- of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work; the best students.
- most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
- largest; most: the best part of a day.
- most excellently or suitably; with most advantage or success: an opera role that best suits her voice.
- in or to the highest degree; most fully (usually used in combination): best-suited; best-known; best-loved.
- something or someone that is best: They always demand and get the best. The best of us can make mistakes.
- a person's finest clothing: It's important that you wear your best.
- a person's most agreeable or desirable emotional state (often preceded by at).
- a person's highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc. (often preceded by at).
- the highest quality to be found in a given activity or category of things (often preceded by at): cabinetmaking at its best.
- the best effort that a person, group, or thing can make: Their best fell far short of excellence.
- a person's best wishes or kindest regards: Please give my best to your father.
- to get the better of; defeat; beat: He easily bested his opponent in hand-to-hand combat. She bested me in the argument.
- all for the best, for the good as the final result; to an ultimate advantage: At the time it was hard to realize how it could be all for the best.Also for the best.
- as best one can, in the best way possible under the circumstances: We tried to smooth over the disagreement as best we could.
- at best, under the most favorable circumstances: You may expect to be treated civilly, at best.
- get/have the best of,
- to gain the advantage over.
- to defeat; subdue: His arthritis gets the best of him from time to time.
- had best, would be wisest or most reasonable to; ought to: You had best phone your mother to tell her where you are going.
- make the best of, to cope with in the best way possible: to make the best of a bad situation.
- with the best, on a par with the most capable: He can play bridge with the best.
Origin of best
- Charles Herbert,1899–1978, Canadian physiologist, born in the U.S.: one of the discoverers of insulin.
- morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
- satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
- of high quality; excellent.
- right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
- well-behaved: a good child.
- kind, beneficent, or friendly: to do a good deed.
- honorable or worthy; in good standing: a good name.
- educated and refined: She has a good background.
- financially sound or safe: His credit is good.
- genuine; not counterfeit: a good quarter.
- sound or valid: good judgment; good reasons.
- reliable; dependable; responsible: good advice.
- healthful; beneficial: Fresh fruit is good for you.
- in excellent condition; healthy: good teeth.
- not spoiled or tainted; edible; palatable: The meat was still good after three months in the freezer.
- favorable; propitious: good news.
- cheerful; optimistic; amiable: in good spirits.
- free of distress or pain; comfortable: to feel good after surgery.
- agreeable; pleasant: Have a good time.
- attractive; handsome: She has a good figure.
- (of the complexion) smooth; free from blemish.
- close or intimate; warm: She's a good friend of mine.
- sufficient or ample: a good supply.
- advantageous; satisfactory for the purpose: a good day for fishing.
- competent or skillful; clever: a good manager; good at arithmetic.
- skillfully or expertly done: a really good job; a good play.
- conforming to rules of grammar, usage, etc.; correct: good English.
- socially proper: good manners.
- remaining available to one: Don't throw good money after bad.
- comparatively new or of relatively fine quality: Don't play in the mud in your good clothes.
- finest or most dressy: He wore his good suit to the office today.
- full: a good day's journey away.
- fairly large or great: a good amount.
- free from precipitation or cloudiness: good weather.
- Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs, being conscious and comfortable, and having excellent appetite, mobility, etc.
- fertile; rich: good soil.
- loyal: a good Democrat.
- (of a return or service in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) landing within the limits of a court or section of a court.
- Informal. (used when declining an offer or suggestion, as to communicate that one is already satisfied): "More coffee?" "No thanks, I’m good!"
- Horse Racing. (of the surface of a track) drying after a rain so as to be still slightly sticky: This horse runs best on a good track.
- (of meat, especially beef) noting or pertaining to the specific grade below “choice,” containing more lean muscle and less edible fat than “prime” or “choice.”
- favorably regarded (used as an epithet for a ship, town, etc.): the good ship Syrena.
- profit or advantage; worth; benefit: What good will that do? We shall work for the common good.
- excellence or merit; kindness: to do good.
- moral righteousness; virtue: to be a power for good.
- (especially in the grading of U.S. beef) an official grade below that of “choice.”
- possessions, especially movable effects or personal property.
- articles of trade; wares; merchandise: canned goods.
- Informal.what has been promised or is expected: to deliver the goods.
- Informal.the genuine article.
- Informal.evidence of guilt, as stolen articles: to catch someone with the goods.
- cloth or textile material: top-quality linen goods.
- Chiefly British.merchandise sent by land, rather than by water or air.
- the good,
- the ideal of goodness or morality.
- good things or persons collectively.
- (used as an expression of approval or satisfaction): Good! Now we can all go home.
