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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. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for top drawer
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • The detail of one drawer is shown, giving the length and width, the height being that of the top drawer.

    Mission Furniture H. H. Windsor
  • Tell him to bring the revolver he will find in the top drawer of my desk!

    The Blue Wall Richard Washburn Child
  • Rosemary would bring out from the top drawer of the 113 bureau a hoarded and treasured volume, and lay it beside them.

    Her Mother's Secret Emma D. E. N. Southworth
  • They say the Nathians were top drawer in political mechanics.

    Operation Haystack Frank Patrick Herbert
  • You'll find the most interesting information in the top drawer.

  • He broke off abruptly, going to the top drawer of a dresser.

    Uncle Sam's Boys as Sergeants H. Irving Hancock
  • "Neither in the bottom drawer nor the top drawer," said the detective.

    The Green Rust Edgar Wallace
  • He opened the top drawer and handed a glossy print across the desk.

    Get Out of Our Skies! E. K. Jarvis
  • She found the key, which she had put in the top drawer of her wardrobe, and gave it to Annie.

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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