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top drawer

the highest level in rank, excellence, or importance:
a musician strictly out of the top drawer.
Origin of top drawer
First recorded in 1900-05
Related forms
top-drawer, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for top drawer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She ran to the bureau and pulled open the top drawer with a jerk.

    The Goody-Naughty Book Sarah Cory Rippey
  • But I found it at last, got the top drawer open and took out my pistol.

    Rudder Grange Frank R. Stockton
  • "Neither in the bottom drawer nor the top drawer," said the detective.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
  • Tell him to bring the revolver he will find in the top drawer of my desk!

    The Blue Wall

    Richard Washburn Child
  • They say the Nathians were top drawer in political mechanics.

    Operation Haystack Frank Patrick Herbert
  • He broke off abruptly, going to the top drawer of a dresser.

    Uncle Sam's Boys as Sergeants

    H. Irving Hancock
  • Only a 248 week ago she had seen it in the top drawer of her desk.

    The Wall Between

    Sara Ware Bassett
  • He opened the top drawer and handed a glossy print across the desk.

    Get Out of Our Skies! E. K. Jarvis
  • You'll find it tucked away in your collar-box in the top drawer of your bureau.

    Blacksheep! Blacksheep! Meredith Nicholson
British Dictionary definitions for top drawer

top drawer

people of the highest standing, esp socially (esp in the phrase out of the top drawer)
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with top drawer

top drawer

Of the highest quality, importance, or rank, as in The musicians in this pick-up orchestra were top drawer. It probably alludes to the uppermost drawer in a bureau or chest, where the most valuable objects (such as jewelry) are usually kept. [ c. 1900 ]
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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