1 determiner
1 most recent; the nearest one to the present time: I haven't seen you since the last meeting. | last night/week/year etc: Did you watch the game on TV last night? | Fashion has changed in the last twenty years. | (the) last time (=the most recentoccasion): The last time I spoke to Bob he seemed happy enough.
-compare next 1 (2)
2 happening or existing at the end, with no others after: I didn't read the last chapter of the book. | Anna was the last person to see him alive.
3 remaining after all others have gone, been used etc: Is this your last cigarette? | These are the last four birds of their kind still in existence.
4 the last person/thing
a) one that you did not expect at all: She's the last person I'd expect to meet in a disco.
b) one that you do not want at all, that is most unsuitable etc: The last thing we wanted was for the newspapers to find out what was going on.
5 last thing (at night) at the very end of the day: Take a couple of these pills last thing at night to help you get to sleep.
6 on your last legs informal
a) very tired: Sarah looks as if she's on her last legs.
b) very ill and likely to die soon
7 on its last legs informal old or in bad condition, and likely to stop working soon: We'll have to get a new lawn mower this year - the old one is really on its last legs.
8 have the last word
a) to make the last statement in an argument, which gives you an advantage
b) to be the person who makes the final decision on something: The finance committee always has the last word on expenditure.
9 be the last word in to be the best, most modern, or most comfortable example of something: It's the last word in luxury holidays.
2 adverb
1 most recently before now: When I last saw her, she was working in New York.
2 after everything or everyone else: They told me I'd be interviewed last. | Mix together flour, butter, and sugar, and add the eggs last. | last of all (=used when giving a final point or piece of information): Last of all, I'd like to thank the catering staff for a splendid meal.
3 last but not least used when mentioning the last person or thing in a list, to emphasize that they are still important: Last but not least, let me introduce Jane, our new secretary.
3 noun, pronoun
1 the last the person or thing that comes after all the others: He was the first to arrive and the last to leave. | I think this box is the last.
2 at (long) last if something happens at last, it happens after you have waited a long time: I'm so pleased that Jane's managed to get a job at last.
-see lastly
3 the day/week/year etc before last the day, week etc before the one that has just finished: I sent the letter off the week before last.
4 the last of the remaining parts of something: Joan took the last of the meat from the dish and passed it to her mother.
5 haven't heard the last of if you have not heard the last of a problem, it has not yet finished and it may cause problems for you in the future: I have a nasty feeling we haven't heard the last of this.
6 the last I heard spoken used to tell someone the most recent news that you know about a person or situation: The last I heard, she was going back to college to study law.
7 to the last formal until the end of an event or the end of someone's life: He died in 1987, insisting to the last he was innocent.
4 verb
1 (intransitive always + adv/prep, linking verb) to continue for a particular length of time
(+ for/until/through etc): The hot weather lasted for the whole month of June. | last an hour/ten minutes etc: Each lesson lasts an hour. | The ceasefire didn't last long.
2 (I) to continue to exist or remain in good condition for a long time: This good weather won't last. | We wondered whether all this concern about the environment would really last.
3 (intransitive + adv/prep) to manage to remain in the same situation, even when this is difficult: They won't be able to last much longer without fresh supplies. | The new manager is very inexperienced - I doubt if he'll last long.
4 (linking verb) to be enough for someone to use: last (sb) two days/three weeks etc: The water supply should last another 48 hours. | We only had $50 to last us the rest of the month.
5 noun (C) a piece of wood or metal shaped like a human foot, used by a shoemaker

Longman dictionary of contemporary English. 2004.

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