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Best definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BEST, a. superlative. [Eng.but;] Literally, most advanced, Hence,
1. Most good; having good qualities in the highest degree; applied indifferently to physical or moral subjects; as, the best man; the best road; the best cloth; the best abilities. This, like most, and other attributes, is often used without its noun, when the noun is obvious; as, men are all sinners; the best of them fail in the performance of duty.
2. Most advanced; most accurate; as the best scholar.
3. Most correct or complete; as the best view of a landscape, or of a subject.
4. The best. This phrase is elliptical, and may be variously interpreted; as, the utmost power; the strongest endeavor; the most, the highest perfection; as, let a man do his best; let him do a thing to the best of his power.
5. At best, in the best manner, in the utmost degree or extent, applicable to the case; as, life is at best very short.
To make the best of, to carry to its greatest perfection; to improve to the utmost; as, to make the best of a sum of money, or a piece of land. Also, to permit the least possible inconvenience; as, to make the best of ill fortune or a bad bargain.
The best of the way. We had made the best of our way to the city; that is, the most, the greatest part of the distance. [This is the primary sense of the word.]
BEST, adv. In the highest degree; beyond all other; as, to love one best; to like this best; to please best.
1. To the advantage; with the most ease; as,"which instrument can you best use?"
2. With most profit or success; as, money is best employed in manufactures; this medicine will answer best in the present case.
3. Most intimately or particularly; most correctly; as, what is expedient is best known to himself.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: (superlative of `good') having the most positive qualities; "the best film of the year"; "the best solution"; "the best time for planting"; "wore his best suit" [ant: worst]
2: (comparative and superlative of `well') wiser or more advantageous and hence advisable; "it would be better to speak to him"; "the White House thought it best not to respond" [syn: better, best] n
1: the supreme effort one can make; "they did their best" [ant: worst]
2: the person who is most outstanding or excellent; someone who tops all others; "he could beat the best of them" [syn: best, topper]
3: Canadian physiologist (born in the United States) who assisted F. G. Banting in research leading to the discovery of insulin (1899-1978) [syn: Best, C. H. Best, Charles Herbert Best] v
1: get the better of; "the goal was to best the competition" [syn: outdo, outflank, trump, best, scoop] adv
1: in a most excellent way or manner; "he played best after a couple of martinis"
2: it would be sensible; "you'd best stay at home"
3: from a position of superiority or authority; "father knows best"; "I know better." [syn: better, best]

Merriam Webster's

biographical name Charles Herbert 1899-1978 Canadian (American-born) physiologist

Merriam Webster's

I. adjective, superlative of good Etymology: Middle English, from Old English betst; akin to Old English b?t remedy more at better Date: before 12th century 1. excelling all others <the best student> 2. most productive of good ; offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction <what is the best thing to do> 3. most, largest <it rained for the best part of their vacation> II. adverb, superlative of well Date: before 12th century 1. in the best way ; to greatest advantage <some things are best left unsaid> 2. most <those best able will provide needed support> III. noun (plural best) Date: before 12th century 1. the best state or part 2. one that is best <the best falls short> 3. the greatest degree of good or excellence 4. a. one's maximum effort <do your best> b. a best performance or achievement <ran a new personal best> 5. best clothes <Sunday best> IV. transitive verb Date: 1863 to get the better of ; outdo V. verbal auxiliary Date: 1914 had best <you best listen>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

adj., adv., n., & v. --adj. (superl. of GOOD) of the most excellent or outstanding or desirable kind (my best work; the best solution; the best thing to do would be to confess). --adv. (superl. of WELL(1)). 1 in the best manner (does it best). 2 to the greatest degree (like it best). 3 most usefully (is best ignored). --n. 1 that which is best (the best is yet to come). 2 the chief merit or advantage (brings out the best in him). 3 (foll. by of) a winning majority of (a certain number of games etc. played) (the best of five). 4 = Sunday best. --v.tr. colloq. defeat, outwit, outbid, etc. Phrases and idioms: all the best an expression used to wish a person good fortune. as best one can (or may) as effectively as possible under the circumstances. at best on the most optimistic view. at one's best in peak condition etc. at the best of times even in the most favourable circumstances. be for (or all for) the best be desirable in the end. best end of neck the rib end of a neck of lamb etc. for cooking. best man the bridegroom's chief attendant at a wedding. the best part of most of. best seller 1 a book or other item that has sold in large numbers. 2 the author of such a book. do one's best do all one can. get the best of defeat, outwit. give a person the best admit the superiority of that person. had best would find it wisest to. make the best of derive what limited advantage one can from (something unsatisfactory or unwelcome); put up with. to the best of one's ability, knowledge , etc. as far as one can do, know, etc. with the best of them as well as anyone. Etymology: OE betest (adj.), bet(o)st (adv.), f. Gmc

