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get the worst of it

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Also, have the worst of it. Be defeated, experience a disadvantage, or suffer the most harm. For example, In any argument Joe usually gets the worst of it, or If we play the last three games as scheduled, our team is bound to have the worst of it, or The car got the worst of it, and no one was hurt. These phrases survive many older ones (such as go to the worst and come by the worst) in which worst is used in the sense of “defeat,” a usage dating from about 1500. Also see get the better (best) of.

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The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.

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