Definition of best in English:

best

adjective

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

    ‘the best pitcher in the league’
    ‘how to obtain the best results from your machine’
    ‘her best black suit’
    • ‘It was only appropriate that the crucial touchdown should come from the best player on view yesterday.’
    • ‘The team manager will want to pick the very best squad open to him.’
    • ‘We need to know our children are receiving the very best care from professional educationalists.’
    • ‘The alternative, he said, was to pay thousands of pounds premium for a property close to the best state schools.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘One of the biggest benefits for any rookie is the opportunity to study some of the world's best players close up.’
    • ‘The spacious L-shaped living room to the rear is one of the property's best features.’
    • ‘It's pretty much the best political satire that is going on on US TV at the moment.’
    • ‘The only way to survive this section of the evening is for the host to break open the very best wine in his cellar.’
    • ‘We have the best political system in the world because it allows us to voice our criticisms without fear of reprisal.’
    • ‘If you want to get close to the best British female surfer, you must brave the waves.’
    • ‘There is no doubt in my mind that it continues to be one of the very best military forces in the world.’
    • ‘I saw it last week, and enjoyed it, but it's by no means even close to being the best film of 2002.’
    • ‘Only a few of the very best pedigree pigs can be kept for breeding.’
    • ‘She wants to buy her friend the very best present in the whole wide world.’
    • ‘The best and most successful writers for children have the utmost respect for their young readers.’
    • ‘Profitable routes get the best buses because that is where the money is made.’
    • ‘This shows, for example, that the best plants can be up to six times more productive than the worst.’
    • ‘The injury to the world's best fast bowler has cast the Ashes battle in a completely new light.’
    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. 1.1 Most enjoyable.
      ‘some of the best times of my life’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We will have to wait until after the election for the next saga in the best political soap opera in history.’
      • ‘If you are only going out for one night my recommendation for the best night would have to be Friday night.’
      • ‘It's best in the spring when there are fewer people and it's not so brutally cold.’
      • ‘So the best and most productive time, the most enjoyable time is from October to February.’
      • ‘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'm having the best time of my life.’
      • ‘It came close to being the best drive of my career and I felt happy with the Focus all the way through.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Almost everyone wanted to talk about their time at the university because it was the best time of their lives.’
      • ‘He has devoted the best years of his life to preparing impromptu speeches.’
      • ‘Plumb for an early or late-season break to breathe in the very best of the island's delights.’
      • ‘I am struggling to work out what was the best bit of a thoroughly enjoyable night.’
      • ‘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?"’
      • ‘Sometimes it's best to sit close to the fire, looking into the coals, and beyond them.’
      • ‘The party after the prizegiving was by common consent the best bash of the Fringe.’
    2. 1.2 Most appropriate, advantageous, or well advised.
      ‘do whatever you think best’
      ‘it's best if we both go’
      • ‘Research suggested the best strategy would be to take the vaccine in combination with conventional aids.’
      • ‘When investing in shares, it is best to value every company on its own merit.’
      • ‘The best course of action is to approach the bigger agencies for work experience.’
      • ‘The best advice is to pre-book a cab from a reputable firm.’
      • ‘In the ancient world, gold was preferred as the best metal for making jewellery.’
      • ‘Getting the whole picture gives us a much better vantage of making the very best decision possible.’
      • ‘Again, your local garden centre will be able to recommend the best brands for your needs.’
      • ‘Subjects covered included choosing a suitable pet and the best ways to handle and feed snakes and lizards.’
      • ‘Even today you will find experts within the insurance world who will swear an endowment is the very best way to repay a homeloan.’
      • ‘As the bird could not fly properly she thought it best to take him in and look after him.’
      • ‘This is the best and most effective mode in which to run your Virus scanner if your computer is infected.’
      • ‘While what he says may be true, admitting it publicly does not seem to be the best method of closing the psychological gap.’
      • ‘Similarly, he can determine the best routes for delivery trucks to avoid heavy traffic.’
      • ‘They persuaded him it would be best if he told the truth.’
      • ‘Earlier workshops focused on recommendations for the best ways to conduct tests.’
      • ‘You are required to constantly assess the best course of action and think on your feet.’
      • ‘I read a good article the other day that suggests one of the best ways to lose weight is sleeping.’
      • ‘Can you recommend the best website to create albums for others to view?’
      • ‘It goes without saying that the very best way to get at fish like this is with a boat.’
      • ‘We take you through the options, suggest the best solutions for your needs, and point out the pitfalls.’
      most advantageous, most suitable, most fitting, most appropriate, most apt
      View synonyms

adverb

  • 1To the highest degree; most.

