Synonyms of 'minimal'
effective defence with minimal expenditure
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You use the least to mean a smaller amount than anyone or anything else, or the smallest amount possible.
If you like cheese, go for the ones with the least fat.
You use minimum to describe an amount which is the smallest that is possible, allowed, or required.
He was only five feet nine, the minimum height for a policeman.
Thesaurus for minimal from the Collins English Thesaurus
Something that is minimal is very small in quantity, value, or degree .