Definition of best in English:



  • 1Of the most excellent or desirable type or quality.

    ‘the best midfielder in the country’
    ‘how to obtain the best results from your machine’
    ‘her best black suit’
    • ‘This shows, for example, that the best plants can be up to six times more productive than the worst.’
    • ‘The team manager will want to pick the very best squad open to him.’
    • ‘It was only appropriate that the crucial touchdown should come from the best player on view yesterday.’
    • ‘The injury to the world's best fast bowler has cast the Ashes battle in a completely new light.’
    • ‘One of the biggest benefits for any rookie is the opportunity to study some of the world's best players close up.’
    • ‘It's pretty much the best political satire that is going on on US TV at the moment.’
    • ‘She wants to buy her friend the very best present in the whole wide world.’
    • ‘The spacious L-shaped living room to the rear is one of the property's best features.’
    • ‘In fact her son Lindsay was Rebecca's very best friend when they were small children.’
    • ‘He is a journalist and one of the very best cricket writers in the world today.’
    • ‘If you want to get close to the best British female surfer, you must brave the waves.’
    • ‘The alternative, he said, was to pay thousands of pounds premium for a property close to the best state schools.’
    • ‘Profitable routes get the best buses because that is where the money is made.’
    • ‘I saw it last week, and enjoyed it, but it's by no means even close to being the best film of 2002.’
    • ‘The best and most successful writers for children have the utmost respect for their young readers.’
    • ‘There is no doubt in my mind that it continues to be one of the very best military forces in the world.’
    • ‘We have the best political system in the world because it allows us to voice our criticisms without fear of reprisal.’
    • ‘The only way to survive this section of the evening is for the host to break open the very best wine in his cellar.’
    • ‘Only a few of the very best pedigree pigs can be kept for breeding.’
    • ‘We need to know our children are receiving the very best care from professional educationalists.’
    finest, greatest, top, foremost, leading, pre-eminent, premier, prime, first, chief, principal, supreme, of the highest quality, superlative, unrivalled, second to none, without equal, nonpareil, unsurpassed, unsurpassable, peerless, matchless, unparalleled, unbeaten, unbeatable, unexcelled, optimum, optimal, ultimate, surpassing, incomparable, ideal, perfect
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1Most enjoyable.
      ‘some of the best times of my life’
      • ‘So the best and most productive time, the most enjoyable time is from October to February.’
      • ‘How is it one can feel guilty about doing the best job in the world enjoyably and well?’
      • ‘Twenty nine cars participated in what was regarded as the best and most enjoyable hunt ever.’
      • ‘As anyone with half an ounce of gastro-chic will tell you, the very best time to eat at a restaurant is before it has opened.’
      • ‘I am struggling to work out what was the best bit of a thoroughly enjoyable night.’
      • ‘The best joke will be included in the script of the comedian's one of the forthcoming movies.’
      • ‘I had some straight from the oven - do try that if you make them, that was the very best part.’
      • ‘Sometimes it's best to sit close to the fire, looking into the coals, and beyond them.’
      • ‘It came close to being the best drive of my career and I felt happy with the Focus all the way through.’
      • ‘I wondered how I would look back on my life once I reached Nicholas’s age, so I asked him, "What was the best time of your life?"’
      • ‘He has devoted the best years of his life to preparing impromptu speeches.’
      • ‘We will have to wait until after the election for the next saga in the best political soap opera in history.’
      • ‘Almost everyone wanted to talk about their time at the university because it was the best time of their lives.’
      • ‘It's best in the spring when there are fewer people and it's not so brutally cold.’
      • ‘If you are only going out for one night my recommendation for the best night would have to be Friday night.’
      • ‘Plumb for an early or late-season break to breathe in the very best of the island's delights.’
      • ‘The party after the prizegiving was by common consent the best bash of the Fringe.’
      • ‘I'm having the best time of my life.’
    2. 1.2Most appropriate, advantageous, or well advised.
      ‘do whatever you think best’
      ‘it's best if we both go’
      • ‘This is the best and most effective mode in which to run your Virus scanner if your computer is infected.’
      • ‘Getting the whole picture gives us a much better vantage of making the very best decision possible.’
      • ‘As the bird could not fly properly she thought it best to take him in and look after him.’
      • ‘The best advice is to pre-book a cab from a reputable firm.’
      • ‘Research suggested the best strategy would be to take the vaccine in combination with conventional aids.’
      • ‘We take you through the options, suggest the best solutions for your needs, and point out the pitfalls.’
      • ‘Subjects covered included choosing a suitable pet and the best ways to handle and feed snakes and lizards.’
      • ‘In the ancient world, gold was preferred as the best metal for making jewellery.’
      • ‘While what he says may be true, admitting it publicly does not seem to be the best method of closing the psychological gap.’
      • ‘Even today you will find experts within the insurance world who will swear an endowment is the very best way to repay a homeloan.’
      • ‘The best course of action is to approach the bigger agencies for work experience.’
      • ‘Can you recommend the best website to create albums for others to view?’
      • ‘Again, your local garden centre will be able to recommend the best brands for your needs.’
      • ‘It goes without saying that the very best way to get at fish like this is with a boat.’
      • ‘When investing in shares, it is best to value every company on its own merit.’
      • ‘You are required to constantly assess the best course of action and think on your feet.’
      • ‘They persuaded him it would be best if he told the truth.’
      • ‘Similarly, he can determine the best routes for delivery trucks to avoid heavy traffic.’
      • ‘I read a good article the other day that suggests one of the best ways to lose weight is sleeping.’
      • ‘Earlier workshops focused on recommendations for the best ways to conduct tests.’
      most advantageous, most suitable, most fitting, most appropriate, most apt
      View synonyms


  • 1To the highest degree; most (used with verbs suggesting a desirable action or state or a successful outcome)