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

noun

usually the best
  • 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 year’s event will cover the best of both domestic and international manufacturing practices’
    • ‘He wants to be the best at everything he does, whether it be football or pool or golf.’
    • ‘Why don't we just grow up and admit that England cannot always be the best at everything.’
    • ‘The excellent wine menu offers the best from the new and old worlds at reasonable prices.’
    • ‘We may not be the best at marketing but we know how to do technology.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's no point trying to be the best at anything, because failure will be all the worse.’
    • ‘The bagpipe players will get a chance to learn from the best at a workshop tomorrow.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘There's no one on the planet that will deny they were the best at what they did.’
    • ‘They may or may not be the best at any given moment, but no team handles the ball better.’
    • ‘On the net, you're constantly exposed to the best that is available in the digital medium.’
    • ‘Now I'm useless, but it was a great buzz being the best at the thing you love most 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?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘How enjoyable school is when you are one of the best at doing things.’
    • ‘If you're on top of your game and the best at what you do, the natural impulse is to let people know.’
    • ‘This means that we can arrange all the items in a list, with the best at the top and the worst at the bottom.’
    • ‘He wished the best for the pupils and saw teaching as a team effort - home and school.’
    • ‘It has been a very tough event, but it is fantastic to be recognised for my performance against the best in the world.’
    finest, top, cream, choice, choicest, prime, elite, crème de la crème, flower, jewel in the crown, nonpareil
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1 The most meritorious aspect of a thing or person.
      ‘he brought out the best in people’
      • ‘He now enjoyed a sustained spell of supremacy which brought out the best in a determined York defence.’
      • ‘He spent a lot of time with the contributors, and believes his honest approach helped get the best from them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He is a prime example of how adversity brings 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.’
      • ‘Spain has brought out the best in him.’
      • ‘His curling shot to the far post, after a surging break by his opponent, brought out the best in him.’
      • ‘The war brought out the best in many people, as was demonstrated by many of the museum displays.’
      • ‘She was regarded among her pupils as a fair teacher who brought out the best in her young charges.’
      • ‘It has brought out the best in people of all ages and cultures who have given time and money.’
      • ‘This here's what you'd call discreet charm, and that's what brings out the best in a guide.’
      • ‘We have had three people there but for varying reasons it hasn't brought out the best in them.’
      • ‘The enormity of the disaster seems, though, to have brought out the best in people.’
      • ‘He has brought out the best in a superb cast to maintain that delicate balance on stage.’
      • ‘The worst of the weather brought out the best in all of them, horses, riders and audience.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Genre films they no doubt were, but as was true with the illustrious star in America, they 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.’
      • ‘They also brought out the best in communities who battled past the point of exhaustion against the rising waters.’
      • ‘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.’
      most favourable aspect, most pleasant aspect, best point
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2one's best The peak of condition; the highest standard or level that a person or thing can reach.
      ‘this is jazz at its best’
      ‘try to look your best’
      • ‘I'm going into middle school soon and I want to look my best and not be teased so much!’
      • ‘It's party time coming up so this is the ideal opportunity to learn how to look your best.’
      • ‘Every bride likes to look her best - but this wedding gown was never going to hide any blushes.’
      • ‘You have to look your best on these occasions.’
      • ‘With all the large cast giving their very best, this was an enjoyable and memorable show.’
      • ‘It's getting harder as I get older, but I like to make sure they always look their best.’
      • ‘He was also a keen gardener and kept the station looking its best with plants and flowers.’
      • ‘I was, after all, going to a memorial service and wanted to look my best.’
      • ‘The energy firm is doing its best to shake up the world of utility stocks.’
      • ‘At their best they combine free improvisation with an elastic approach to standards.’
      • ‘At their best the acts should promote improved communication and management of records.’
      • ‘She was very fashion conscious and always liked to look her best at all times.’
      • ‘So all you have to do is your best, or even just the level required for your work output, and you're set.’
      • ‘We will have to be at our best if we want to retain our title’
      • ‘You are expected to look your best at every moment, before, during and after the wedding.’
      • ‘With the Christmas party season nearly here, the pressure is on for women to look their best.’
      • ‘The poor old BBC, doing its best to provide a useful service to those ungrateful viewers!’
      • ‘She is about 10 years past her best.’
      • ‘She had a lifelong interest in fashion and style, and always liked to look her best.’
      • ‘This record aims to show him at his best.’
      record-breaking, best ever, its best, one's best, optimum, unbeaten, unsurpassed, unparalleled, unequalled, superlative, second to none, never previously achieved
      View synonyms
    3. 1.3one's best One's finest or most formal clothes.
      ‘she dressed in her best’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mum was coming and she was all dressed up in her best.’
      • ‘Soon Elizabeth was dressed in her best.’
      • ‘Sonia watched in amusement as he dressed in his best, getting ready for town.’
      • ‘The day was bright and fair, the children sparkling in their new attire and the parents, sponsors and relations turned out in their best.’
      best clothes, finery, sunday best
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (in sports) a record performance.
      ‘a lifetime best of 12.0 seconds’
      See also personal best
      • ‘Canada's Perdita Felicien smashed her lifetime best with victory in 12.53 seconds to upset gold medal favourite Brigitte Foster.’
      • ‘"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.’
      • ‘Despite a lifetime best in the 1,500m, Lee finished out of the medals.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Sehwag's previous best was 195 scored against Australia at Melbourne in December last year.’
      • ‘His time of 3: 49.59 was only six-tenths off his all-time best from 1996.’
      • ‘In the under - 17 race, Lauren Blackie showed remarkable consistency to time 8.17 sec twice, 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.’
      • ‘His time was a magnificent 2 minutes 5.7 seconds, well inside the previous best.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Molly won a bronze medal in the 200 meter backstroke, swimming a lifetime best of 2:16.42.’
      • ‘His time of 67:52 knocked more than 2 minutes off his previous best.’
      • ‘All-in-all there were 13 championship bests at Seville in 1999.’
      • ‘At 29, he was coming to the end of his career, but he set a lifetime best in the final.’

