second best


the next to the best in performance, achievement, craftsmanship, etc.

Nearby words

  1. second balkan war,
  2. second ballot,
  3. second banana,
  4. second base,
  5. second baseman,
  6. second birth,
  7. second blessing,
  8. second chamber,
  9. second childhood,
  10. second class

Origin of second best

late Middle English word dating back to 1400–50

Related formssec·ond-best, adjective Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Idioms and Phrases with second best

second best

Also, second class. Next after the first in rank or quality, inferior to the best, as in We aren't satisfied with being second best in sales, or This hotel is obviously second class. The first term dates from the first half of the 1400s, the variant from about 1800. Also see come off, def. 2; second class.

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