adjective, superl. of good with better as compar.
adverb, superl. of well with better as compar.
verb (used with object)
- to gain the advantage over.
- to defeat; subdue: His arthritis gets the best of him from time to time.
Definition for best (2 of 5)
Definition for best (3 of 5)
adjective, bet·ter, best.
- 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 ideal of goodness or morality.
- good things or persons collectively.
Origin of good
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.
Definition for best (4 of 5)
adjective, comparative bet·ter, superlative best.
Origin of well1
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!
Definition for best (5 of 5)
- 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.
verb (used without object)
verb (used with object)
Origin of well2
Examples from the Web for best
The best comparison here for an American audience is, well, Internet stuff.
Strangio is at his best when exposing what appears to be a flourishing civil society in Cambodia.
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|Lizzie Crocker|January 9, 2015|DAILY BEAST
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|M.L. Nestel|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Scalise spoke briefly, adding little of substance, saying that the people back home know him best.
The jokes and drinks, which curiously resemble each other, are the best.Letters from America|Rupert Brooke
Breakfast over, each individual disposes of himself as best accords with inclination or interest.
It did seem to me that some of our best officers were invariably placed in the most unimportant positions and commands.Adventures and Reminiscences of a Volunteer|George T. Ulmer
At that age and in its then condition a strong ruler--native if possible, if not, foreign--was by far the best hope for Ireland.The Story Of Ireland|Emily Lawless
One thing is very certain, for I have it on very good—I may say, the best—authority.An Englishman in Paris|Albert D. (Albert Dresden) Vandam
British Dictionary definitions for best (1 of 5)
- to do one's utmost to make progress
- to hurry
- in the most favourable interpretation
- under the most favourable conditions
- for an ultimately good outcome
- with good intentionshe meant it for the best
Word Origin for best
British Dictionary definitions for best (2 of 5)
British Dictionary definitions for best (3 of 5)
adjective better or best
- morally excellent or admirable; virtuous; righteousa good man
- (as collective noun; preceded by the)the good
- an unbelievable assertion
- a very funny joke
- 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)
- 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
Word Origin for good
British Dictionary definitions for best (4 of 5)
adverb better or best
- in addition; too
- (preceded by may or might) with equal effectyou might as well come
- just as well preferable or advisableit would be just as well if you paid me now
adjective (usually postpositive)
- an expression of surprise, indignation, or reproof
- an expression of anticipation in waiting for an answer or remark
Word Origin for well
British Dictionary definitions for best (5 of 5)
- a cavity, space, or vessel used to contain a liquid
- (in combination)an inkwell
- a bulkheaded compartment built around a ship's pumps for protection and ease of access
- another word for cockpit
Word Origin for well
Word Origin and History for best (1 of 8)
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.
Word Origin and History for best (1 of 8)
"to get the better of," 1863, from best (adj.). Related: Bested; besting.
Word Origin and History for best (2 of 8)
c.1200, from best (adj.).
Word Origin and History for best (3 of 8)
"hole dug for water, spring of water," Old English wielle (West Saxon), welle (Anglian), from wiellan (see well (v.)).
Word Origin and History for best (4 of 8)
Old English gōd "that which is good, goodness; advantage, benefit; gift; virtue; property;" from good (adj.).
Word Origin and History for best (5 of 8)
"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.
Word Origin and History for best (6 of 8)
"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."
Word Origin and History for best (7 of 8)
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"]
Medicine definitions for best
Science definitions for best (1 of 2)
Science definitions for best (2 of 2)
Idioms and Phrases with best (1 of 3)
In addition to the idioms beginning with best
- best bib and tucker
- best of both worlds, the
- best part of something
- best shot
- 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.
Idioms and Phrases with best (2 of 3)
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
Also see undergoodnessgoods.
Idioms and Phrases with best (3 of 3)
In addition to the idioms beginning with well
- well and good
- well off
- well out of, be
- well preserved
- alive and kicking (well)
- all's well that ends well
- all very well
- as well
- as well as
- augur well for
- damn well
- do well
- full well
- get well
- hanged for a sheep, might as well be
- leave well enough alone
- only too (well)
- sit well with
- think a lot (well) of
- to a fare-thee-well
- very well
- wear well