at\ the\ best

• at best
• at the best
adv. phr.
1. Under the best conditions; as the best possibility.

A coal miner's job is dirty and dangerous at best.

We can't get to New York before ten o'clock at best.

Compare: at most Contrast: at worst
2. In the most favorable way of looking at something; even saying the best about the thing.

The treasurer had at best been careless with the club's money, but most people thought he had been dishonest.

Словарь американских идиом. — СПб., Изд-во "Лань". . 1997.

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