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Best Best (b[e^]st), a.; superl. of Good. [AS. besta, best, contr. from betest, betst, betsta; akin to Goth. batists, OHG. pezzisto, G. best, beste, D. best, Icel. beztr, Dan. best, Sw. b["a]st. This word has no connection in origin with good. See Better.] 1. Having good qualities in the highest degree; most good, kind, desirable, suitable, etc.; most excellent; as, the best man; the best road; the best cloth; the best abilities. When he is best, he is a little worse than a man. --Shak. Heaven's last, best gift, my ever new delight. --Milton. 2. Most advanced; most correct or complete; as, the best scholar; the best view of a subject. 3. Most; largest; as, the best part of a week. Best man, the only or principal groomsman at a wedding ceremony.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Best Best, n. Utmost; highest endeavor or state; most nearly perfect thing, or being, or action; as, to do one's best; to the best of our ability. At best, in the utmost degree or extent applicable to the case; under the most favorable circumstances; as, life is at best very short. For best, finally. [Obs.] ``Those constitutions . . . are now established for best, and not to be mended.'' --Milton. To get the best of, to gain an advantage over, whether fairly or unfairly. To make the best of. (a) To improve to the utmost; to use or dispose of to the greatest advantage. ``Let there be freedom to carry their commodities where they can make the best of them.'' --Bacon. (b) To reduce to the least possible inconvenience; as, to make the best of ill fortune or a bad bargain.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Best Best, adv.; superl. of Well. 1. In the highest degree; beyond all others. ``Thou serpent! That name best befits thee.'' --Milton. He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both great and small. --Coleridge. 2. To the most advantage; with the most success, case, profit, benefit, or propriety. Had we best retire? I see a storm. --Milton. Had I not best go to her? --Thackeray. 3. Most intimately; most thoroughly or correctly; as, what is expedient is best known to himself.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Best Best, v. t. To get the better of. [Colloq.]