verb

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

    ‘she refused to allow herself to be bested’
    • ‘He takes understandable pleasure in besting his brother on the polo field and on the ski slopes.’
    • ‘If a heckler should best a politician, the moment could be screened over and over again on TV.’
    • ‘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 that was your best, you have no hope of besting me!’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Over the years, I have seen him tested thrice, and thrice has he been bested by this simple and inexpensive item.’
    • ‘But the whole thing was such a cynical mix of half-truths, untruths and twisted logic that it ended up besting me.’
    • ‘There were times when even he had trouble besting her in duels.’
    • ‘She bests the boys in fights, follows trails with a woodsman's craft, and lives off the charitable contributions of miners.’
    • ‘And it's not a bad idea to put in somebody who, at least in the campaign, has bested him often.’
    • ‘But they keep coming back because the only way to earn a reputation is by besting him.’
    • ‘This rests on the bizarre idea that he was bested by his old sparring partner.’
    • ‘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?’
    • ‘But she can only give herself to a man who bests her in hand-to-hand combat.’
    • ‘He did not know if she was capable of besting him.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Neither group forms a monolithic bloc, of course, but women are besting men in registering and voting.’
    • ‘But consistently besting the President will be tougher.’
    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
    View synonyms

Usage

On the punctuation of best in compound adjectives, see well

Phrases

  • all the best

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

      • ‘We wish him all the best for the future years and may his great success continue.’
      • ‘The pupils and teachers are wished all the best as the new school year recommences.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We would like to take this opportunity to wish them both all the best with their new venture.’
      • ‘Their many friends wish them all the best of good fortune for many years to come.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I'm still behind my decision but I wish them all the best and they deserve all the credit they get.’
      • ‘Here's wishing you all the best over this difficult period, and hoping you will be back to full steam in no time!’
      • ‘You won't see me writing on Monday so You will have to wish me all the best from now.’
      • ‘We also wish them all the best while away and hope that they return back home safe and sound again in autumn.’
      • ‘I wish him all the best with the movie, which I know is popular, and which I still haven't seen.’
      • ‘They are wished all the best by their many friends around the Kiltimagh and Knock areas.’
      • ‘Museum staff said they wanted to wish the team all the best for next season and so invited them along to see the Harrier.’
      • ‘But he did, and we did a little catch up and I wished him all the best in his career.’
      • ‘Vince has a lot to offer, and I wish him all the best as he makes his mark on the national sporting scene.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Well done to both players on a great achievement and we wish them all the best in the All Ireland final.’
      • ‘The staff and committee would like to wish her all the best for the future in her new position.’
      • ‘We wish the Courages all the best and thank them for standing in at short notice.’
      • ‘We wish him all the best - the man is simply a genius and this is undoubtedly a highlight of the whole month.’
  • 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.’
      • ‘‘You live with it as best you can,’ he said.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 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.’’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I see what you're trying to do, Ms. T, you're simply advocating for your child 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You just - you don't deal with it, you just go on 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.’
      • ‘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 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.’
  • at best

