Definition of be able to hold a candle to in English:

be able to hold a candle to

phrase

informal
  • with negative Be nearly as good as.

    ‘nobody in the final could hold a candle to her’
    • ‘After all, I was writing only small bits of code; nothing I did could hold a candle to what a real program, running on the desktop of someone's computer, could do.’
    • ‘The surprise 25th birthday party my husband threw for me was unbelievable, but it couldn't hold a candle to this night.’
    • ‘Actually, this brand can't hold a candle to serious European dark chocolates, but it's fine in a pinch.’
    • ‘I'd return the favor but you know I couldn't hold a candle to you.’
    • ‘Kiffmeyer obviously can't hold a candle to Harris's achievements.’
    • ‘It was felt that the shadow he cast was so great, there couldn't possibly be a composer who could hold a candle to his colossal talent.’
    • ‘Maybe it's because he knows most of the groups clogging up the airwaves today can't hold a candle to his songwriting skills.’
    • ‘At that time, Ric couldn't hold a candle to what they were doing.’
    • ‘But for me, they still can't hold a candle to the old Liverpool team of the late 70s and early 80s.’
    • ‘He dropped out of school at 16 because books couldn't hold a candle to golf and began studying visiting professionals.’