- Informal. well1(defs 1–3, 8): I wish I could cook this good! Yes, we knew him pretty good.
- as good as. as1(def 20).
- come to no good, to end in failure or as a failure: Her jealous relatives said that she would come to no good.
- for good, finally and permanently; forever: to leave the country for good.Also for good and all.
- good and, Informal. very; completely; exceedingly: This soup is good and hot.
- good for,
- certain to repay (money owed) because of integrity, financial stability, etc.
- the equivalent in value of: Two thousand stamps are good for one coffeepot.
- able to survive or continue functioning for (the length of time or the distance indicated): These tires are good for another 10,000 miles.
- valid or in effect for (the length of time indicated): a license good for one year.
- (used as an expression of approval): Good for you!
- good full, Nautical. (of a sail or sails) well filled, especially when sailing close to the wind; clean full; rap full.
- make good,
- to make recompense for; repay.
- to implement an agreement; fulfill.
- to be successful.
- to substantiate; verify.
- to carry out; accomplish; execute: The convicts made good their getaway.
- no good, without value or merit; worthless; contemptible: The check was no good.
- to the good,
- generally advantageous: That's all to the good, but what do I get out of it?
- richer in profit or gain: When he withdrew from the partnership, he was several thousand dollars to the good.
Origin of good
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
The adjective good is standard after linking verbs like taste, smell, look, feel, be, and seem: Everything tastes good. The biscuits smell good. You're looking good today. When used after look or feel, good may refer to spirits as well as health: I'm feeling pretty good this morning, ready to take on the world. Well is both an adjective and an adverb. As an adjective used after look, feel, or other linking verbs, it often refers to good health: You're looking well; we missed you while you were in the hospital. See also bad.
- in a good or satisfactory manner: Business is going well.
- thoroughly, carefully, or soundly: to shake well before using; listen well.
- in a moral or proper manner: to behave well.
- commendably, meritoriously, or excellently: a difficult task well done.
- with propriety, justice, or reason: I could not well refuse.
- adequately or sufficiently: Think well before you act.
- to a considerable extent or degree (often used in combination): a sum well over the amount agreed upon; a well-developed theme.
- with great or intimate knowledge: to know a person well.
- certainly; without doubt: I anger easily, as you well know.
- with good nature; without rancor: He took the joke well.
- in good health; sound in body and mind: Are you well? He is not a well man.
- satisfactory, pleasing, or good: All is well with us.
- proper, fitting, or gratifying: It is well that you didn't go.
- in a satisfactory position; well-off: I am very well as I am.
- (used to express surprise, reproof, etc.): Well! There's no need to shout.
- (used to introduce a sentence, resume a conversation, etc.): Well, who would have thought he could do it?
- well-being; good fortune; success: to wish well to someone.
- as well,
- in addition; also; too: She insisted on directing the play and on producing it as well.
- equally: The town grew as well because of its location as because of its superb climate.
- as well as, as much or as truly as; equally as: Joan is witty as well as intelligent.
- leave well enough alone, avoid changing something that is satisfactory.
Origin of well1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
In a similar manner, adjectival compounds formed with better, best, little, lesser, least, etc., are also hyphenated when placed before the noun ( a little-understood theory ), but the hyphen is dropped when the adjectival combination follows the noun ( his films are best known in England ) or is itself modified by an adverb ( a too little understood theory ).
There are exceptions to this pattern. For example, when the combining adverb ends in –ly, no hyphen is required, whether the resulting adjectival combination appears before or after the noun: a highly regarded surgeon; a surgeon who is highly regarded.
Don’t let the hyphens fool you. Punctuation can be tricky!
- a hole drilled or bored into the earth to obtain water, petroleum, natural gas, brine, or sulfur.
- a spring or natural source of water.
- an apparent reservoir or a source of human feelings, emotions, energy, etc.: He was a well of gentleness and courtesy.
- a container, receptacle, or reservoir for a liquid: the well of ink in a fountain pen.
- any sunken or deep, enclosed space, as a shaft for air or light, stairs, or an elevator, extending vertically through the floors of a building.
- a part of a weather deck between two superstructures, extending from one side of a vessel to the other.
- a compartment or enclosure around a ship's pumps to make them easily accessible and protect them from being damaged by the cargo.
- a hollow compartment, recessed area, or depression for holding a specific item or items, as fish in the bottom of a boat or the retracted wheels of an airplane in flight.
- any shaft dug or bored into the earth, as for storage space or a mine.
- to rise, spring, or gush, as water, from the earth or some other source (often followed by up, out, or forth): Tears welled up in my eyes.