    • Taking the most optimistic or favorable view.

      ‘signs of recovery are patchy at best’
      • ‘The problem with this is that the effect of the war in this respect would be marginal, at best.’
      • ‘An assessment that has since been revealed as naive at best and base deception at worst.’
      • ‘So far those attempts have been at worst disastrous and at best meaningless.’
      • ‘It's a fun idea but the disparity between tracks results in a patchy experience at best.’
      • ‘He made a strategic error and was at best guilty of political naivety, at worst of incompetence.’
      • ‘Britain's role in this affair has been at best ambiguous and at worst shameful.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The first views her at best as a mad, talentless manipulator and at worst as a murderer.’
      • ‘This is arrogance at best, but worst of all, you're hurting a poor old man's feelings.’
      • ‘I thought about it for a while, tried to remember the events of the evening, it was patchy at best.’
      • ‘Yet the support of the people of York is at best equivocal and at worst non-existent.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘All serious analysts of crime deride this as at best ignorant and at worst dishonest.’
      • ‘He said the problem was at best causing an obstruction and at worst could cause a serious accident.’
      • ‘People who left the church were seen at best as misguided and not spiritual enough.’
      • ‘Some even say they are the heart of the problem and that their delivery is, at best, patchy.’
      • ‘There are areas of conventional science which are at best misguided and at worst fraudulent.’
      • ‘It says allergies are increasingly common and can be at best inconvenient but at worst fatal.’
      • ‘It was extraordinarily modest and at best misleading as to the First Lady's world view.’
      only, merely, simply, but, nothing but, no more than
      View synonyms
  • at the best of times

    • Even in the most favorable circumstances.

      ‘his memory is poor at the best of times’
      • ‘But get onto the lesser ring roads and the traffic movement is atrocious 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.’
      • ‘It is famously difficult to get into Crannog at the best of times.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In truth, I'm not a great one for beauty contests at the best of times.’
      • ‘See, I'm impatient at the best of times, and P frequently accuses me of wanting everything at once.’
      • ‘Shopping can be an exhausting and uncomfortable experience at the best of times, but Christmas shopping?’
      • ‘Being a bus driver has to be a stressful job at the best of times.’
      • ‘A car stuffed with drug money crashing outside your record store is a bummer at the best of times, not least opening day.’
      • ‘Writers are monsters at the best of times, but writers who can't write, what do they become?’
      • ‘One should bear in mind that universities have never been a place for the purely money-motivated at the best of times.’
      • ‘His job - not easy at the best of times - is to try to persuade the member states to act together, wisely and well.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘A gloomy - looking man at the best of times, he looked like a miserable, cornered beast.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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?’
      • ‘Joe is somber enough at the best of times, so if a little unpolished, he's not too offensive to watch.’
  • best of breed

    • 1The animal in a show judged to be the best representative of its 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.’
      • ‘Dog breeders Gary and Gill Gray were celebrating after their German Shepherd Lottie won best of breed.’
      • ‘Tender loving care has saved the show career of Luna who won ' best of breed ' for the third year running at Crufts.’
      • ‘Just two years later she surprised everyone by winning one of the top honours in the show best of breed.’
      • ‘Arthur took best of breed today.’
      • ‘"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.’
      • ‘That rabbit won best of breed that day.’
      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’
        • ‘And now here we are, the best in breed, trying to stay sexy and not looking at what is most meaningful and logical.’
        • ‘He is untouchable, Scotland's supreme champion, best of breed.’
        • ‘Baltimore's technology has usually been touted as "best of breed" but rather expensive.’
        • ‘This approach is often called best of breed.’
        • ‘It's third-quarter 5.89 % total return also ranks it among the best of breed.’
        • ‘It will also have to persuade firms of the merits of best of breed rather than all-in-one solutions.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Avdl may make it easier to manage and deploy best in breed products.’
        • ‘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.’
  • the best of friends

    • Very good friends.