    ‘they named the pictures they liked best’
    ‘you knew him best’
    ‘well-drained soil suits this plant best’
    • ‘Every woman should wear what she feels suits her best.’
    • ‘What do you like best about your course?’
    • ‘Some of his best-known poems are about space travel.’
    • ‘Partial or dappled shade and soil enriched with plenty of leaf mould suits them best.’
    • ‘This is a historic and intimate account of life at the top of British politics by one of the men who knows it best.’
    most, to the greatest degree, to the highest degree
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1To the highest standard.
      ‘the best-dressed man in Britain’
      ‘the things we do best’
      • ‘The idea that they were always the best behaved in the world is almost a joke.’
      • ‘You can often make a good guess at this by looking at the season in which the plant grows best.’
      • ‘There will be a valuable prize for the best-dressed lady attending on the night.’
      • ‘Keeping focussed on what we do best is vital to success in business as well as politics.’
      • ‘It is considered one of the best-constructed buildings of the period, because it has survived many earthquakes and hurricanes.’
      • ‘They will perform best if planted in moist, well drained soil.’
      • ‘In every respect, and they rank among the best constructed lenses I have seen in medium format.’
      • ‘What's the best-constructed altimeter watch?’
      • ‘She is back to doing what she does best - partying.’
      • ‘In the space of less than an hour he gave us a lot of useful tips on how best to paint watercolours.’
      • ‘Even the best cooked pork can cause parasites in a dog.’
      • ‘I don't know which of Deb's suggestions will work best so I will use them all at once.’
      • ‘The new van has one of the best designed cabs, with a good level of standard equipment.’
      • ‘At the end of the year, the school gave a prize to the student who best excelled at those essays.’
      • ‘It was the hardest fought and best played contest of the series.’
      • ‘The Pentagon should be the best-defended building in the world.’
      • ‘Standard pub food is what it does best: Sunday roasts, chips, steak, sausages and mash.’
      • ‘There is also a great prize for the best and most suitably dressed lady at the Show.’
      • ‘As I mentioned below, this was probably the best played LSU game I have ever seen.’
      to the highest standard, in the best way
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2Most appropriately or usefully.
      ‘pruning is best done in spring’
      ‘jokes are best avoided in essays’
      • ‘Getting people to do that is the sort of thing best done by politicians, not by researchers.’
      • ‘Further research is needed to clarify when routine inquiry is appropriate and how best to implement it.’
      • ‘The club may need money but the long term financial interest of the club will be best served by success on the pitch.’
      • ‘Knowledge is best gained through an intimate association with the matter at hand.’
      • ‘Pruning is best done in early spring so as not to affect flowering which occurs between May and July.’
      • ‘Sundays, when even the swings in the children's playgrounds are padlocked, are best avoided.’
      • ‘It's a very easy bulb to grow and is best planted in clumps or groups.’
      • ‘Any uncooked fruit or vegetable is best avoided and remember be careful of shellfish.’
      • ‘Pot-grown evergreen shrubs are best planted before the end of this month.’
      • ‘Isn't the value of a society best judged by the culture it produces and consumes?’
      • ‘It's also easy to understand why it's best avoided on Sundays in July and August.’
      • ‘It's shaping up to be a very dull and repetitive show, best watched in fast forward.’
      • ‘But the term is best used properly, if it is to remain useful and not be voided of significance.’
      • ‘This illustrates a very important point about how to best judge the success of economic policy.’
      • ‘The flower stems tend to flop and I find it best grown through other plants or some twiggy sticks.’
      • ‘Religion and politics are apparently the two topics best avoided when engaging in polite conversation.’
      • ‘They need well-drained acid soil and sun or partial shade and are best pruned in March.’
      • ‘Part of the experiment will be to see at what age and at what time of year the plant is best harvested.’
      • ‘Appealing to the lowest common denominator is best done through basic instincts.’
      • ‘Those who have lived through the crisis are perhaps the best equipped to avoid a repeat of it.’
      ought to, should
      most sensibly, most prudently, most wisely, most suitably, most fittingly, most advantageously, most usefully
      View synonyms


  • 1That which is the most excellent, outstanding, or desirable.

    ‘buy the best you can afford’
    ‘Sarah always had to be the best at everything’
    ‘this film represents the best of mainstream popular cinema’
    • ‘For years it seemed we were condemned to live in an age where an ability to beat time properly was the best we could hope for.’
    • ‘He wants to be the best at everything he does, whether it be football or pool or golf.’
    • ‘The bagpipe players will get a chance to learn from the best at a workshop tomorrow.’
    • ‘They may or may not be the best at any given moment, but no team handles the ball better.’
    • ‘If you're on top of your game and the best at what you do, the natural impulse is to let people know.’
    • ‘The excellent wine menu offers the best from the new and old worlds at reasonable prices.’
    • ‘Now I'm useless, but it was a great buzz being the best at the thing you love most in the world.’
    • ‘How enjoyable school is when you are one of the best at doing things.’
    • ‘He wished the best for the pupils and saw teaching as a team effort - home and school.’
    • ‘There's no point trying to be the best at anything, because failure will be all the worse.’
    • ‘They are among the best at it and never seem to tire telling the rest of us how tough the times are on the land.’
    • ‘There's no one on the planet that will deny they were the best at what they did.’
    • ‘I'm really not the best at scintillating conversation on the tube in the morning.’
    • ‘A wily player, who was one of the best at reading a game, he knew there and then that there was no way back.’
    • ‘It has been a very tough event, but it is fantastic to be recognised for my performance against the best in the world.’
    • ‘Is this the way we want to play our game, where the best are culled so the advantage will go to the other side?’
    • ‘This means that we can arrange all the items in a list, with the best at the top and the worst at the bottom.’
    • ‘We may not be the best at marketing but we know how to do technology.’
    • ‘On the net, you're constantly exposed to the best that is available in the digital medium.’
    • ‘Why don't we just grow up and admit that England cannot always be the best at everything.’
    finest, top, cream, choice, choicest, prime, elite, crème de la crème, flower, jewel in the crown, nonpareil
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1The finest aspect of a person or thing.
      ‘he brought out the best in people’
      • ‘He spent a lot of time with the contributors, and believes his honest approach helped get the best from them.’
      • ‘Genre films they no doubt were, but as was true with the illustrious star in America, they brought out the best in him.’
      • ‘The war brought out the best in many people, as was demonstrated by many of the museum displays.’
      • ‘This here's what you'd call discreet charm, and that's what brings out the best in a guide.’
      • ‘He has brought out the best in a superb cast to maintain that delicate balance on stage.’
      • ‘They also brought out the best in communities who battled past the point of exhaustion against the rising waters.’
      • ‘The worst of the weather brought out the best in all of them, horses, riders and audience.’
      • ‘Spain has brought out the best in him.’
      • ‘He performed well last year, but the coach has brought out the best in him and he has had a couple of stormers in the last two games.’
      • ‘His infectious humour belied a steely resolve to get the job done and the mix of the two brought out the best in his players.’
      • ‘We have had three people there but for varying reasons it hasn't brought out the best in them.’
      • ‘His curling shot to the far post, after a surging break by his opponent, brought out the best in him.’
      • ‘They were fond of each other, and observers of his early work often say that she brought out the best in him.’
      • ‘She was regarded among her pupils as a fair teacher who brought out the best in her young charges.’
      • ‘He now enjoyed a sustained spell of supremacy which brought out the best in a determined York defence.’
      • ‘He is a prime example of how adversity brings out the best in people.’
      • ‘The enormity of the disaster seems, though, to have brought out the best in people.’
      • ‘So let us use these six months to work out how we should go forward, together drawing on the best of each national experience.’
      • ‘As well as natural talent, he also possesses useful political and diplomatic skills: he has a way of bringing people along with him and getting the best of out them.’
      • ‘It has brought out the best in people of all ages and cultures who have given time and money.’
      most favourable aspect, most pleasant aspect, best point
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2The highest standard or level that someone or something can reach.
      ‘this is jazz at its best’
      ‘try to look your best’
      • ‘We will have to be at our best if we want to retain our title’
      • ‘You have to look your best on these occasions.’
      • ‘This record aims to show him at his best.’
      • ‘I'm going into middle school soon and I want to look my best and not be teased so much!’
      • ‘It's getting harder as I get older, but I like to make sure they always look their best.’
      • ‘The poor old BBC, doing its best to provide a useful service to those ungrateful viewers!’
      • ‘It's party time coming up so this is the ideal opportunity to learn how to look your best.’
      • ‘With all the large cast giving their very best, this was an enjoyable and memorable show.’
      • ‘With the Christmas party season nearly here, the pressure is on for women to look their best.’
      • ‘I was, after all, going to a memorial service and wanted to look my best.’
      • ‘She was very fashion conscious and always liked to look her best at all times.’
      • ‘Every bride likes to look her best - but this wedding gown was never going to hide any blushes.’
      • ‘She is about 10 years past her best.’
      • ‘He was also a keen gardener and kept the station looking its best with plants and flowers.’
      • ‘You are expected to look your best at every moment, before, during and after the wedding.’
      • ‘She had a lifelong interest in fashion and style, and always liked to look her best.’
      • ‘At their best the acts should promote improved communication and management of records.’
      • ‘The energy firm is doing its best to shake up the world of utility stocks.’
      • ‘So all you have to do is your best, or even just the level required for your work output, and you're set.’
      • ‘At their best they combine free improvisation with an elastic approach to standards.’
    3. 1.3One's smartest or most formal clothes.
      ‘she dressed in her best’
      • ‘Mum was coming and she was all dressed up in her best.’
      • ‘The day was bright and fair, the children sparkling in their new attire and the parents, sponsors and relations turned out in their best.’
      • ‘Soon Elizabeth was dressed in her best.’
      • ‘Sonia watched in amusement as he dressed in his best, getting ready for town.’
      • ‘On a wet and gloomy afternoon, 21 people gathered in the council chamber of the town hall, looking rather apprehensive and dressed in their best.’
      best clothes, finery, sunday best
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4(in sport) a record performance.
      ‘a lifetime best of 12.0 seconds’
      See also personal best
      • ‘At 29, he was coming to the end of his career, but he set a lifetime best in the final.’
      • ‘His time of 3: 49.59 was only six-tenths off his all-time best from 1996.’
      • ‘Sehwag's previous best was 195 scored against Australia at Melbourne in December last year.’
      • ‘The Holland international is currently on six and if he scores in United's next games against Southampton, Blackburn and Liverpool, he will set a new best.’
      • ‘And his run was just three-hundredths of a second outside his lifetime best, set in the worlds in Seville two years ago.’
      • ‘Burnside retained the title, clocking a time of 7.50s with Dudgeon two metres down in 2nd place in 7.63s - bettering her own six-year-old best.’
      • ‘Despite a lifetime best in the 1,500m, Lee finished out of the medals.’
      • ‘In the under - 17 race, Lauren Blackie showed remarkable consistency to time 8.17 sec twice, a new best.’
      • ‘"I knew going into the meet that I'd have to swim career bests if I even wanted a chance at a medal," Bowen said.’
      • ‘His time of 67:52 knocked more than 2 minutes off his previous best.’
      • ‘His time was a magnificent 2 minutes 5.7 seconds, well inside the previous best.’
      • ‘All-in-all there were 13 championship bests at Seville in 1999.’
      • ‘Canada's Perdita Felicien smashed her lifetime best with victory in 12.53 seconds to upset gold medal favourite Brigitte Foster.’
      • ‘Molly won a bronze medal in the 200 meter backstroke, swimming a lifetime best of 2:16.42.’
    5. 1.5Written at the end of a letter to wish a person well.
      ‘See you soon, best, Michael’
      • ‘My gut reaction was to write Sincerely, but then I re-read an email that was sent from the recruiter to me and she signed it Best.’
      • ‘If he signed it Best, she was doomed and they were doomed — and how did 'best' become one of the worst email closings ever? she wondered.’
      • ‘If he signed it "Best, LRH" then that meant he wasn't pleased with you and you were in trouble.’
      • ‘I hope you are back from the hospital and doing okay. Best, Andrea.’
      • ‘But I gotta go. Best, Bill’


