From the sentence:

Grave, taking life at its own face value and a little too seriously, with a deportment as unbending as it is "correct" , he is yet the least formidable of men.

Some people interpret "he is yet the least formidable of men" as he is not formidable at all in the crowd. But seems that the "yet" means "still" would be more natural. So what is the meaning of it? Is it different from "he is the least formidable yet "?

  • 'Yet' here means 'even so' - so, yes, it does mean that he is not formidable. – Kate Bunting May 4 '17 at 9:12
  • @KateBunting In a dictionary , it is said that 'yet' used with comparatives means 'even',but 'ever' with superlatives . But the examples I having found always go like 'the biggest boots yet'. 'the least' doesn't have negative meaning, but 'not the least' means 'not at all'. So I am not sure which statement I should pick up. – Maigebaoer May 4 '17 at 9:49
  • @Maigebaoer: I agree with your interpretation of 'Yet' as Still. – Bhoomika Arora May 4 '17 at 10:04
  • Please take care with nested quotes. That is hard to follow. Edit suggested. – Tom Kelly May 25 '17 at 10:13

The meaning is very similar but what you suggest. In this case "yet" is a contradiction rather than referring to time. It's fallen out of use so it comes across as old fashioned. You can essentially read "he is yet" as an archaic form of "but he is".

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