best

adjective
\ ˈbest How to pronounce best (audio) \

Definition of best

 (Entry 1 of 6)

superlative of good

1 : excelling all others the best student in the class
2 : most productive of good : offering or producing the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction What is the best thing to do?
3 : most, largest It rained for the best part of their vacation.

best

adverb

Definition of best (Entry 2 of 6)

superlative of well

1 : in the best (see best entry 1) way : to greatest advantage Some things are best left unsaid.
2 : most Those best able will provide needed support.
as best
: as well, skillfully, or accurately as Try to do it as best you can.

best

noun
plural best

Definition of best (Entry 3 of 6)

1 : the best (see best entry 1) state or part You haven't heard the best of it.
2 : one that is best the best falls short saved the best for last
3 : the greatest degree of good or excellence He's at his best in front of a live audience. democracy at its best
4a : one's maximum effort do your best
b : a best performance or achievement ran a new personal best
5 : best clothes wearing their Sunday best
at best
: under the most favorable circumstances won't be finished for another three months at best At best, you will earn back what you paid in. He's an average writer at best. … was among the worst schools in a city whose public education could be described as struggling, at best.— Ann Carrns
get the best of
: to overcome or outdo (someone or something) : to get the better of The hero got the best of the villain in the end. I let my emotions get the best of me and said something I regret. Let's face it: As much as we like to eat healthy, the old sweet tooth sometimes gets the best of us.— Denise I. O'Neal

best

verb
bested; besting; bests

Definition of best (Entry 4 of 6)

transitive verb

: to get the better of : outdo bested by their opponents

Definition of best (Entry 5 of 6)

: had best (see best entry 2 sense 1) you best listen

Best

biographical name
\ ˈbest How to pronounce Best (audio) \

Definition of Best (Entry 6 of 6)

Charles Herbert 1899–1978 Canadian (American-born) physiologist

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Examples of best in a Sentence