[WITH OBJECT]informal
  • Outwit or get the better of (someone)

    ‘she refused to allow herself to be bested’
    • ‘But consistently besting the President will be tougher.’
    • ‘But the whole thing was such a cynical mix of half-truths, untruths and twisted logic that it ended up besting me.’
    • ‘He takes understandable pleasure in besting his brother on the polo field and on the ski slopes.’
    • ‘But she can only give herself to a man who bests her in hand-to-hand combat.’
    • ‘This rests on the bizarre idea that he was bested by his old sparring partner.’
    • ‘One of the most effective ways of besting an opponent in an argument is to show that the very argument he makes leads to a conclusion he is anxious to deny.’
    • ‘There were times when even he had trouble besting her in duels.’
    • ‘She met their world on its own terms, often besting the boys at their games and always laughing when she landed on her butt.’
    • ‘In opposition, he took the scalps of many ministers and in government he was rarely bested.’
    • ‘If a heckler should best a politician, the moment could be screened over and over again on TV.’
    • ‘If that was your best, you have no hope of besting me!’
    • ‘And it's not a bad idea to put in somebody who, at least in the campaign, has bested him often.’
    • ‘It is easy for anyone to grasp the concept of this game and manipulate the controls but to truly start besting some opponents, you will have to invest some time to learn the quirks.’
    • ‘But they keep coming back because the only way to earn a reputation is by besting him.’
    • ‘She bests the boys in fights, follows trails with a woodsman's craft, and lives off the charitable contributions of miners.’
    • ‘He did not know if she was capable of besting him.’
    • ‘Over the years, I have seen him tested thrice, and thrice has he been bested by this simple and inexpensive item.’
    • ‘The delight he takes in besting his father at ping pong suggests that even he has not been immune to the old man's poison.’
    • ‘I asked myself, for example, did the victors in these matches demonstrate an ability to overcome an opponent in a ‘realistic’ situation by besting their rivals in the ring?’
    • ‘Neither group forms a monolithic bloc, of course, but women are besting men in registering and voting.’
    defeat, beat, get the better of, gain the advantage over, get the upper hand over, outdo, outwit, outsmart, worst, be more than a match for, prevail over, conquer, vanquish, trounce, triumph over
    surpass, outclass, outshine, put someone in the shade, overshadow, eclipse
    lick, get one over on
    View synonyms


  • all the best

    • Said or written to wish a person well on ending a letter or parting.

      • ‘They are wished all the best by their many friends around the Kiltimagh and Knock areas.’
      • ‘We would like to take this opportunity to wish them both all the best with their new venture.’
      • ‘I want to wish her all the best in her week ahead, a week that will surely prove to be a trip of a lifetime.’
      • ‘We wish him all the best for the future years and may his great success continue.’
      • ‘Vince has a lot to offer, and I wish him all the best as he makes his mark on the national sporting scene.’
      • ‘You won't see me writing on Monday so You will have to wish me all the best from now.’
      • ‘The staff and committee would like to wish her all the best for the future in her new position.’
      • ‘But he did, and we did a little catch up and I wished him all the best in his career.’
      • ‘I'm still behind my decision but I wish them all the best and they deserve all the credit they get.’
      • ‘Well done to both players on a great achievement and we wish them all the best in the All Ireland final.’
      • ‘Here's wishing you all the best over this difficult period, and hoping you will be back to full steam in no time!’
      • ‘I wish him all the best with the movie, which I know is popular, and which I still haven't seen.’
      • ‘We also wish them all the best while away and hope that they return back home safe and sound again in autumn.’
      • ‘The pupils and teachers are wished all the best as the new school year recommences.’
      • ‘We wish him all the best - the man is simply a genius and this is undoubtedly a highlight of the whole month.’
      • ‘Museum staff said they wanted to wish the team all the best for next season and so invited them along to see the Harrier.’
      • ‘Their many friends wish them all the best of good fortune for many years to come.’
      • ‘We wish the Courages all the best and thank them for standing in at short notice.’
      • ‘So there are some people in my life embarking on new love and I wish them all the best, I am glad to hear they are happy.’
      • ‘I want to wish him all the best and to encourage him to keep up the good work because there are two more to go.’
  • as best one can (or may)

    • As effectively as possible under the circumstances.