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Good Good, a. [Compar. Better; superl. Best. These words, though used as the comparative and superlative of good, are from a different root.] [AS. G[=o]d, akin to D. goed, OS. g[=o]d, OHG. guot, G. gut, Icel. g[=o][eth]r, Sw. & Dan. god, Goth. g[=o]ds; prob. orig., fitting, belonging together, and akin to E. gather. [root]29 Cf. Gather.] 1. Possessing desirable qualities; adapted to answer the end designed; promoting success, welfare, or happiness; serviceable; useful; fit; excellent; admirable; commendable; not bad, corrupt, evil, noxious, offensive, or troublesome, etc. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. --Gen. i. 31. Good company, good wine, good welcome. --Shak. 2. Possessing moral excellence or virtue; virtuous; pious; religious; -- said of persons or actions. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works. --Tit. ii. 7. 3. Kind; benevolent; humane; merciful; gracious; polite; propitious; friendly; well-disposed; -- often followed by to or toward, also formerly by unto. The men were very good unto us. --1 Sam. xxv. 15. 4. Serviceable; suited; adapted; suitable; of use; to be relied upon; -- followed especially by for. All quality that is good for anything is founded originally in merit. --Collier. 5. Clever; skillful; dexterous; ready; handy; -- followed especially by at. He . . . is a good workman; a very good tailor. --Shak. Those are generally good at flattering who are good for nothing else. --South. 6. Adequate; sufficient; competent; sound; not fallacious; valid; in a commercial sense, to be depended on for the discharge of obligations incurred; having pecuniary ability; of unimpaired credit. My reasons are both good and weighty. --Shak. My meaning in saying he is a good man is . . . that he is sufficient . . . I think I may take his bond. --Shak. 7. Real; actual; serious; as in the phrases in good earnest; in good sooth. Love no man in good earnest. --Shak. 8. Not small, insignificant, or of no account; considerable; esp., in the phrases a good deal, a good way, a good degree, a good share or part, etc. 9. Not lacking or deficient; full; complete. Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. --Luke vi. 38. 10. Not blemished or impeached; fair; honorable; unsullied; as in the phrases a good name, a good report, good repute, etc. A good name is better than precious ointment. --Eccl. vii. 1. As good as. See under As. For good, or For good and all, completely and finally; fully; truly. The good woman never died after this, till she came to die for good and all. --L'Estrange. Good breeding, polite or polished manners, formed by education; a polite education. Distinguished by good humor and good breeding. --Macaulay. Good cheap, literally, good bargain; reasonably cheap. Good consideration (Law). (a) A consideration of blood or of natural love and affection. --Blackstone. (b) A valuable consideration, or one which will sustain a contract. Good fellow, a person of companionable qualities. [Familiar] Good folk, or Good people, fairies; brownies; pixies, etc. [Colloq. Eng. & Scot.] Good for nothing. (a) Of no value; useless; worthless. (b) Used substantively, an idle, worthless person. My father always said I was born to be a good for nothing. --Ld. Lytton. Good Friday, the Friday of Holy Week, kept in some churches as a fast, in memoory of our Savior's passion or suffering; the anniversary of the crucifixion. Good humor, or Good-humor, a cheerful or pleasant temper or state of mind. Good nature, or Good-nature, habitual kindness or mildness of temper or disposition; amiability; state of being in good humor. The good nature and generosity which belonged to his character. --Macaulay. The young count's good nature and easy persuadability were among his best characteristics. --Hawthorne. Good people. See Good folk (above). Good speed, good luck; good success; godspeed; -- an old form of wishing success. See Speed. Good turn, an act of kidness; a favor. Good will. (a) Benevolence; well wishing; kindly feeling. (b) (Law) The custom of any trade or business; the tendency or inclination of persons, old customers and others, to resort to an established place of business; the advantage accruing from tendency or inclination. The good will of a trade is nothing more than the probability that the old customers will resort to the old place. --Lord Eldon. In good time. (a) Promptly; punctually; opportunely; not too soon nor too late. (b) (Mus.) Correctly; in proper time. To hold good, to remain true or valid; to be operative; to remain in force or effect; as, his promise holds good; the condition still holds good. To make good, to fulfill; to establish; to maintain; to supply (a defect or deficiency); to indemmify; to prove or verify (an accusation); to prove to be blameless; to clear; to vindicate. Each word made good and true. --Shak. Of no power to make his wishes good. --Shak. I . . . would by combat make her good. --Shak. Convenient numbers to make good the city. --Shak. To think good, to approve; to be pleased or satisfied with; to consider expedient or proper. If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. --Zech. xi. 12. Note: Good, in the sense of wishing well, is much used in greeting and leave-taking; as, good day, good night, good evening, good morning, etc.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English. 1. Best is the superlative of good. If you want further information the best thing to do is have a word with the driver as you get on the bus... It's not the best place to live if you wish to develop your knowledge and love of mountains. 2. Best is the superlative of well. James Fox is best known as the author of White Mischief. 3. The best is used to refer to things of the highest quality or standard. We offer only the best to our clients... He'll have the best of care. ? worst N-SING: the N 4. Someone's best is the greatest effort or highest achievement or standard that they are capable of. Miss Blockey was at her best when she played the piano... One needs to be a first-class driver to get the best out of that sort of machinery. N-SING: oft poss N 5. If you say that something is the best that can be done or hoped for, you think it is the most pleasant, successful, or useful thing that can be done or hoped for. A draw seems the best they can hope for... The best we can do is try to stay cool and muddle through. N-SING: the N 6. If you like something best or like it the best, you prefer it. The thing I liked best about the show was the music... Mother liked it best when Daniel got money... What was the role you loved the best? = most ADV: ADV after v, oft the ADV 7. Best is used to form the superlative of compound adjectives beginning with 'good' and 'well'. For example, the superlative of 'well-known' is 'best-known'. 8. see also second best, Sunday best 9. You can say 'All the best' when you are saying goodbye to someone, or at the end of a letter. Wish him all the best, and tell him we miss him. CONVENTION [formulae] 10. You use best of all to indicate that what you are about to mention is the thing that you prefer or that has most advantages out of all the things you have mentioned. It was comfortable and cheap: best of all, most of the rent was being paid by two American friends. PHRASE: PHR with cl/group 11. If someone does something as best they can, they do it as well as they can, although it is very difficult. The older people were left to carry on as best they could. PHRASE: V inflects, PHR after v 12. You use at best to indicate that even if you describe something as favourably as possible or if it performs as well as it possibly can, it is still not very good. This policy, they say, is at best confused and at worst non-existent... PHRASE: PHR with cl/group 13. If you do your best or try your best to do something, you try as hard as you can to do it, or do it as well as you can. I'll do my best to find out... It wasn't her fault, she was trying her best to help... PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR to-inf 14. If you say that something is for the best, you mean it is the most desirable or helpful thing that could have happened or could be done, considering all the circumstances. Whatever the circumstances, parents are supposed to know what to do for the best. PHRASE: PHR after v, v-link PHR 15. If two people are the best of friends, they are close friends, especially when they have had a disagreement or fight in the past. Magda is now married to George Callerby and we are the best of friends. PHRASE: usu v-link PHR 16. If you say that a particular person knows best, you mean that they have a lot of experience and should therefore be trusted to make decisions for other people. He was convinced that doctors and dentists knew best. PHRASE: V inflects 17. If you make the best of something, you accept an unsatisfactory situation cheerfully and try to manage as well as you can. In British English, you can also say that you make the best of a bad job. She instilled in the children the virtues of good hard work, and making the best of what you have. PHRASE: V inflects 18. to the best of your ability: see ability to hope for the best: see hope to the best of your knowledge: see knowledge best of luck: see luck the best part: see part at the best of times: see time the best of both worlds: see world