- to send welling up or forth: a fountain welling its pure water.
- like, of, resembling, from, or used in connection with a well.
Origin of well2
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for best
The best comparison here for an American audience is, well, Internet stuff.Trolls and Martyrdom: Je Ne Suis Pas Charlie
January 9, 2015
Strangio is at his best when exposing what appears to be a flourishing civil society in Cambodia.Cambodia’s Smoke-and-Mirrors Democracy
January 9, 2015
Her style, much like her diminutive nickname, is best described as “Hamptons twee”—preppy and peppy.How Taryn Toomey’s ‘The Class’ Became New York’s Latest Fitness Craze
January 9, 2015
Perhaps on his own nowadays, Epstein is trying his best to webmaster over a dozen URLs.Sleazy Billionaire’s Double Life Featured Beach Parties With Stephen Hawking
January 8, 2015
Scalise spoke briefly, adding little of substance, saying that the people back home know him best.The Price of Steve Scalise’s Silence
January 7, 2015
The best of his works is the Olympian Zeus, made at Elis after his exile.
The best doctrines become the worst, when they are used for evil purposes.
"Settle the best you can," was his final direction to Coplen.The Spenders
Harry Leon Wilson
But the purest and best matrons of Greece refuse to be my guests.
I don't think it will, mind, but it's best to be prepared, so give me the key.Brave and Bold
- the superlative of good
- most excellent of a particular group, category, etc
- most suitable, advantageous, desirable, attractive, etc
- the best part of most ofthe best part of an hour
- put one's best foot forward
- to do one's utmost to make progress
- to hurry
- the superlative of well 1
- in a manner surpassing all others; most excellently, advantageously, attractively, etc
- (in combination) in or to the greatest degree or extent; mostthe best-loved hero
- as best one can or as best one may as effectively as possible within one's limitations
- had best would be wise, sensible, etc, toyou had best go now
- the best the most outstanding or excellent person, thing, or group in a category
- (often preceded by at) the most excellent, pleasing, or skilled quality or conditionjournalism at its best
- the most effective effort of which a person or group is capableeven their best was inadequate
- a winning majoritythe best of three games
- Also: all the best best wishesshe sent him her best
- a person's smartest outfit of clothing
- at best
- in the most favourable interpretation
- under the most favourable conditions
- for the best
- for an ultimately good outcome
- with good intentionshe meant it for the best
- get the best of or have the best of to surpass, defeat, or outwit; better
- give someone the best to concede someone's superiority
- make the best of to cope as well as possible in the unfavourable circumstances of (often in the phrases make the best of a bad job, make the best of it)
- six of the best informal six strokes with a cane on the buttocks or hand
- (tr) to gain the advantage over or defeat
- Charles Herbert . 1899–1978, Canadian physiologist: associated with Banting and Macleod in their discovery of insulin in 1922
- George . 1946–2005, Northern Ireland footballer
- having admirable, pleasing, superior, or positive qualities; not negative, bad or mediocrea good idea; a good teacher
- morally excellent or admirable; virtuous; righteousa good man
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the good
- suitable or efficient for a purposea good secretary; a good winter coat
- beneficial or advantageousvegetables are good for you
- not ruined or decayed; sound or wholethe meat is still good
- kindly, generous, or approvingyou are good to him
- right or acceptableyour qualifications are good for the job
- rich and fertilegood land
- valid or genuineI would not do this without good reason
- honourable or held in high esteema good family
- commercially or financially secure, sound, or safegood securities; a good investment
- (of a draft) drawn for a stated sum
- (of debts) expected to be fully paid
- clever, competent, or talentedhe's good at science
- obedient or well-behaveda good dog
- reliable, safe, or recommendeda good make of clothes
- affording material pleasure or indulgencethe good things in life; the good life
- having a well-proportioned, beautiful, or generally fine appearancea good figure; a good complexion
- complete; fullI took a good look round the house
- propitious; opportunea good time to ask the manager for a rise
- satisfying or gratifyinga good rest
- comfortabledid you have a good night?
- newest or of the best qualityto keep the good plates for important guests
- fairly large, extensive, or longa good distance away
- sufficient; amplewe have a good supply of food
- US (of meat) of the third government grade, above standard and below choice
- serious or intellectualgood music
- used in a traditional descriptionthe good ship ``America''
- used in polite or patronizing phrases or to express anger (often intended ironically)how is your good lady?; look here, my good man!