      ‘I went about my job as best I could’
      • ‘Also, you just want to do the job as best you can, and if you think you're doing the job well, that gives you satisfaction.’
      • ‘And I'm not going to try and deal with all of them, but I'd say for example, one of them's honesty, however painful that might be, you've got to be honest in your dealings with people as best you can.’
      • ‘He added: ‘It's not easy but you can't let something like this ruin your life - you have to get on with things as best you can and I am trying to put it behind me.’’
      • ‘And I've been through a few hurricanes myself and I know that once you're in one, you know, you've just got to take your chances as best you can.’
      • ‘Certainly depressive illness can strip out the major components of the self and leave to you put yourself back together as best you can after that fact, but that is not the same as the absence of reciprocity I am thinking of here.’
      • ‘You try to tell the story as best you can, covering the church the way you would City Hall or the White House.’
      • ‘I hope you're listening at 12 years old and I hope you'll sit down and tell your stepfather what you're feeling and what you need as best you can.’
      • ‘It worked on a points system so it was not necessarily a case of trying to win every event, but do as best you can in each.’
      • ‘I see what you're trying to do, Ms. T, you're simply advocating for your child as best you can.’
      • ‘I guess you just each day get up and do what has to be done, and whatever the circumstances are, as things change you just cope as best you can.’
      • ‘Because around here, good moods are like the most delicate flowers in the world and when the hurricanes come, you want to shelter them as best you can lest they be ripped to shreds before your eyes.’
      • ‘You are asked to support this collection as best you can because it is worth remembering that one or two of the retired priests to receive assistance from the proceeds are priests who have served in this parish during past years.’
      • ‘‘You live with it as best you can,’ he said.’
      • ‘You just - you don't deal with it, you just go on as best you can.’
      • ‘Criticising a faulty epistemology won't completely let you off the hook of stating your moral and political preferences, justifying them as best you can, and then acting on them.’
      • ‘I mean, it's something that you definitely think about, but, you know, you just have to - you know, you try to get checked as much as you can, and try to take care of yourself as best you can.’
      • ‘You protect them as best you can, with your life if need be, from all the dangers that the world carries, but in the end there is always the fear of that sudden swoop of loss and grief, the loss of a child.’
      • ‘Of course, you ignore these sounds as best you can, but they never disappear completely unless you leave the city and its noises behind and journey to places where human beings have yet to kill nature.’
      • ‘You are here, existing and making the best of it, and getting through life as best you can.’
      • ‘She said, ‘It becomes a matter of trying to fit the words as best you can.’’
  • at best

    • Taking the most optimistic view.

      ‘what signs there are of recovery are patchy at best’
      • ‘He said the problem was at best causing an obstruction and at worst could cause a serious accident.’
      • ‘This is arrogance at best, but worst of all, you're hurting a poor old man's feelings.’
      • ‘Some even say they are the heart of the problem and that their delivery is, at best, patchy.’
      • ‘It says allergies are increasingly common and can be at best inconvenient but at worst fatal.’
      • ‘So far those attempts have been at worst disastrous and at best meaningless.’
      • ‘There are areas of conventional science which are at best misguided and at worst fraudulent.’
      • ‘Yet the support of the people of York is at best equivocal and at worst non-existent.’
      • ‘It was extraordinarily modest and at best misleading as to the First Lady's world view.’
      • ‘An assessment that has since been revealed as naive at best and base deception at worst.’
      • ‘The problem with this is that the effect of the war in this respect would be marginal, at best.’
      • ‘Britain's role in this affair has been at best ambiguous and at worst shameful.’
      • ‘All serious analysts of crime deride this as at best ignorant and at worst dishonest.’
      • ‘If you're a journalist for any period of time you get used to them and find them at best tedious and at worst laughable.’
      • ‘People who left the church were seen at best as misguided and not spiritual enough.’
      • ‘At best it suggests there is a case for a proper study of such issues, perhaps a Panorama style investigation.’
      • ‘Pretty much everyone looked at them as fascist scum at worst and pompous throwbacks at best.’
      • ‘The first views her at best as a mad, talentless manipulator and at worst as a murderer.’
      • ‘It's a fun idea but the disparity between tracks results in a patchy experience at best.’
      • ‘I thought about it for a while, tried to remember the events of the evening, it was patchy at best.’
      • ‘He made a strategic error and was at best guilty of political naivety, at worst of incompetence.’
  • at the best of times

    • Even in the most favourable circumstances.

      ‘his memory is poor at the best of times’
      • ‘It is famously difficult to get into Crannog at the best of times.’
      • ‘How do you decide what is right for another person, when you do not know at the best of times what is right for yourself?’
      • ‘His job - not easy at the best of times - is to try to persuade the member states to act together, wisely and well.’
      • ‘One should bear in mind that universities have never been a place for the purely money-motivated at the best of times.’
      • ‘Being a bus driver has to be a stressful job at the best of times.’
      • ‘But get onto the lesser ring roads and the traffic movement is atrocious at the best of times.’
      • ‘See, I'm impatient at the best of times, and P frequently accuses me of wanting everything at once.’
      • ‘A car stuffed with drug money crashing outside your record store is a bummer at the best of times, not least opening day.’
      • ‘A gloomy - looking man at the best of times, he looked like a miserable, cornered beast.’
      • ‘In truth, I'm not a great one for beauty contests at the best of times.’
      • ‘After that happens, a case would have to be appealed all the way to the Supreme Court which takes several years at the best of times.’
      • ‘It was a difficult tune to sing at the best of times, and Billy had probably not sung it for years.’
      • ‘Our house was hardly an impregnable fortress at the best of times, and it was easy enough to get in if you'd forgotten your keys.’
      • ‘This would be an unwelcoming place to live in at the best of times.’
      • ‘Not only that, but her voice - a bit raspy at the best of times - sounds downright ragged and weary here.’
      • ‘Writers are monsters at the best of times, but writers who can't write, what do they become?’
      • ‘But my concern is that they are doing it on the M4, which can be pretty hairy at the best of times.’
      • ‘Incidentally, the casualty ward is a grim place at the best of times.’
      • ‘Joe is somber enough at the best of times, so if a little unpolished, he's not too offensive to watch.’
      • ‘Shopping can be an exhausting and uncomfortable experience at the best of times, but Christmas shopping?’
  • best of breed

    • 1The animal in a show judged to be the best representative of its breed.

      • ‘Tender loving care has saved the show career of Luna who won ' best of breed ' for the third year running at Crufts.’
      • ‘That rabbit won best of breed that day.’
      • ‘Dog breeders Gary and Gill Gray were celebrating after their German Shepherd Lottie won best of breed.’
      • ‘Just two years later she surprised everyone by winning one of the top honours in the show best of breed.’
      • ‘He is hotly tipped to be named as best in breed in the north of England by the end of the summer season next month.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, Joe's career as a dog trainer had really taken off when our dog Max won best of breed at the Westminster Dog Show in New York.’
      • ‘The documentary claimed dogs suffering from genetic illness were not prevented from competing in dog shows and had gone on to win best in breed despite their poor health.’
      • ‘"He is only a puppy so I hope he can win best of breed in the next few years."’
      • ‘The Neapolitan Mastiff that won best of breed at Crufts in 1994 was later discovered to have had plastic surgery.’
      • ‘Arthur took best of breed today.’
      1. 1.1Any item or product considered to be the best of its kind.
        ‘their technology is still considered best of breed and demand for their products is still growing’
        • ‘It's third-quarter 5.89 % total return also ranks it among the best of breed.’
        • ‘He is untouchable, Scotland's supreme champion, best of breed.’
        • ‘This approach is often called best of breed.’
        • ‘Pitman believes the alternative for small banks is to take a best of breed approach, as the major banking players turn their attention to furthering their brand identities.’
        • ‘Avdl may make it easier to manage and deploy best in breed products.’
        • ‘It will also have to persuade firms of the merits of best of breed rather than all-in-one solutions.’
        • ‘And now here we are, the best in breed, trying to stay sexy and not looking at what is most meaningful and logical.’
        • ‘As the best of breed tools are often open source, it is easy and cheap to experiment with pilot projects.’
        • ‘However, which one of those players will claim the accolade of best of breed still hangs in the balance.’
        • ‘Baltimore's technology has usually been touted as "best of breed" but rather expensive.’
  • the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley

    • proverb Even the most careful planning doesn't necessarily ensure success.

