Every animal down to the humblest

lagoo

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Joined
Feb 5, 2017
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Student or Learner
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Chinese
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China
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China
Hello,

"Every animal down to the humblest worked at turning the hay and gathering it."

Source: Animal Farm by George Orwell


What does “down to the humblest” here mean?
Could you give me another example regarding “down to”?
 

emsr2d2

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Jul 28, 2009
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English Teacher
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British English
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UK
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UK
If you consider a hierarchy of animals - perhaps lions at the top and ants at the bottom - all the animals, even the ones at the bottom of the hierarchy, helped. The animals at the bottom would be called the "humblest". A hierarchy is usually viewed as going from top to bottom so you would go "down to" the ants at the bottom.

(I know there aren't any lions or ants in Animal Farm but you get the idea, I hope.)
 
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