- a good one
- an unbelievable assertion
- a very funny joke
- as good as virtually; practicallyit's as good as finished
- as good as gold excellent; very good indeed
- be as good as to or be so good as to would you please
- come good to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback
- good and informal (intensifier)good and mad
- (intensifier; used in mild oaths)good grief!; good heavens!
- an exclamation of approval, agreement, pleasure, etc
- moral or material advantage or use; benefit or profitfor the good of our workers; what is the good of worrying?
- positive moral qualities; goodness; virtue; righteousness; piety
- (sometimes capital) moral qualities seen as a single abstract entitywe must pursue the Good
- a good thing
- economics a commodity or service that satisfies a human need
- for good or for good and all forever; permanentlyI have left them for good
- make good
- to recompense or repair damage or injury
- to be successful
- to demonstrate or prove the truth of (a statement or accusation)
- to secure and retain (a position)
- to effect or fulfil (something intended or promised)
- good on you or good for you well done, well said, etc: a term of congratulation
- get any good of or get some good of Irish
- to handle to good effectI never got any good of this machine
- to understand properlyI could never get any good of him
- to receive cooperation from
- (often used in combination) in a satisfactory mannerthe party went very well
- (often used in combination) in a good, skilful, or pleasing mannershe plays the violin well
- in a correct or careful mannerlisten well to my words
- in a comfortable or prosperous mannerto live well
- (usually used with auxiliaries) suitably; fittinglyyou can't very well say that
- intimatelyI knew him well
- in a kind or favourable mannershe speaks well of you
- to a great or considerable extent; fullyto be well informed
- by a considerable marginlet me know well in advance
- (preceded by could, might, or may) indeedyou may well have to do it yourself
- informal (intensifier)well safe
- all very well used ironically to express discontent, dissent, etc
- as well
- in addition; too
- (preceded by may or might)with equal effectyou might as well come
- just as wellpreferable or advisableit would be just as well if you paid me now
- as well as in addition to
- just leave well alone or just leave well enough alone to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
- well and good used to indicate calm acceptance, as of a decisionif you accept my offer, well and good
- well up in well acquainted with (a particular subject); knowledgeable about
- (when prenominal, usually used with a negative) in good healthI'm very well, thank you; he's not a well man
- satisfactory, agreeable, or pleasing
- prudent; advisableit would be well to make no comment
- prosperous or comfortable
- fortunate or happyit is well that you agreed to go
- an expression of surprise, indignation, or reproof
- an expression of anticipation in waiting for an answer or remark
- an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etcwell, I don't think I will come
- a hole or shaft that is excavated, drilled, bored, or cut into the earth so as to tap a supply of water, oil, gas, etc
- a natural pool where ground water comes to the surface
- a cavity, space, or vessel used to contain a liquid
- (in combination)an inkwell
- an open shaft through the floors of a building, such as one used for a staircase
- a deep enclosed space in a building or between buildings that is open to the sky to permit light and air to enter
- a bulkheaded compartment built around a ship's pumps for protection and ease of access
- another word for cockpit
- a perforated tank in the hold of a fishing boat for keeping caught fish alive
- (in England) the open space in the centre of a law court
- a source, esp one that provides a continuous supplyhe is a well of knowledge
- to flow or cause to flow upwards or outwardstears welled from her eyes
Word Origin and History for best
Old English beste, reduced by assimilation of -t- from earlier Old English betst "best, first, in the best manner," originally superlative of bot "remedy, reparation," the root word now only surviving in to boot (see boot (n.2)), though its comparative, better, and superlative, best, have been transferred to good (and in some cases well). From Proto-Germanic root *bat-, with comparative *batizon and superlative *batistaz (cf. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Middle Dutch best, Old High German bezzist, German best, Old Norse beztr, Gothic batists).
The best-laid schemes o' mice an' men
Gang aft agley,
An' lea'e us nought but grief an' pain,
For promis'd joy!
Best-seller as short for "best-selling book" is from 1902, apparently originally in the publishing trade; best friend was in Chaucer (late 14c.). Best girl is first attested 1881, American English; best man is 1814, originally Scottish, replacing groomsman. To be able to do something with the best of them is recorded by 1748.
"to get the better of," 1863, from best (adj.). Related: Bested; besting.
c.1200, from best (adj.).
"hole dug for water, spring of water," Old English wielle (West Saxon), welle (Anglian), from wiellan (see well (v.)).
Old English gōd "that which is good, goodness; advantage, benefit; gift; virtue; property;" from good (adj.).