      ‘in the tradition of all best-laid plans, subsequent events overturned the scheme’
      • ‘There are philosophies and religions that deny that, but it seems to me that it is clear that the best-laid plans of mice and men gang aft agley, and not just because you slipped up in your litany of positive thoughts.’
  • be the best of friends

    • Be very close friends.

      ‘she's really nice and we're the best of friends’
      • ‘The three of us had become very close to each other and became the best of friends.’
      • ‘Two teenage girls are the best of friends but are destined to go their separate ways until a tidal wave deposits a mermaid in a beach club swimming pool.’
      • ‘We are now the best of friends however, as I am magnanimous in defeat.’
      • ‘Now, after an emotional reunion and a huge stroke of luck, the three firm friends talk to each other every day and their wives have become the best of friends.’
      • ‘Yet the trio, who were awarded their gold medals at the Agios Kosmas sailing venue last night, remain the best of friends.’
      • ‘The story revolves around two New England couples who are the best of friends.’
      • ‘The three were the best of friends at York and will no doubt enjoy sharing some liquid refreshment after tomorrow's showdown.’
      • ‘Those 3 kids are playing in this same park like they are the best of friends.’
      • ‘We are now the best of friends - because friends can do anything together!’
      • ‘David shakes her hand and she puts her other hand on top of his like they're the best of friends and smiles and nods a lot.’
      • ‘Last week we had been friends, not the best of friends, but friends nonetheless.’
      • ‘The rest of the time we are the best of friends, sharing many common interests in Africa, human rights issues, and humour.’
      • ‘Neighbours are not always the best of friends when it comes to football: just ask any Celtic or Rangers fan.’
      • ‘Of course, the food and drink can be a lot of fun, especially when you're surrounded by the best of friends and family.’
      • ‘Sometimes we squabble, but most of the time we're the best of friends.’
      • ‘They were the best of friends and shared the same advisers but they were individuals and each handled his situation differently.’
      • ‘This trip brought all three of us so close together that even today, 20 years later, we are still the best of friends.’
      • ‘But 31 years later, the two are the best of friends and have been labelled the dream team by patients and staff.’
      • ‘Although they were nearly always pitted as adversaries on screen, beyond the studio they were the best of friends.’
      • ‘A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.’
  • the best of three (or five etc.)

    • Victory achieved by winning the majority of a specified odd number of games.

      • ‘Each game is the best of three sets with each set being played to 15 aces.’
      • ‘Games can end in a draw when both reach the same point total, and usually Briscola is played to the best of three or five games.’
      • ‘Athletes must compete in a minimum of three races and rankings will be based on the best of three finishes for each athlete’
      • ‘Unusually, there was just one round rather than the best of three.’
      • ‘Matches must be the best of five games to qualify as a pyramid match.’
      • ‘League games will continue to be played up to 21 points over the best of three games for this season, it was decided at York and District Table Tennis Association's annual meeting.’
      • ‘Meanwhile, the other series, as expected, is a barnburner as St Adolphe leads La Broquerie two games to one in the best of five affair.’
      • ‘A badminton match is decided by the best of three games.’
      • ‘The decision goes to the one who gets the best of three.’
      • ‘It will be the best of five games and there will be six dartboards in operation.’
      • ‘Normally the best of three games is played, so the overall winners are the first team to win two games.’
      • ‘Matches will continue to be the best of five games.’
      • ‘It is usual to play the best of three games, but it is possible to play a just a single game to 30 points.’
      • ‘Teams will be two-a-side and played up to 11 points a game over the best of three sets.’
      • ‘The Clan lost the opening game of the best of three set 70-58.’
      • ‘But everybody had to do three time trials and it was the best of three.’
      • ‘Then we shortened the idea to the best of five with the ladder match being the rubber match.’
      • ‘The Thunderbirds will play host to the best of three game tilt.’
      • ‘This is said to combine the best of three distinctly different areas, all a delight to divers.’
      • ‘All 12 teams make the play-offs with the bottom eight competing in the best of three preliminary round.’
  • the best part of

    • Most of.

      ‘the tedious ceremony took the best part of a day’
      • ‘We're quite a large group, and we've known each other for the best part of 18 years now.’
      • ‘Being rushed off my feet for the best part of 12 hours made daylight playtime impossible.’
      • ‘This is the town I was loathe to call home for the best part of two decades.’
      • ‘You know, the air has been lambent with rumour for the best part of nearly a year now.’
      • ‘We have a peace process that has moved on for the best part of eight years now.’
      • ‘For the best part of 150 years, progressive opinion has seen the Civil War as a just war.’
      • ‘His injuries were so severe he was laid off work for the best part of two years.’
      • ‘At one end of this area, a massive building project has been underway for the best part of 20 years.’
      • ‘This is a civilisation we have been fighting against and with for the best part of 700 years.’
      • ‘No murder weapons were ever found, but they each spent the best part of 20 years in prison.’
      • ‘Because that degree of evil doesn't fade even with the best part of twenty years grace.’
      • ‘We nab a corner of the dancefloor and don't leave it for the best part of two hours.’
      • ‘I decided in my early twenties that I intended to spend the best part of forty years travelling to work.’
      • ‘With the first of them opening in early January, they will have been flowering for the best part of two months.’
      • ‘For the best part of two years, politics in Britain has been dominated by the Middle East.’
      • ‘I've been trying to say this to you for the best part of 10 years but never quite found the words.’
      • ‘They've been married the best part of thirty years and are pretty well travelled.’
      • ‘Total mileage, probably the best part of 1000 miles plus all the interim travelling.’
      • ‘That would be the best part of 30 years ago when I was in the scouts and that was still far too recent for me.’
      • ‘She had been in flight for the best part of 45 minutes, and records were being set.’
  • best wishes

    • An expression of hope for someone's future happiness or welfare, often written at the end of a letter.

      ‘best wishes, Celia’
      ‘we sent our best wishes for a speedy recovery’
      • ‘Please pass on my thanks to everyone for their support and compliments and their best wishes for my future.’
      • ‘I find the news and the features so interesting and well written so keep up the good work and best wishes for the next ten years.’
      • ‘But leaving aside esoteric question of etiquette all best wishes for future happiness!’
      • ‘Congratulations to all involved and best wishes for the next twenty!’
      • ‘Congratulations to all involved in the marathon and our best wishes for yet another successful season.’
      • ‘Congratulations and best wishes for future happiness to all concerned.’
      • ‘The entire FAS team and the community send her best wishes for her future happiness.’
      • ‘So from all your family and friends, happy birthday and best wishes for the future.’
      • ‘The whole community extend to this jovial and Christian man very best wishes for a long and fulfilled retirement.’
      • ‘We wish all our parishioners a very Merry Chirstmas and best wishes for the New Year.’
      • ‘Tommy, best wishes for your special day, and we wish you lots more birthdays.’
      • ‘In sending her best wishes for her birthday we also wish her good news in her results.’
      • ‘Many who could not attend sent their best wishes for a successful day.’
      • ‘Very best wishes for the future from all their families and friends.’
      • ‘Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year.’
      • ‘The entire community sends Birdie best wishes for her continued recovery.’
      • ‘Their many friends have extended to them warm best wishes for many more years of health, happiness and joy.’
      • ‘Presenting the awards Mary wished the club best wishes for a successful future.’
      • ‘They deserve our best wishes for the future, especially since many of them are now unemployed.’
      • ‘Congratulations to the newly weds and very best wishes for the future.’
      best wishes, regards, kind regards, kindest regards, greetings, compliments, compliments of the season, felicitations, respects
      View synonyms
  • one's best years

    • The most vigorous and productive period of one's life; one's prime.

