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 bestingperfect, finest, tough, outstanding, leading, terrific, bad, first-rate, first, favorite, choice, beat, trounce, outclass, outshine, conquer, surpass, blank, outdo, overcome
Examples from the Web for besting
Contemporary Examples of besting
Besting Santorum in Pennsylvania might take care of Rick, but Newt is beyond shaming and will need to be hit where he lives.Hunger Games: Mitt Romney Needs to Tap His Inner Katniss Everdeen
March 30, 2012
His approval rating is at 61 percent, besting both Barack Obama and George W. Bush.Will Chelsea Change Her Name?
Samuel P. Jacobs
July 27, 2010
Of course, he did finally on May 27— for the first time in 308 days, besting Bush's longest gap of 204 days.Obama's George Bush Moment
June 25, 2010
Historical Examples of besting
These damned black devils have bested me, just as I reckoned I was besting them.'Tween Snow and Fire
The keen, little old man was besting and flurrying him; he was no match for this irascible invalid.The Scarlet Feather
Besting here, and thinking, with my face between my hands, I wondered what would be the end.Erema
R. D. Blackmore
I must think the matter over, and try to hit upon some plan of ‘besting’ them, as you English say.Under the Ensign of the Rising Sun
Besting at the top of the cross is a bird, like a game cock, ornamented by a necklace.Ancient Pagan and Modern Christian Symbolism
- 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.