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adjective \ˈbest\

Simple Definition of best

  • : better than all others in quality or value

  • : most skillful, talented, or successful

  • : most appropriate, useful, or helpful

Full Definition of best

  1. superlative of good

  1. 1 :  excelling all others <the best student>

  2. 2 :  most productive of good :  offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction <what is the best thing to do>

  3. 3 :  most, largest <it rained for the best part of their vacation>

Examples of best

  1. You should wear your best clothes tonight.

  2. We ate the best food and drank the best wines.

  3. His modesty and sense of humor are his best qualities.

  4. Is that your best offer?

  5. Which of these do you think tastes best?

  6. Mary sends you her very best wishes.

  7. She's the best student in her class.

  8. He won the award for best actor in a drama.

  9. She truly believes that this is the best way to solve the problem.

  10. She's the team's best hope for a medal.

Origin of best

Middle English, from Old English betst; akin to Old English bōt remedy — more at better

First Known Use: before 12th century




Simple Definition of best

  • : in the best way : in a way that is better than all others : with the most success or benefit

  • : to the greatest degree or extent

Full Definition of best

  1. superlative of well

  1. 1 :  in the best way :  to greatest advantage <some things are best left unsaid>

  2. 2 :  most <those best able will provide needed support>

as best
  1. :  as well, skillfully, or accurately as <try to do it as best you can>

Examples of best

  1. The sauce is best served cold.

  2. They work best under pressure.

  3. That's what we do best!

  4. We need to think about how best to fix this problem.

  5. The work should be done by the people who are best able to do it.

  6. She's best suited to life in the city.

  7. He is best known for his invention of the lightbulb.

  8. The museum features some of the best-known examples of this style of painting.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of best

before 12th century




Simple Definition of best

  • the best : the best person or thing : the best group of people or things

  • : someone's or something's most effective, capable, or successful condition

  • : the highest level that you can do or achieve

Full Definition of best

plural best

  1. 1 :  the best state or part

  2. 2 :  one that is best <the best falls short>

  3. 3 :  the greatest degree of good or excellence

  4. 4 a :  one's maximum effort <do your best> b :  a best performance or achievement <ran a new personal best>

  5. 5 :  best clothes <Sunday best>

at best
  1. :  under the most favorable circumstances

Examples of best

  1. Out of all of my workers, he's the best.

  2. Our company is the best in the business.

  3. Thanks, Dad. You're the best!

  4. I have one more gift for you, and I saved the best for last.

  5. Bad things happen to the best of us.

  6. They want the best for their children.

  7. Even in the best of times, we had trouble paying our bills.

  8. In the best of all possible worlds, no one would be without food and clean water.

  9. I have a wonderful family and a great job, so I feel that I have the best of both worlds.

  10. He did his best to help them.

Before 12th Century

First Known Use of best

before 12th century




Simple Definition of best

  • : to do better than (someone or something) : to defeat or outdo (someone or something)

Full Definition of best

  1. transitive verb
  2. :  to get the better of :  outdo



verbal auxiliary

Definition of best

  1. :  had best <you best listen>


First Known Use of best



biographical name \ˈbest\

Definition of Best

  1. Charles Herbert 1899–1978 Canad. (Am.-born) physiol.

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up best? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


February 11, 2016

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