      ‘my best years are ahead of me’
      • ‘In the meantime the Chancellor, it is now clear, has had his best years.’
      • ‘With her best years behind her, she can hardly reasonably expect to be kept in the manner to which she has become accustomed.’
      • ‘He holds down the left-back slot at Monaco and has his best years in front of him.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, despite their differences - in career terms, in appearance, and in age - both could yet have their best years ahead of them.’
      • ‘They work their best years with fierce determination - professional, savvy and keeping their beautifully made-up eyes on the bottom line and the final exit.’
      • ‘The lean singer says, though he was born in Punjab, Hyderabad was home to him because he spent his best years here.’
      • ‘But they won only two Grand Slam events in their best years.’
      • ‘But in your best years, no matter what you do, if there is an incident, the conclusion will be that you didn't do enough.’
      • ‘After the war his best years should have been behind him, but he was as quick as ever, and in 1950 he rejoined Alfa and won the world championship.’
      • ‘Some of those players are still trying to play the game at that level, and perhaps they've had their best years.’
      • ‘Tall, strong and mobile, he matches the photofit of the target striker he has long craved and, aged 25, his best years should be ahead of him.’
      • ‘And most of those players have their best years ahead of them.’
      • ‘Also, all of the players had their best years from about the ages 23-26, with little variation.’
      • ‘For me, those were my best years, both as a footballer and in my life.’
      • ‘Nor players who have been playing continually well year in, year out but are now in the sunset of their careers, but players who are proven quality and still have their best years in front of them.’
      • ‘He always said his best years in football were between the ages of 27 and 33, because that is when he learned his trade.’
      • ‘Progress would dry up as creative minds wasted their best years in uncreative apprenticeships, under the sour scrutiny of their elders.’
      • ‘The children lost their best years for obtaining a good education and for developing other skills and also had a difficult time when, eventually, they had to retire from their sport.’
      • ‘It is only this year that she will have a memorial in her honour erected in the suburb where she spent her best years and whose main street is named after her husband.’
      • ‘As the teacher's hot words mounted, she convinced herself that she was sacrificing her best years, for these ‘undeserving brats.’’
  • do (or try) one's best

    • Do all one can.

      ‘Ruth did her best to reassure her’
      • ‘Mrs Jones said: ‘The police have been fantastic and I know they are trying their best.’’
      • ‘‘We submit the prosecution witnesses were essentially trying their best to tell you the truth of what they recall happened that night,’ he said.’
      • ‘In general, behind every happy and successful child, there is a hard-working, conscientious adult trying their best to pull off the difficult trick of parenthood.’
      • ‘You also drive under pressure all day trying your best to keep your bus on time.’
      • ‘Democrats control neither Congress nor the White House, but they are trying their best to control the judicial nominating process.’
      • ‘People have faced up to the issues and are trying their best to bring communities together.’
      • ‘And it makes for a really good story - a composite portrait of four bizarre characters tangled up together by circumstances and trying their best to get through them in one piece.’
      • ‘We know we are in for a fight so everyone's pulling together and trying their best.’
      • ‘I have always been a great believer in trying your best to get into good positions in sport.’
      • ‘Although her parents have been trying their best to get her to settle down and get married, she has managed to avoid it so far, claiming that she enjoys being single and independent.’
      • ‘The thinking goes, ‘My parents are trying their best, so I shouldn't complain.’’
      • ‘The man in the grey jacket slinks out of the bar and into a dark alley but the students are busy studying cakes in shop windows, rifling through papers at a news kiosk and trying their best to look natural.’
      • ‘People are trying their best to make the town look attractive but rubbish really spoils it.’
      • ‘Alex was watching, so the United players were all trying their best and we got hammered.’
      • ‘You are there on the stage and everyone is looking closely at you, trying their best to find out how you are doing the trick.’
      • ‘All the previous presidents insisted upon trying their best to bring about some sort of accommodation between Israel and its nation neighbors.’
      • ‘You're trying your best to create, in front of the camera, some approximation of the real world.’
      • ‘But now I realize everybody's trying their best.’
      • ‘‘I'm reasonably happy with the performance because the 15 were trying their best and you can't ask any more of them,’ he said.’
      • ‘They are taking steps to live in harmony with Nature, using no more than they really need, trying their best not to infringe on the rights of others in their quest for survival.’
      do one's utmost, try one's hardest, try as hard as one can, make every effort, spare no effort, do all one can, give one's all, be at pains
      bend over backwards, fall over backwards, lean over backwards, do one's damnedest, go all out, pull out all the stops, bust a gut, break one's neck, move heaven and earth
      do one's darnedest, do one's durnedest
      go for the doctor
      View synonyms
  • be for (or all for) the best

    • Be desirable in the end, although not at first seeming so.

      ‘what was done was done, and maybe it was for the best’
      • ‘Uncle Bill put a lot of work into a failed effort, but maybe it was for the best.’
      • ‘So, no picture of Mom and maybe it's all for the best, huh?’
      • ‘I thought maybe that was for the best because that way if I made a fool of myself and fell off or something, at least Ben and the other guys would not see it.’
      • ‘I'm not surprised how things ended for one character in particular; this person has been going downhill for awhile, so the end they had was for the best in that sense.’
      • ‘Still - reading what I've just written, maybe it was for the best.’
      • ‘Maybe it is for the best if you stay away from the rallies, Weller.’
      • ‘I know I've been the one pushing this football thing, but maybe it would be for the best if you quit.’
      • ‘Maybe it was for the best though, she thought, she had to deal with her own problems, they'd catch up to her anyway.’
      • ‘But if this was causing her problems already maybe it would be for the best…’
      • ‘Maybe it was for the best that Deimos expressed no interest in her.’
      • ‘10 years ago my parents divorced, and it was for the best.’
      • ‘She didn't know the answers to her questions, but maybe that was for the best.’
      • ‘Maybe it was for the best that they went their separate ways then, instead of dragging it out and getting more hurt.’
      • ‘I think maybe it would be for the best if we just forgot I ever wrote this post.’
      • ‘He has brought nothing but death, destruction and fear, maybe a change is for the best.’
      • ‘Though her departure from the estate was a bittersweet one, she knew it was for the best, for although she did not know entirely where she belonged, she knew it wasn't there.’
      • ‘I explained it was for the best, said I was sorry and asked for forgiveness. 2 days later I woke to find no peace of mind, no nirvana, just a failed suicide and the continual nightmare.’
      • ‘Maybe that was for the best, considering Kelsey knows and she thinks we're crazy.’
      • ‘Maybe it would be for the best if I set out some facts.’
      • ‘I knew that he could tell that I wasn't happy about the decision, but maybe it was for the best.’
  • get the best of

    • Overcome (someone)