Adjective You should wear your best clothes tonight. We ate the best food and drank the best wines. His modesty and sense of humor are his best qualities. Is that your best offer? Which of these do you think tastes best? Mary sends you her very best wishes. She's the best student in her class. He won the award for best actor in a drama. She truly believes that this is the best way to solve the problem. She's the team's best hope for a medal. Adverb The sauce is best served cold. They work best under pressure. That's what we do best! We need to think about how best to fix this problem. The work should be done by the people who are best able to do it. She's best suited to life in the city. He is best known for his invention of the lightbulb. The museum features some of the best-known examples of this style of painting. Noun Out of all of my workers, he's the best. Our company is the best in the business. Thanks, Dad. You're the best! I have one more gift for you, and I saved the best for last. Bad things happen to the best of us. They want the best for their children. Even in the best of times, we had trouble paying our bills. In the best of all possible worlds, no one would be without food and clean water. I have a wonderful family and a great job, so I feel that I have the best of both worlds. He did his best to help them. Verb at last she's bested her card-playing mother at the game of hearts
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Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective The best way to enjoy fresh corn is to eat it as soon as possible. Darlene Zimmerman, Detroit Free Press, 11 Sep. 2021 The best way to stop new variants is to stop their spread, and the answer to that is vaccination. Vaughn Cooper, Quartz, 10 Sep. 2021 The best way to help is to look to local organizations in Texas and around you. Christine Grimaldi, SELF, 10 Sep. 2021 The best way to build the most veggies into your meal is to order a salad or one of the chain's new protein bowls. Cynthia Sass, Mph, Health.com, 10 Sep. 2021 Mulching your lawn clippings in place is often the best way to reduce yard waste volume, return nutrients to your lawn’s soil and, quite frankly, save you work. Paul Cappiello, The Courier-Journal, 10 Sep. 2021 And sometimes, the best way to win a fight is not to fight. Stephanie Stradley, Chron, 10 Sep. 2021 The best way to protect children too young to be vaccinated is to increase vaccination rates among the adults and teenagers around them. Los Angeles Times, 10 Sep. 2021 Rooney’s commitment to the beauty of the novel feels old-fashioned and sincere in the best way. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb Jage is a powerhouse in the cannabis industry who is best known as a B2B growth specialist and business builder adept at identifying new markets and opportunities to scale national businesses. Jackie Bryant, Forbes, 11 Sep. 2021 The challenge was mounted by Epic Games, best known as the maker of Fortnite, the popular video game played by about 400 million people worldwide. Michael Liedtke, Anchorage Daily News, 10 Sep. 2021 The best-known of the modern Miss Americas — Phyllis George, 1971, Vanessa Williams, 1984, and Gretchen Carlson, 1989 — get their dues here. Washington Post, 10 Sep. 2021 The first major civilization in Mexico, the Olmec are best known today for their massive sculptures of human heads. Nora Mcgreevy, Smithsonian Magazine, 10 Sep. 2021 Kingston is best known for his work on paclitaxel, a chemotherapy derived from Pacific yew trees. Peter Andrey Smith, STAT, 10 Sep. 2021 Rice grew up near Chico, spent most of his life in Northern California and was best known as the founder of the International Sportsmen’s Exposition, the nation’s most successful traveling show on fishing and hunting. Tom Stienstra, San Francisco Chronicle, 10 Sep. 2021 Those early works remain his best-known, but a new retrospective opening Sept. 29 shows that Mr. Johns, 91, has never stopped exploring new directions. Peter Saenger, WSJ, 10 Sep. 2021 The legal challenge to Apple's dominance in the app-sales business was mounted by Epic Games, best known as the maker of Fortnite, the popular video game played by 400 million people worldwide. CBS News, 10 Sep. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Noun Maybe the most surprised person in the stadium was Thompson-Herah, who didn’t expect a personal best. Ken Goe For The Oregonian/oregonlive, oregonlive, 21 Aug. 2021 Your personal best was a little bit less than 26 feet. Ben Shpigel, New York Times, 20 Aug. 2021 Meanwhile, Andersen's throw was a mere 2 inches shy of Berry's personal best. Eddie Pells, ajc, 27 June 2021 Shaheed captured the 100 in 11.68 seconds and the 200 in 24.07, the latter a personal best. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, 26 June 2021 But that 43-6.75 stood until the end, when Morgan topped her own personal best. Tim Bielik, cleveland, 5 June 2021 Summer 2021 doesn’t officially start for another week, but celebrities have already begun wearing their seasonal best. Janelle Okwodu, Vogue, 24 May 2021 Lots of laughs, quality performances, some emotional moments, Tom Hanks at his comic best and a story from when baseball was heavily altered by world events like World War II. Scott Venci, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 6 Apr. 2020 Her distances — 137 feet, 9 inches in the discus and 40-5¾ in the shot put — fell short of her personal bests (142-10 and 42-11). David Hinojosa, ExpressNews.com, 11 Feb. 2020 Recent Examples on the Web: Verb Mario became governor in 1983 and served three terms (Andrew was desperate to best his father’s record). Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2021 Tejada hit seven in the first round, 15 in the semifinals and five in the finals to best Houston Astros slugger Lance Berkman. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 10 July 2021 This year, Novikov failed to qualify for the final round, and Stoltman was able to best the field, which included his older brother, Luke. Emily Adams, USA TODAY, 20 June 2021 Over the premiere episode, Karl repeatedly presents the season as a chance to best his fellow contestants, rather than connect with Katie. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 15 June 2021 These odds imply a probability of 70% that Utah is the winning side this evening and a 34% chance that Memphis finds a way to best its opponent. Alex Kay, Forbes, 31 May 2021 Power was going to best them with his second effort. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 23 May 2021 In all likelihood, Brooklyn will have to best the Celtics, the winner of the Milwaukee/Miami series, and eventually the 76ers. Zack Jones, Forbes, 21 May 2021 Jesper manages to best the Heartrender, shooting him multiple times in the same spot, eventually bruising him through his bullet-proof kefta. Olivia Truffaut-wong, refinery29.com, 27 Apr. 2021 Recent Examples on the Web: Auxiliary verb Gray said Great American’s decision to go into Arizona was clouded by management’s desire to best its local competitors. San Diego Union-Tribune, 10 Aug. 2021 Mario became governor in 1983 and served three terms (Andrew was desperate to best his father’s record). Michael Tomasky, The New Republic, 10 Aug. 2021 Tejada hit seven in the first round, 15 in the semifinals and five in the finals to best Houston Astros slugger Lance Berkman. C.j. Doon, baltimoresun.com, 10 July 2021 Over the premiere episode, Karl repeatedly presents the season as a chance to best his fellow contestants, rather than connect with Katie. Ariana Romero, refinery29.com, 15 June 2021 This year, Novikov failed to qualify for the final round, and Stoltman was able to best the field, which included his older brother, Luke. Emily Adams, USA TODAY, 20 June 2021 Power was going to best them with his second effort. Jim Ayello, The Indianapolis Star, 23 May 2021 These odds imply a probability of 70% that Utah is the winning side this evening and a 34% chance that Memphis finds a way to best its opponent. Alex Kay, Forbes, 31 May 2021 In all likelihood, Brooklyn will have to best the Celtics, the winner of the Milwaukee/Miami series, and eventually the 76ers. Zack Jones, Forbes, 21 May 2021

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'best.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of best

Adjective

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adverb

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Noun

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Verb

1863, in the meaning defined above

Auxiliary verb

1897, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for best

Adjective, Adverb, Noun, Verb, and Auxiliary verb

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

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Learn More About best

Time Traveler for best

Time Traveler

The first known use of best was before the 12th century

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Dictionary Entries Near best

Bessy cerka

best

Best

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Statistics for best

Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Best.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/best. Accessed 21 Sep. 2021.

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More Definitions for best

best

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of best

 (Entry 1 of 4)

: better than all others in quality or value
: most skillful, talented, or successful
: most appropriate, useful, or helpful

best

adverb

English Language Learners Definition of best (Entry 2 of 4)

: 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 : most

best

noun

English Language Learners Definition of best (Entry 3 of 4)

: 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

best

verb

English Language Learners Definition of best (Entry 4 of 4)

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

best

adjective
\ ˈbest How to pronounce best (audio) \

Kids Definition of best

 (Entry 1 of 4)

superlative of good

1 : better than all others He's the best speller in the class.
2 : most appropriate, useful, or helpful This is the best way to solve the problem.
best part
: most entry 3 It rained for the best part of their vacation.

best

adverb

Kids Definition of best (Entry 2 of 4)

superlative of well

1 : in a way that is better than all the others This dessert is best eaten hot.
2 : most entry 2 sense 1 She's best able to do the work.

best

noun

Kids Definition of best (Entry 3 of 4)

1 : a person or thing or part of a thing that is better than all the others You're the best!
2 : someone's greatest effort Do your best.

best

verb
bested; besting

Kids Definition of best (Entry 4 of 4)

: to do better than : defeat or outdo He bested us in every game.

More from Merriam-Webster on best

Nglish: Translation of best for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of best for Arabic Speakers

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