# "at most" vs. "at least" [closed]

I tend to use two phrases randomly with speech but I'd like know to what's exactly the difference between the two?

Let's suppose for example:

• Spend at most \$20 on the lunch.
• Spend at least \$20 on the lunch.

It seems in both the cases someone will spend \$20.

• Well someone might spend exactly \$20, in either case. But it's much more likely, given those criteria and a bit of human nature, that the first bill will be \$19.99, and the second significantly higher.
– JHCL
Sep 11, 2015 at 14:40

## 2 Answers

At most means maximum, whereas at least means minimum. They are not both going to spend \$20 on lunch. One will spend more money and the other will spend less.

• Agreed. In some ways, the two phrases are exact opposites... or mathematically: lunch <= \$20 OR lunch >= \$20 Sep 26, 2013 at 21:58

For 'at least', you may spend the minimum of \$20. 'at most', the maximum of \$20 and not more than that amount.

• True, but how is OP or anyone else reading this answer supposed to know it's true? If I posted the exact opposite answer, how could someone distinguish between them? Please include a couple of dictionary definitions for max/min in your answer (you may use the edit feature). Name the specific dictionary, and link back to it if possible. Apr 1, 2016 at 16:46