      ‘his drinking got the best of him and he was fired’
      • ‘Anger and paranoia, no doubt vital fuels for his groundbreaking work, got the best of him in the end.’
      • ‘However, on the afternoon of their 10th anniversary, curiosity got the best of her and she lifted the lid and peeked inside.’
      • ‘Your quest has continued so long that, unfortunately, you now run the risk of your impatience getting the best of you.’
      • ‘In the earlier semi-final, Sheffield Steelers got the best of a scrappy game.’
      • ‘When my mate, Annie, suggested that, instead of a Sunday walk on the beach, we go to this gym for a swim, my curiosity got the best of me.’
      • ‘I honestly believe that the president got the best of him by simply doing the opposite of whatever he recommended.’
      • ‘My curiosity got the best of me and I inquired as to how she knew this, let alone even knew who I was looking at.’
      • ‘My head was light, I felt extremely weak and the joint pains got the best of me.’
      • ‘Maybe it was my own hunger pangs getting the best of me.’
      • ‘Because of that you felt that you were part of a movement, your ego got the best of you.’
      • ‘Bomber's great fault is his enthusiasm sometimes gets the best of him.’
      • ‘Brown's selfishness eventually gets the best of him, and Greene closes the novel with a plot twist that introduces more questions than it answers.’
      • ‘At least it's warm in the rug, so I won't have to spend as much on my heating bill… My Finnish frugality always gets the best of me.’
      • ‘Ted's bout with delusions is getting the best of him, I suppose.’
      • ‘One year, a long time ago, when the consuming nature of the shopping beast was getting the best of me, I decided to switch sides and took a job as a holiday Santa Claus at a ghost mall on the south side of Milwaukee.’
      • ‘In the end, Gray's vanity gets the best of him in a most brutal manner - beauty, after all, can't last forever.’
      • ‘However, we never really got the best of the old building.’
      • ‘One can only hope that his ego gets the best of his common sense this off-season, compelling him to exercise his free agent rights and sign with another team.’
      • ‘Were China's entrenched conservative interests getting the best of him?’
      • ‘If that sweet tooth is still getting the best of you, try sweet treats that contain low saturated fats and low-calorie sweeteners.’
  • give someone/thing best

    • dated Admit the superiority of someone or something.

      ‘he finally decided to give us best and took himself off’
      • ‘But after a time I gave him best (left him) because he used to want to bite my ear too often.’
      • ‘Unsurprisingly, when Taiwan invoked an arbitration clause, the Swiss courts gave them best.’
      • ‘Let's not, then, shrug and give the bombers best.’
      • ‘Indeed many of the regulars gave it best and didn't even attempt to take it on, thus leaving a very limited field.’
  • had best do something

    • Find it most sensible or well advised to do the thing mentioned.

      ‘I'd best be going’
      • ‘If we are going to do something, we had best do it quick, before they get completely out of our range.’
      • ‘If you want the corner curvature to be right you had best do it yourself.’
      • ‘So, a company that puts itself up for sale, with the intent of staying intact after the sale, had best do something about that.’
      • ‘I really believe if you want to be successful today in this arena, you had best do it all.’
      • ‘Having become totally addicted to waterfall hiking we realized we had best do it safely and respectfully.’
      • ‘He arises again and calls in his friends and servants and tells them that if they have any business that requires his attention they had best do it now.’
      • ‘If the duo have any plans at all of going outside, they had best do it early.’
      • ‘My impression is that they realize that there's a crisis here, and they had best do something about it.’
      • ‘Apple had best hurry up with that video.’
      • ‘Yet now, nearly six weeks after Moses disappeared into the smoke and fire, they had decided that he had vanished off the face of the earth, and therefore they had best do something.’
      • ‘If we do truly seal our border we had best do it with a true open door for those to walk through legally.’
      • ‘Then when you don't pay them on Friday and you say we will get a check to you by Monday you had best do it.’
      • ‘Anyone who wants to raise this as a problem had best do it behind his back, because if he's around to respond, he will respond brilliantly.’
      • ‘The two had agreed that to prevent any leakage, the then Law Minister had best do it himself, involving no official, not even a stenographer.’
      • ‘My older son said, "Dad, it's still us three against the world, and the world had best watch out."’
      • ‘You had best be careful, there is a lot at stake here’
      • ‘And he thinks ‘twill be very wet weather; So my friends and good fellows, You had best get home dry altogether. “’
      • ‘Only you can force sustained revenue and earnings growth at your agency and you had best do it now.’
      • ‘So, attention Democrats: If you want to do something dramatic with your new majority, you had best do it now.’
      • ‘If we do not want them guiding it over a cliff, we had best do something to pry them from the grip of leftists.’
  • make the best of

    • 1Derive what limited advantage one can from (something unsatisfactory)

      ‘you'll just have to make the best of the situation’
      • ‘Frustrated travelers made the best of a bad day’
      • ‘The production makes the best of the limited space of the top floor of Bewley's.’
      • ‘We have to make the best of the resources we have, especially with a double-header ahead of us in the World Cup qualifying campaign.’
      • ‘He frequently makes the best of limited opportunities, and was again seen to advantage aboard Forest Leader in the moderate Rathkeale Handicap Hurdle.’
      • ‘Nnetheless, even though we cannot make what we think we want to come true, we can make the best of the possibilities that we have.’
      • ‘To his supporters, Washington was making the best of limited opportunities for African Americans in the South.’
      • ‘The host country and the coach, in particular, made the best of the limited talent at its disposal and beat Italy by a golden goal.’
      • ‘I have made mistakes but what is important is making the best of the resources available to me.’
      • ‘As tacky as most modern decorations are it's amazing what a little tinsel and a few lights can do to enhance the feeling - especially when genuine effort has gone into making the best of meagre resources.’
      • ‘There is probably no way that this can be done adequately, and researchers have had to make the best of the limited access that has been granted them.’
      • ‘You can complain, or you can make the best of it.’
      • ‘The complete tour of a Tokyo apartment - compact and bijou, but clean, light and equipped with modern equipment to make the best of the limited space.’
      • ‘As a result they don't capture the learning potential of successful health initiatives developed in countries long honed to making the best of meagre resources.’
      • ‘Charlotte, who is making the best of life coping with M.E. and maintains a pleasant outgoing nature, says she would love to do the things her friends can do, such as canoeing and other sports, going out and going to school.’
      • ‘Although crippled in many ways, it has found new means of program delivery and has made the best of what was possible on its radically reduced budget.’
      • ‘Dr Bass manages to combine humility with humanity and while he never exactly makes me feel good about having cancer, I feel that together we can make the best of a bad deal.’
      • ‘In the early stages the smooth boxing Hare easily countered the onrushing Cherchari who was not making the best of his height and reach advantages.’
      • ‘Project finance made the best of a tough year, finding ways to fund unglamorous Latin American fertilizer and oil projects despite the plunging price of crude and sovereign downgrades.’
      • ‘Adie, of course, is a bit of a trooper, experienced in making the best of difficult situations.’
      • ‘They're examples of how that stoic, struggle on and make the best of a bad deal and tough times attitude can work against you sometimes.’
      • ‘The inside barrier is a real advantage in a two-year-old race and Kenneth made the best of it leading with Indecent Exposure and Crown Pilot on its outside.’
      • ‘The prevailing ethos on No Disco seemed a bit more thoughtful, a bit more arty, making the best of an obviously limited budget.’
      • ‘It was a difficult speech to give, but I think she made the best of a bad job.’
      make the best of, get by on, get by with, put to the best use, make the most of
      View synonyms
      1. 1.1Use (resources) as well as possible.
        ‘he tried to make the best of his talents’
        • ‘He has been phenomenal at making the best of what he has got.’
        • ‘We all look forward to a future that will see generations of Rotherham children making the best of all their abilities.’
        • ‘Sailors in Scotland's Capital Ship have made the best of unusually good weather to take a brief but dramatic tour of remote South Georgia.’
        • ‘He has proved himself at Leicester and Celtic, in each case making the best of his resources.’
        • ‘We have to make the best of whatever cards we have been given.’
        • ‘With the recent spell of reasonably fine, dry weather everyone is making the best of it.’
        • ‘He encouraged them in every way possible to make the best of their respective strengths.’
        • ‘The emphasis is making the best of what we already have.’
        • ‘We have to make the best of our maritime resources in all aspects.’
        • ‘Given those common-sense measures, it should be possible for most of us to make the best of Britain's rare sunny days and stay safe.’
        • ‘We have here the where-with-all to make the best of all possible amenities.’
        • ‘This is about making the best of what you have got,’ he said.’
        • ‘In addition to using skills such as maths and English, the youngsters would learn how to see opportunities and make the best of their resources.’
        • ‘There is a determination to do well, to make the best of the resources available to him, but what is the key to getting back on the winning track?’
        • ‘Silage cutting is at full force as well as baled hay and farmers are making the best of the better weather to save the crops with less hassle than 2002.’
        • ‘Let us make the best of this virtue by living it, by making colour, caste, language and similar distinctions irrelevant among us.’
        • ‘However, Tchaikovsky showed it was possible to make the best of both worlds.’
        • ‘Rochdale Council street lighting team leader Dave Ralphs said workmen had to make the best of all the working days before the lights are switched on.’
        • ‘It's just a question of Papua New Guinea making the best of the resources that are available to it.’
        • ‘Its really easy to be frustrated… but isn't life all about making the best of what you have?’
  • make the best of a bad job

