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go one better

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Outdo or surpass someone, as in He went one better than his teacher and came up with five more famous scientists. This expression originated in gambling games, where it meant “to offer a higher stake than one's opponent.” [Mid-1800s]

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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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