"in a satisfactory manner," Old English wel, common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon wela, Old Norse vel, Old Frisian wel, Dutch wel, Old High German wela, German wohl, Gothic waila "well"), from PIE *wel-, *wol- (cf. Sanskrit prati varam "at will," Old Church Slavonic vole "well," Welsh gwell "better," Latin velle "to wish, will," Old English willan "to wish;" see will (v.)). Also used in Old English as an interjection and an expression of surprise. Well-to-do "prosperous" is recorded from 1825.
"to spring, rise, gush," Old English wiellan (Anglian wællan), causative of weallan "to boil, bubble up" (class VII strong verb; past tense weoll, past participle weallen), from Proto-Germanic *wal-, *wel- "roll" (cf. Old Saxon wallan, Old Norse vella, Old Frisian walla, Old High German wallan, German wallen, Gothic wulan "to bubble, boil"), from PIE root *wel- "to turn, roll" (see volvox), on notion of "roiling or bubbling water."
Old English god (with a long "o") "virtuous; desirable; valid; considerable," probably originally "having the right or desirable quality," from Proto-Germanic *gothaz (cf. Old Norse goðr, Dutch goed, Old High German guot, German gut, Gothic goþs), originally "fit, adequate, belonging together," from PIE root *ghedh- "to unite, be associated, suitable" (cf. Old Church Slavonic godu "pleasing time," Russian godnyi "fit, suitable," Old English gædrian "to gather, to take up together"). As an expression of satisfaction, from early 15c.; of children, "well-behaved," by 1690s.
Irregular comparatives (better, best) reflect a widespread pattern, cf. Latin bonus, melior, optimus. Good-for-nothing is from 1711. Good looking is attested from 1780 (good looks by c.1800). Good sport, of persons, is from 1906; good to go is attested from 1989. The good book "the Bible" attested from 1801, originally in missionary literature describing the language of conversion efforts in American Indian tribes.
Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing. ["As You Like It"]
- American-born Canadian physiologist noted for the discovery and successful clinical application of insulin.
- American-born Canadian physiologist who assisted Frederick Banting in the discovery of the hormone insulin. In acknowledgment of his work, Banting shared his portion of the 1923 Nobel Prize with Best. In addition to further refining the use of insulin, Best later discovered the vitamin choline and the enzyme histaminase, which breaks down histamine.
- A deep hole or shaft sunk into the Earth to tap a liquid or gaseous substance such as water, oil, gas, or brine. If the substance is not under sufficient pressure to flow freely from the well, it must be pumped or raised mechanically to the surface. Water or pressurized gas is sometimes pumped into a nonproducing oil well to push petroleum resources out of underground reservoirs. See also artesian well.
Idioms and Phrases with best
In addition to the idioms beginning with best
- all for the best
- all the best
- as best one can
- at best
- at one's best
- come off (second-best)
- do one's best
- get the better (best) of
- give it one's best shot
- had better (best)
- make the best of it
- on one's best behavior
- put one's best foot forward
- second best
- Sunday best
- in one's (best) interest
- to the best of one's ability
- with the best of them
- with the best will in the world
Also see underbetter.
In addition to the idioms beginning with good
- good and
- good around
- good as, as
- good as done, as
- good as gold, as
- good as one's word, as
- good day
- good deal, a
- good egg, a
- good evening
- good faith
- good for
- good graces
- good grief
- good head on one's shoulders, have a
- good life, the
- good luck
- good many, a
- good mind
- good morning
- good nature
- goodness gracious
- goodness knows
- good night
- good off
- good riddance
- good Samaritan
- good scout
- good sort
- good thing
- good time
- good turn
- good word
- good works
- goody two-shoes
- bad (good) sort
- but good
- do any good
- do good
- do one good
- for good
- for good measure
- get on someone's good side
- get out while the getting is good
- give a good account of oneself
- give as good as one gets
- have a good command of
- have a good mind to
- have a good thing going
- have a good time
- hold good
- ill wind (that blows nobody any good)
- in all good conscience
- in bad (good) faith
- in (good) condition
- in due course (all in good time)
- in good
- in good hands
- in good part
- in good spirits
- in good time
- in good with
- in someone's good graces
- keep (good) time
- make good
- make good time
- make someone look good
- miss is as good as a mile
- never had it so good
- no good
- no news is good news
- not the only fish (other good fish) in the sea
- one good turn deserves another
- on good terms
- on one's best (good) behavior
- put in a good word
- put to good use
- show someone a good time
- show to (good) advantage
- so far so good
- stand in good stead
- take in good part
- throw good money after bad
- to good purpose
- too good to be true
- too much of a good thing
- to the good
- turn to (good account)
- up to no good
- well and good
- what's the good of
- with good grace
- world of good
- your guess is as good as mine
In addition to the idioms beginning with well