From looking on yandex and other dictionaries I've seen a number of definitions of хоть:

  1. 'at least,' 'if nothing else' as in если не для него, то хоть для его товарища
  2. 'for example,' 'for instance' as in Возьмите хоть его друга
  3. 'although,' 'though' as in хоть она и устала, она продолжала работать.
  4. 'even' as in Я бы хотел иметь хоть часть этих денег

While I can understand the usage of хоть in all these sentences, its meaning becomes less clear in sentences like the following:

Я приду помочь вам хоть в чем-то translated as 'I'll come help you in a little bit'

В доме есть хоть что-нибудь поесть? translated as 'Is there something to eat at home?'

Он думал о том, как ему вставить хоть слово. translated as 'He thought about getting the word out'

У тебя есть хоть какая-нибудь идея, почему это произошло? translated as 'Have you any idea why it happened?'

None of the instances of хоть in these sentences seem to correspond to the definitions given in 1-4. How can the usage of хоть in these sentences be explained? Also, is there a difference in the usage of хоть and хотя?

3 Answers 3


In all the examples of the 2nd section "хоть" means "at least".


  1. Я приду помочь вам хоть в чем-то - literally means "I'll come help you at least with something" (=maybe I can't help you with all things but anyway can do something for you).
  2. ... (=maybe not many food, but at least something to eat)
  3. ... (=he realised he couldn't interrupt a talking person by a whole sentence but tried to understand if he could say at least a word during talking person's speech)
  4. ... (=it's not so easy to think of many ideas about it, but do you have at least one idea)

If you misunderstand something about the above examples, write in comments, I'll try to explain more clearly.

About "хоть" and "хотя".

Sometimes they are synonyms (when "хоть" means "though"): Хоть (=хотя) ты мне друг, я не дам тебе ключи. - Though you're my friend, I won't give you the keys. But sometimes "хотя" instead of "хоть" sounds a bit unnatural and it's hard to explain all the nuances (but sure, it's ok for foreigners, I know that my English sounds unnatural too :) )

If "хоть" means "at least" or "even", its synonym would be ("хотя бы") but NOT "хотя".

If "хоть" means "for example", neither "хотя" nor "хотя бы" instead would sound ok.

  • 3
    +1 but хотя бы as for example is fine
    – jwalker
    Jan 13, 2016 at 5:23
  • @jwalker ah, yup, that's right. Sorry for missing it in the answer. Jan 13, 2016 at 13:22
  • Thank you for your response, I think that clears things up. Jan 14, 2016 at 0:09
  • I'm trying to edit the last sentence, taking into account the comments. The sentence currently reads like this: <If "хоть" means "for example", neither "хотя" nor "хотя бы" instead would sound ok.> Do you mean this? (1) <If "хоть" means "for example", "хотя" is not correct, but "хотя бы" would sound ok.> Or this? (2) <If "хоть" means "for example", neither "хотя" nor "хотя бы" would sound ok.> Based on the discussion in the comments so far, I think that (1) is correct, but I'm not sure.
    – Alan
    Dec 17, 2017 at 23:36

Two more meanings not explicitly mentioned here.

  1. Even if (something happens)

Мне лягушку хоть сахаром облепи, не возьму её в рот... (Гоголь, "Мёртвые души")

(Even if you cover that frog with sugar for me, I'll never eat it.)

  1. Be it [one thing] or [another] ("хоть, ... хоть..." - double or multiple usage of хоть)

Хоть в дождь, хоть в снег - команда выйдет на поле.

(Be it rain or snow, the team will play.)

  • Okay, thank you for your response. I particularly like your dead souls quote. Jan 14, 2016 at 0:09

Yes, your dictionary is incomplete. Хоть is not restricted to concessive (though/although; even though; either ... or) or limiting (for instance) particles.

Хоть could also be an intensifying particle similar to either at least, or even, or any / no matter what (with indefinite and relative pronouns). In your examples 1, 3 it means "at least"; in 2, 4 - "any / no matter what".

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