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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
  • I know it's top-drawer stuff, but are these Uniques actually people?

    The Butterfly Kiss Arthur Dekker Savage
  • And the top-drawer of a sewing- table fairly rattling with spools!

    Rainy Week Eleanor Hallowell Abbott
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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Slang definitions & phrases for top-drawer



Of the highest quality; most superior; tops: The drinks they serve are absolutely top-drawer

[1920+; fr a British expression out of the top drawer, ''upper-class, well-bred'']

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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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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