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can't hold a candle to

An expression describing a person or thing that is distinctly inferior to someone or something else: “Senator Nelson is extremely knowledgeable, but as a speaker, he can't hold a candle to Senator Delano.”

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The New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.