take the cake


To be the most outstanding; sometimes used in a derogatory sense: “When it comes to eating like a pig, Gordy really takes the cake.”

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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.

Idioms and Phrases with take the cake

take the cake

Be the most outstanding in some respect, either the best or the worst. For example, That advertising slogan really took the cake, or What a mess they made of the concert—that takes the cake! This expression alludes to a contest called a cakewalk, in which a cake is the prize. Its figurative use, for something either excellent or outrageously bad, dates from the 1880s.

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