      • ‘The three of us had become very close to each other and became the best of friends.’
      • ‘Those 3 kids are playing in this same park like they are the best of friends.’
      • ‘The story revolves around two New England couples who are the best of friends.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This trip brought all three of us so close together that even today, 20 years later, we are still the best of friends.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The three were the best of friends at York and will no doubt enjoy sharing some liquid refreshment after tomorrow's showdown.’
      • ‘The rest of the time we are the best of friends, sharing many common interests in Africa, human rights issues, and humour.’
      • ‘Of course, the food and drink can be a lot of fun, especially when you're surrounded by the best of friends and family.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Yet the trio, who were awarded their gold medals at the Agios Kosmas sailing venue last night, remain 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.’
      • ‘Last week we had been friends, not the best of friends, but friends nonetheless.’
      • ‘They were the best of friends and shared the same advisers but they were individuals and each handled his situation differently.’
      • ‘We are now the best of friends however, as I am magnanimous in defeat.’
      • ‘A good book is the best of friends, the same today and forever.’
      • ‘Neighbours are not always the best of friends when it comes to football: just ask any Celtic or Rangers fan.’
      • ‘We are now the best of friends - because friends can do anything together!’
      • ‘Although they were nearly always pitted as adversaries on screen, beyond the studio they were the best of friends.’
      • ‘Sometimes we squabble, but most of the time we're the best of friends.’
  • the best of three (or five etc.)

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

      • ‘A badminton match is decided by the best of three games.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Then we shortened the idea to the best of five with the ladder match being the rubber match.’
      • ‘It will be the best of five games and there will be six dartboards in operation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The Clan lost the opening game of the best of three set 70-58.’
      • ‘Matches must be the best of five games to qualify as a pyramid match.’
      • ‘Normally the best of three games is played, so the overall winners are the first team to win two 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.’
      • ‘Matches will continue to be the best of five games.’
      • ‘The Thunderbirds will play host to the best of three game tilt.’
      • ‘All 12 teams make the play-offs with the bottom eight competing in the best of three preliminary round.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But everybody had to do three time trials and it was the best of three.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘This is said to combine the best of three distinctly different areas, all a delight to divers.’
      • ‘Teams will be two-a-side and played up to 11 points a game over the best of three sets.’
      • ‘The decision goes to the one who gets the best of three.’
      • ‘Each game is the best of three sets with each set being played to 15 aces.’
  • the best part of

    • Most of.

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

    • 1An expression of hope for someone's future happiness or welfare.

      ‘we sent our best wishes for a speedy recovery’
      • ‘Very best wishes for the future from all their families and friends.’
      • ‘We wish all our parishioners a very Merry Chirstmas and best wishes for the New Year.’
      • ‘The entire community sends Birdie best wishes for her continued recovery.’
      • ‘So from all your family and friends, happy birthday and best wishes for the future.’
      • ‘The entire FAS team and the community send her best wishes for her future happiness.’
      • ‘Wishing you all a very happy Christmas and very best wishes for the New Year.’
      • ‘Many who could not attend sent their best wishes for a successful day.’
      • ‘Presenting the awards Mary wished the club best wishes for a successful future.’
      • ‘In sending her best wishes for her birthday we also wish her good news in her results.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘They deserve our best wishes for the future, especially since many of them are now unemployed.’
      • ‘Tommy, best wishes for your special day, and we wish you lots more birthdays.’
      • ‘But leaving aside esoteric question of etiquette all best wishes for future happiness!’
      • ‘The whole community extend to this jovial and Christian man very best wishes for a long and fulfilled retirement.’
      • ‘Congratulations and best wishes for future happiness to all concerned.’
      • ‘Congratulations to all involved in the marathon and our best wishes for yet another successful season.’
      • ‘Congratulations to all involved and best wishes for the next twenty!’
      • ‘Their many friends have extended to them warm best wishes for many more years of health, happiness and joy.’
      • ‘Please pass on my thanks to everyone for their support and compliments and their best wishes for my future.’
      • ‘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
      1. 1.1Written at the end of a letter.
        ‘Best wishes, Celia’
        • ‘You can suffer agonies of rejection when you sign off with ‘Love’, only to receive ‘Best wishes’ in return.’
        • ‘Keep up in your studies, and try not to let this affect you. Best wishes to you, Darren.’
        • ‘I look forward to hearing from you. Best wishes, George.’
  • one's best years

