Not the least of which...

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yasemn

New Member
Turkish
Hi,

I couldn't understand the meaning of this sentence;
''Not the least of which are the two murders that happened here''
I would be pleasure if you can help.
Thanks in advance :)
 
  • gquixote

    Senior Member
    English
    Not the least of which means that of all the things talked about, the two murders were very serious things.

    Could you provide more context? It would help me to explain fully.
     

    yasemn

    New Member
    Turkish
    Not the least of which means that of all the things talked about, the two murders were very serious things.

    Could you provide more context? It would help me to explain fully.
    I'd heard this sentence in a soap opera ,so I can't remember the context.But, so thanks for help, I suppose I understood the sentence now :)
     

    JulianStuart

    Senior Member
    English (UK then US)
    yasemn,
    Welcome!
    What you have quoted is not a complete sentence. The source is here.
    The previous sentence is
    My whole life, I suspected evil magic was real, that there was something more.
    The complete whole sentence is

    I've seem(sic) too many horrible things in the job to suspect otherwise, not the least of which are the two murders that happened here.
    It's a transcription and the error of "seem" when the correct word is "seen" has been copied all over the internet!

    "Not the least of which ..." is an example of litotes , It is "a figure of speech in which understatement is employed for rhetorical effect when an idea is expressed by a denial of its opposite, principally via double negatives." Here we have not and least as the two negatives. Thus gquixote's explanation means that the murders were very some of the most horrible things.
     

    grubble

    Senior Member
    British English
    Example

    There are three numbers in the following list [1, 5, 7], the least of which is "1", the greatest of which is "7"


    The numbers that are not the least are 5 and 7.


    So we could say, "In the above list there are three numbers, not the least of which are 5 and 7."

    Note that "which" in this example refers to "the list"
     
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