International Standard Bible Encyclopedia

Of five Hebrew originals the chief is Tobh, "good," expressing quality, character. Variously used of objects pleasing to the senses, feelings, mind, moral sense, e.g. "best of the land" (Ge 47:6); "of sheep" (1Sa 15:9); of persons "married to whom they think best" (Nu 36:6); of abode, "where it liketh (the Revised Version (British and American) "pleaseth") him best" (De 23:16).

In Nu 18:12 the revenues of the priests were to be "holy gifts," e.g. the "best of the oil," etc. (chelebh, "fat"); also 18:29,30,32, the gifts of the heave-offering were to be "of all the best," indicating that the richest elements of life were to go into the support and service of the sanctuary. So "the choice (best) fruits" (zimrah, literally, "the song of the land"), a beautifully poetic expression for the most celebrated fruits (Ge 43:11); equally choice is pazaz, "separate," "the finest (best) gold," hence "purified" (1Ki 10:18).

Used but twice in the New Testament:

(1) of spiritual gifts ((kreitton, "better" the Revised Version (British and American) "greater"); 1Co 12:31);

(2) of raiment (protos, "first"), "best robe" (Lu 15:22), of special significance as expressing the Father's lavish love for the repentant and returning sinner.

Dwight M. Pratt

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. a. 1. Most good, most excellent, superlatively good, good in the highest degree. 2. Most wise, most judicious, most expedient. See the various meanings of Good. II. ad. 1. Most of all, in the highest degree, beyond all others. 2. With most propriety, most profitably or advantageously, to the greatest advantage. 3. Most intimately, most thoroughly, most completely. 4. With the highest qualification, by the clearest title. III. n. 1. Highest perfection, highest good, greatest good. 2. Utmost, highest endeavor, whatever in one lies, all that one can, the most that can be done.

1811 Dictionary of the Vulgar Tongue

To the best in Christendom: i.e. the best **** in Christendom; a health formerly much in vogue.

Moby Thesaurus

aristocracy, barons, bear the palm, beat, beat all hollow, beat hollow, better, bottom, cap, champion, choice, chosen, clobber, conquer, cream, crush, cut, defeat, destroy, do in, drub, elect, elite, establishment, exceed, excel, excellent, exemplar, fat, finery, finest, first, first-class, first-rate, fix, flower, for the best, foremost, gem, giveaway, go one better, greater, greatest, half-price, handpicked, hide, highest, hors de combat, improve on, kindest, lambaste, largest, lather, lick, lords of creation, lowest, marked down, master, matchless, maximal, maximum, model, most, nobility, nonesuch, nonpareil, optimal, optimum, outclass, outdo, outfight, outgeneral, outmaneuver, outpoint, outrun, outsail, outshine, outstrip, outweigh, outwit, overbalance, overbear, overcome, overlapping, overpass, overpower, overtop, overwhelm, paragon, paramount, pattern, peerless, perfect, pick, picked, power elite, power structure, predominate, preponderate, prevail, prevail over, pride, prime, primrose, prize, put, queen, quintessence, quintessential, reduced, richest, rise above, rock-bottom, rout, ruin, ruling circles, ruling class, sacrificial, select, settle, skin, skin alive, slashed, subdue, superb, superior, superlative, supreme, surmount, surpass, surpassing, take the cake, the best, the best ever, the best people, the brass, the tops, the very best, thrash, tip-top, top, top people, top-notch, topmost, tower above, tower over, transcend, trim, triumph, triumph over, trounce, trump, undo, unexcelled, unmatchable, unmatched, unparalleled, unsurpassed, upper class, upper crust, uppermost, utmost, vanquish, very best, wealthiest, whip, win, worst


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