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

      ‘he had spent the best years of his life working at the stables’
      • ‘Progress would dry up as creative minds wasted their best years in uncreative apprenticeships, under the sour scrutiny of their elders.’
      • ‘For me, those were my best years, both as a footballer and in my life.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Nonetheless, despite their differences - in career terms, in appearance, and in age - both could yet have their best years ahead of them.’
      • ‘The lean singer says, though he was born in Punjab, Hyderabad was home to him because he spent his best years here.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Also, all of the players had their best years from about the ages 23-26, with little variation.’
      • ‘But they won only two Grand Slam events in their best years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the meantime the Chancellor, it is now clear, has had his best years.’
      • ‘He holds down the left-back slot at Monaco and has his best years in front of him.’
      • ‘As the teacher's hot words mounted, she convinced herself that she was sacrificing her best years, for these ‘undeserving brats.’’
      • ‘And most of those players have their best years ahead of them.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘With her best years behind her, she can hardly reasonably expect to be kept in the manner to which she has become accustomed.’
      • ‘Some of those players are still trying to play the game at that level, and perhaps they've had their best years.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He always said his best years in football were between the ages of 27 and 33, because that is when he learned his trade.’
      • ‘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.’
  • do (or try) one's best

    • Do all one can.

      ‘Ruth did her best to reassure her’
      • ‘People are trying their best to make the town look attractive but rubbish really spoils it.’
      • ‘You're trying your best to create, in front of the camera, some approximation of the real world.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The thinking goes, ‘My parents are trying their best, so I shouldn't complain.’’
      • ‘Democrats control neither Congress nor the White House, but they are trying their best to control the judicial nominating process.’
      • ‘All the previous presidents insisted upon trying their best to bring about some sort of accommodation between Israel and its nation neighbors.’
      • ‘You also drive under pressure all day trying your best to keep your bus on time.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘‘We submit the prosecution witnesses were essentially trying their best to tell you the truth of what they recall happened that night,’ he said.’
      • ‘People have faced up to the issues and are trying their best to bring communities together.’
      • ‘Alex was watching, so the United players were all trying their best and we got hammered.’
      • ‘We know we are in for a fight so everyone's pulling together and trying their best.’
      • ‘But now I realize everybody's trying their best.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Mrs Jones said: ‘The police have been fantastic and I know they are trying their best.’’
      • ‘I have always been a great believer in trying your best to get into good positions in sport.’
      • ‘‘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.’
      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
      View synonyms
  • be for (or all for) the best

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

      • ‘So, no picture of Mom and maybe it's all for the best, huh?’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘She didn't know the answers to her questions, but maybe that was for the best.’
      • ‘10 years ago my parents divorced, and it was for the best.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Still - reading what I've just written, maybe it 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.’
      • ‘I knew that he could tell that I wasn't happy about the decision, but maybe it was for the best.’
      • ‘Uncle Bill put a lot of work into a failed effort, but maybe it was for the best.’
      • ‘He has brought nothing but death, destruction and fear, maybe a change is for the best.’
      • ‘Maybe it was for the best that Deimos expressed no interest in her.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Maybe it was for the best though, she thought, she had to deal with her own problems, they'd catch up to her anyway.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘But if this was causing her problems already maybe it would be for the best…’
  • get the best of

    • Overcome (someone)

      ‘his drinking got the best of him and he was fired’
      • ‘Maybe it was my own hunger pangs getting the best of me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Bomber's great fault is his enthusiasm sometimes gets 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.’
      • ‘In the end, Gray's vanity gets the best of him in a most brutal manner - beauty, after all, can't last forever.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘My head was light, I felt extremely weak and the joint pains got the best of me.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘In the earlier semi-final, Sheffield Steelers got the best of a scrappy game.’
      • ‘Ted's bout with delusions is getting the best of him, I suppose.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, we never really got the best of the old building.’
      • ‘Were China's entrenched conservative interests getting the best of him?’
      • ‘Because of that you felt that you were part of a movement, your ego got the best of you.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘However, on the afternoon of their 10th anniversary, curiosity got the best of her and she lifted the lid and peeked inside.’
      • ‘Anger and paranoia, no doubt vital fuels for his groundbreaking work, got the best of him in the end.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Your quest has continued so long that, unfortunately, you now run the risk of your impatience getting the best of you.’
  • had best do something