    • Do something as well as one can under difficult circumstances.

      • ‘These situations are never good ones to be in, but if we can derive some sort of benefit from it then we can make the best of a bad job.’
      • ‘The truth is that when we turned up at our training camp, and discovered there was no kit, we should have laughed it off, done some PE, shared a pint together and knuckled down to the task of making the best of a bad job.’
      • ‘It is recognised that one of the parties in a domestic dispute might want his or her day in court, but this can be expensive and destructive, so if a mediator can reach an agreement it can make the best of a bad job.’
      • ‘Heritage Property Services tried to make the best of a bad job but, despite the offer of developing a similar site in Pewsey, it bowed out.’
      • ‘Determined to make the best of a bad job, he decided to re-investigate the possibility of passing his lorry driver's test and follow family tradition.’
      scrape along, scrape by, get along, get by, manage, cope, survive, muddle along, muddle through, fare all right, make the best of a bad job, improvise, make ends meet, keep the wolf from the door, keep one's head above water, shift for oneself
      View synonyms
  • six of the best

    • humorous, historical A caning as a punishment, traditionally with six strokes of the cane.

      ‘one prefect would hold you down and the other would give you six of the best’
      • ‘Well, I didn't enquire too closely, but as far as I could make out it was literal corporal punishment, doled out for failing to perform one's ‘duties’ - six of the best for not doing the laundry, that sort of thing.’
      • ‘I got six of the best with twelve inches of finest wood - Mr George's dreaded ruler across the back of the legs before being torn off a strip about vandalising school property.’
      • ‘And she was sorry, she said, she had to give us the strap, six of the best.’
      • ‘As a Bunyip who still remembers the pained humiliation of being forced to thank his headmaster for six of the best, the Professor has some idea how hard all those decades of penitent grovelling must have been on German pride.’
      • ‘He had received six of the best for ‘persistently flouting school rules’.’
  • to the best of one's ability

    • As well as one can.

      ‘Conrad must do his job to the best of his abilities’
      • ‘He puts so much into everything he does that those around him are inspired to perform to the best of their ability: there is such a strong desire not to let him down.’
      • ‘First, let me say that my story happened quite awhile ago and I shall try to the best of my ability to be as factual, and explicit as my memory will permit.’
      • ‘We believe everything is OK as long as you don't hurt anyone, to the best of your definition of hurt, and to the best of your knowledge.’
      • ‘All you can do is train and play to the best of your ability.’
      • ‘But if you do, it should be because you've analyzed the data, to the best of your ability and without wishful thinking; not because you want it to be so.’
      • ‘The following is, to the best of my ability, a recreation of the factual debate between two of the presenters who shall go unnamed.’
      • ‘I think understanding when to play the exact record at the right time leads to that energy and also practicing, practicing at home and making sure that you know your material and you're able to perform it to the best of your ability.’
      • ‘Enjoy your Monday - to the best of your ability anyhow.’
      • ‘But morale has remained high - as a pro player it should never be difficult to maintain your enthusiasm because you're paid to go out there and perform to the best of your ability.’
      • ‘You defend your client to the best of your ability.’
      • ‘If you can't, manage them to the best of your ability.’
      • ‘In order to do the thing, to the best of your ability and give you the flexibility for the uncertainty that always comes about in combat.’
      • ‘A firm believer in God and divinity, she says: ‘Do you work to the best of your ability and leave the rest to Him.’’
      • ‘Unless both sides feel that you are representing their interest to the best of your ability, there is no possible way to have any kind of success.’
      • ‘My only advice for my sister was to use her military training to the best of her ability and stay strong.’
      • ‘You were placed there to correct the situation to the best of your ability, and either your ability or your execution came up short.’
      • ‘And to the best of your knowledge as you're getting from the airport and maybe the tower, the aircraft right now is simply burning fuel?’
      • ‘Plant two trees each, and thirdly, do your duty to the best of your ability.’
      • ‘Hanley's advice to anyone who wants to succeed in life is simple: ‘In sport, in business, in life you have to perform to the best of your ability and give everything.’’
      • ‘If you're good at what you do, you have the right motivation and you do it to the best of your ability, people respect you and will work with you.’
  • to the best of one's knowledge

  • with the best of them

    • As well or as much as anyone.

      ‘he'll be out there dancing with the best of them’
      • ‘The lucky threesome were whisked off to the home of Derby County - Pride Park - where they were wined and dined with the best of them.’
      • ‘Not much of a dribbler; could travel and carry the ball with the best of them.’
      • ‘She proved she could rap with the best of them, but her singing voice leaves quite a bit to be desired.’
      • ‘After Round Five, that gives her 28 from a possible 40, right up there with the best of them.’
      • ‘I've never been a big meat eater, although until a few weeks ago I was happily enjoying KFC with the best of them.’
      • ‘Now I slur my words and mangle the language with the best of them, though people close to me do still tease me for my tendency towards pomposity.’
      • ‘She knows her French philosophers and can pontificate on Sartrian self-determinism with the best of them.’
      • ‘Here again the society is fortunate to have a great line-up with any of the ensemble capable of mixing it with the best of them.’
      • ‘He's the player who makes it work at the sharp end, a finisher who can hold the ball up, nick the odd penalty, and bully a centre-half with the best of them.’
      • ‘Scotland's new forward coach gets the ball away with the best of them but, when he is unable to do so, seldom fails to protect possession jealously.’
      • ‘We like to think that we're up there with the best of them, and we get grumpy and defensive when visitors suggest otherwise.’
      • ‘We can park with the best of them - we've all had enough practice.’
      • ‘It's coupled with a male lead singer who croons with the best of them.’
      • ‘But where they are in power, they privatise with the best of them.’
      • ‘The calibre of this years Oscar nominations is top-notch and Chicago is up there with the best of them.’
      • ‘She still had her Irish brogue and could dance with the best of them.’
      • ‘They know they can compete with the best of them, but their greatest opponent still appears to be the demons in their head.’
      • ‘Once upon a time, say the authors, most Scots knew most of the dances and could take a turn with the best of them, but that is not always the case today.’
      • ‘When it comes to small countries, the Eaglemeister can stomp with the best of them.’
      • ‘Our companies can compete with the best of them, if the playing field is level.’


Old English betest (adjective), betost, betst (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German best, also to better.