (en adjective)
  • Tending to resist change or innovation.
  • The curriculum committee at this university is extremely conservative .
  • Based on pessimistic assumptions.
  • At a conservative estimate, growth may even be negative next year.
  • (US, economics, politics, social sciences) Supporting some combination of fiscal, political or social conservatism.
  • (US, politics) Relating to the Republican Party, regardless of its conservatism.
  • (British, politics) Relating to the Conservative Party.
  • * 1830 , Quarterly Rev.
  • We have always been conscientiously attached to what is called the Tory, and which might with more propriety be called the Conservative , party.
  • (physics, notcomp) Neither creating nor destroying a given quantity.
  • Having power to preserve in a safe or entire state, or from loss, waste, or injury; preservative.
  • See also

    * ("conservative" on Wikipedia) * Labour Party * liberal * Republican party * Tory ----




    (en-det) (comparative less)
  • (little);The smallest amount of [something .
  • * 1857 , (Edmund March Blunt), The American Coast Pilot: Containing Directions for the Principal Harbors , E. & G.W. Blunt, page 135:
  • The least water we could find there was 4 fathoms, which bears from the point S.E., and is distant 1½ mile.
  • * John Duncan, Duncan's Travels
  • To have demolished and rebuilt the walls, would have been a very costly expedient, and as the least of two evils, the painter's brush was resorted to; here and there however, above some of the windows, the black wreathings of the smoke are still discernible through the white covering.
  • * , chapter=5
  • , title= Mr. Pratt's Patients , passage=“Well,” I says, “I cal'late a body could get used to Tophet if he stayed there long enough.” ¶ She flared up; the least mite of a slam at Doctor Wool was enough to set her going.}}
  • *{{quote-book, year=1959, author=(Georgette Heyer), title=(The Unknown Ajax), chapter=1
  • , passage=Charles had not been employed above six months at Darracott Place, but he was not such a whopstraw as to make the least noise in the performance of his duties when his lordship was out of humour.}}
  • * 2004 , Jim Baggott, Beyond Measure: Modern Physics, Philosophy, and the Meaning of Quantum Theory , Oxford University Press, page 48:
  • Light does not need to know in advance which is the path of least time because it takes all paths from its source to its destination.

    Usage notes

    Some grammarians recommend to use least'' only with uncountable nouns, as in the examples above with the ''smallest amount of sense: * 1965 , H. W. Fowler, Fowler’s Modern English Usage: Second Edition : *: [W]hen the context—unemotional statement of everyday facts—is taken into account, at a less price'' ought to be ''at a lower price'', and ''a lesser prize'' ought to be ''a smaller prize . To such grammarians least'' is the superlative of ''a little'', not that of ''little'', so it does not mean ''smallest'', but ''the smallest amount of''. With plural nouns, they recommend ''fewest .


  • Used for forming superlatives of adjectives, especially those that do not form the superlative by adding -est .
  • It was the least surprising thing.
  • In the smallest or lowest degree; in a degree below all others.
  • to reward those who least deserve it


    * most

    Derived terms

    (terms derived from "least") * at least * last but not least * least bittern * least common denominator * least flycatcher * least of all * least resistance * least sandpiper * least shrew * least upper bound * least weasel * log-linear least-squares method * method of least squares * not the least bit * path of least resistance * to say the least