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

      ‘I'd best be going’
      • ‘If we do truly seal our border we had best do it with a true open door for those to walk through legally.’
      • ‘If we do not want them guiding it over a cliff, we had best do something to pry them from the grip of leftists.’
      • ‘So, attention Democrats: If you want to do something dramatic with your new majority, you had best do it now.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘So, a company that puts itself up for sale, with the intent of staying intact after the sale, had best do something about that.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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 are going to do something, we had best do it quick, before they get completely out of our range.’
      • ‘And he thinks ‘twill be very wet weather; So my friends and good fellows, You had best get home dry altogether. “’
      • ‘I really believe if you want to be successful today in this arena, you had best do it all.’
      • ‘You had best be careful, there is a lot at stake here’
      • ‘Having become totally addicted to waterfall hiking we realized we had best do it safely and respectfully.’
      • ‘My impression is that they realize that there's a crisis here, and they had best do something about it.’
      • ‘My older son said, "Dad, it's still us three against the world, and the world had best watch out."’
      • ‘Only you can force sustained revenue and earnings growth at your agency and you had best do it now.’
      • ‘If you want the corner curvature to be right you had best do it yourself.’
      • ‘Apple had best hurry up with that video.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘If the duo have any plans at all of going outside, they had best do it early.’
      • ‘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.’
  • make the best of

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

      ‘you'll just have to make the best of the situation’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The production makes the best of the limited space of the top floor of Bewley's.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It was a difficult speech to give, but I think she made the best of a bad job.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘I have made mistakes but what is important is making the best of the resources available to me.’
      • ‘Adie, of course, is a bit of a trooper, experienced in making the best of difficult situations.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘The prevailing ethos on No Disco seemed a bit more thoughtful, a bit more arty, making the best of an obviously limited budget.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘You can complain, or you can make the best of it.’
      • ‘Frustrated travelers made the best of a bad day’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘He frequently makes the best of limited opportunities, and was again seen to advantage aboard Forest Leader in the moderate Rathkeale Handicap Hurdle.’
      • ‘To his supporters, Washington was making the best of limited opportunities for African Americans in the South.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      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’
        • ‘The emphasis is making the best of what we already have.’
        • ‘However, Tchaikovsky showed it was possible to make the best of both worlds.’
        • ‘With the recent spell of reasonably fine, dry weather everyone is making the best of it.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘This is about making the best of what you have got,’ he said.’
        • ‘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?’
        • ‘He has proved himself at Leicester and Celtic, in each case making the best of his resources.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘Let us make the best of this virtue by living it, by making colour, caste, language and similar distinctions irrelevant among us.’
        • ‘We have here the where-with-all to make the best of all possible amenities.’
        • ‘We have to make the best of whatever cards we have been given.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘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.’
        • ‘He encouraged them in every way possible to make the best of their respective strengths.’
        • ‘Its really easy to be frustrated… but isn't life all about making the best of what you have?’
        • ‘It's just a question of Papua New Guinea making the best of the resources that are available to it.’
        • ‘He has been phenomenal at making the best of what he has got.’
        • ‘We have to make the best of our maritime resources in all aspects.’
  • with the best of them

    • As well or as much as anyone.

      ‘he'll be out there dancing with the best of them’
      • ‘Not much of a dribbler; could travel and carry the ball 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.’
      • ‘We can park with the best of them - we've all had enough practice.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘After Round Five, that gives her 28 from a possible 40, right up there with the best of them.’
      • ‘But where they are in power, they privatise with the best of them.’
      • ‘Our companies can compete with the best of them, if the playing field is level.’
      • ‘She knows her French philosophers and can pontificate on Sartrian self-determinism 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘We like to think that we're up there with the best of them, and we get grumpy and defensive when visitors suggest otherwise.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's coupled with a male lead singer who croons 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.’
      • ‘She still had her Irish brogue and could dance 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.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘When it comes to small countries, the Eaglemeister can stomp 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.’

Origin

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

Pronunciation

best

/bɛst//best/