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.
Origin of best
Related Words for bestedbeat, trounce, outclass, outshine, conquer, surpass, blank, outdo, overcome, transcend, exceed, lick, deck, outstrip, tan, total, prevail, whip, cream, bulldoze
Examples from the Web for bested
Contemporary Examples of bested
In a recent Fox poll, Clinton bested Christie by 11 points, Jeb Bush by 13 and Ted Cruz by 16.Christie, Not Quite Dead Yet
March 27, 2014
The Patriots had bested the Giants in the last game of the regular season but they would not be able to do so again.Seahawks-Broncos and 7 Other Thrilling Super Bowl Matchups
February 6, 2014
Bryk came in third, but he notes with pride that he bested the coal scuttle helmet man in his home county.Brooklyn’s Lazy Carpetbagger Sets His Sights on an Alaska Senate Seat
December 4, 2013
This week, the distance between Barack Obama and the Republican he bested to first become president got a whole lot smaller.John McCain’s Middle East War Drumbeat: Iraq, Libya, and Now Syria
June 1, 2013
Ancient empires were accustomed to reshaping the religious identities of those they bested in war.The Death of Jesus and the Rise of the Christian Persecution Myth
March 31, 2013
Historical Examples of bested
I know when I'm bested, and I'll come quietly, but I won't be dragged.The Great Drought
Sterner St. Paul Meek
Well, mayhap they are, but we'd have bested them but for the giant.The Young Acrobat of the Great North American Circus
Horatio Alger Jr.
I struggled with him for it, finally however, to be bested, and started away.The White Desert
Courtney Ryley Cooper
By honest confession, it has bested you; and in short order.Desert Dust
Edwin L. Sabin
I must admit it rather piqued me to be bested in the matter of a woman—and by a soul-puncher.The Gold Girl
James B. Hendryx
- 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
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.).
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.