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

Two women from different backgrounds are best friends through girlhood, careers and tragedy. Los Angeles Times, "Movies on TV this week Sept. 15, 2019: ‘Alien,’ ‘Aliens’ and more," 13 Sep. 2019 Elizabeth Warren plays your zany, brilliant aunt, Kamala Harris and Amy Klobuchar your stalwart best friends. Monica Hesse, Washington Post, "Kirsten Gillibrand ran unapologetically as a woman," 29 Aug. 2019 Gibbs and Goddard became best friends after traveling the world together, visiting Tibet and the Antarctic. Priscella Vega, Daily Pilot, "Norma Gibbs, Huntington’s first female council member and mayor, dies at 94," 29 Aug. 2019 About a day’s drive northwest of Miami, in scenic Clearwater, the beach-bum best friends at the center of Pop TV’s best new show since Schitt’s Creek are also fighting to survive on the wrong side of the poverty line. Judy Berman, Time, "The 6 Best New Shows of Summer 2019," 20 Aug. 2019 Created by British author and screenwriter Jesse Armstrong, the show has been lauded for its parallels to the current media landscape and is in the process of vying for five Emmy Awards, including best drama series. Whitney Friedlander, CNN, "'Succession' renewed for Season 3," 20 Aug. 2019 Funny and clever and best mates with a massive German Shepherd. Rania Aniftos, Billboard, "Ed Sheeran Mourns the Death of His Cat Graham," 1 Aug. 2019 Biaggi's Ristorante Italiano The chain, with a location in Clay Terrace, has earned an impressive list of accolades including best Italian and best service nods from Consumer Reports. Liz Biro, Indianapolis Star, "Every restaurant you'll try at the IndyStar Wine & Food Experience," 16 July 2019 And remember, Larsen said, pricey pet foods may not be best ones. Linda Carroll, NBC News, "After FDA warning about grain-free pet food, what's safe to feed Fido and Fluffy?," 8 July 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Adverb

Discover what’s available and how best to enhance your lifestyle. 3 stars LIBRA (Sept. 23-Oct. 22): Take note what others are doing. Eugenia Last, The Mercury News, "Horoscopes: Sept. 13, 2019," 13 Sep. 2019 With four best-of-seven rounds in the Stanley Cup playoffs, a team could potentially play 28 total games, which equates to more than a third of a regular season. Wells Dusenbury, sun-sentinel.com, "Changing of the guard — All-Star goalie Sergei Bobrovsky on display as Florida Panthers open training camp," 13 Sep. 2019 For him, a best-case scenario involves more choice, affordability, and mental-health coverage: Bolduc says health-care insurance should be more like auto insurance, with lots of options. John J. Miller, National Review, "Don Bolduc’s New Hampshire Senate Campaign," 12 Sep. 2019 Still, the department sees land application as the best-case scenario for biosolids. Dennis Pillion | Dpillion@al.com, al, "Could Alabama stop the next poop train?," 11 Sep. 2019 The best-case scenario is another Mike Pompeo, a doctrinaire crusading conservative with a light resume and a very brown nose who has quietly expanded his State department portfolio beyond its normal scope. Adam Weinstein, The New Republic, "Firing John Bolton Doesn’t Make You a Pacifist," 10 Sep. 2019 In addition to the tour announcement, a career spanning best-of package called Supergrass: The Strange Ones 1994 – 2008 was also announced Monday. Taylor Mims, Billboard, "Supergrass Announce 2020 Tour Dates After Decade-Long Hiatus," 9 Sep. 2019 Huntington Beach lost to Chico Pleasant Valley 25-20, 25-20 in the best-of-three title match on Aug. 31. Andrew Turner, Daily Pilot, "High School Female Athlete of the Week: Huntington Beach’s Jaclyn Sanchez built to handle the pressure," 6 Sep. 2019 If, for instance, China jams American GPS signals during a war over Taiwan, Space Command and Indo-Pacific Command may disagree on how best to respond. The Economist, "Donald Trump unveils Space Command," 5 Sep. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Frankly, Stotts is at his absolute best when wringing every drop of talent out of his roster or creatively finding ways to win. John Canzano, oregonlive.com, "John Canzano’s Top 25 most influential people in Oregon sports for 2019," 17 Aug. 2019 His cousin Maria Stella did her honest best to help us, making phone calls and talking up customers at her hair salon on San Vito’s main drag. Steve Lopezcolumnist, Los Angeles Times, "Column: Steve Lopez goes to Italy and searches for his Sicilian roots," 17 July 2019 USA TODAY Sports published a story Wednesday about how 34 players in Major League Baseball already have career bests for home runs, with six weeks remaining in the season. Jeremy Cluff, azcentral, "4 Arizona Diamondbacks players have already set career highs for home runs this season," 22 Aug. 2019 In Minnesota’s 34-10 victory over Georgia Tech at the Quick Lane Bowl in Detroit, Ibrahim produced career bests of 31 carries and 224 yards, and matched his best with two touchdowns. Andy Greder, Twin Cities, "Mohamed Ibrahim’s Muslim faith brings Gophers football team together," 9 Aug. 2019 Ross finished the season with 217 3-pointers on 566 attempts — both career-bests. Roy Parry, orlandosentinel.com, "Magic finalize deals with free agents Nikola Vucevic, Terrence Ross and Al-Farouq Aminu, waive Timofey Mozgov," 6 July 2019 Companies from Norway and New Zealand pay best; those from Mexico and Taiwan give barely any premium. The Economist, "Who wins from foreign investment?," 22 Aug. 2019 Her finish at the Isle of Wight bettered two previous world bests. Richard Sandomir, New York Times, "Dale Greig, Early Women’s Marathoner, Is Dead at 81," 16 June 2019 Now the Raiders will make up for lost time, and hope to get Brown re-integrated with the system and at his explosive best by Week 1. Jerry Mcdonald, The Mercury News, "Raiders’ Antonio Brown follows the money and crisis is averted — until the next one," 20 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Verb

About last: In matchup of historic losing, Tigers bested by Orioles, 6-2 Contact Kirkland Crawford: kcrawford@freepress.com. Kirkland Crawford, Detroit Free Press, "Detroit Tigers vs. Baltimore Orioles: How to watch tonight's game at Comerica Park," 14 Sep. 2019 On that occasion, a Rossoneri side including the likes of Ruud Gullit and Paolo Maldini were bested by one of the best Ajax teams in the club's history. SI.com, "Liverpool Will Have History on Their Side in Champions League Opener Against SSC Napoli," 11 Sep. 2019 It was bested by the Packers’ Cecil Isbell with 2,021 in 1942, and Luckman topped that total with 2,194 in 1943. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 5, Sid Luckman," 29 Aug. 2019 In closing with a two-under-par 69 to beat Brooks Koepka by three strokes, Woodland finished at 13-under 271 — a total score that has only been bested in the U.S. Open by the 16 unders of Koepka (in 2017) and Rory McIlroy (2011). Tod Leonard, latimes.com, "Gary Woodland wins the U.S. Open for his first major title," 16 June 2019 Former Louisville coach Charlie Strong, now at South Florida, plummeted from 33rd to 71st, a fall bested by only one — Florida Atlantic's Lane Kiffin, who dropped 39 spots, from 43 to 82. Rana Cash, The Courier-Journal, "See where Scott Satterfield, Mark Stoops land on Sporting News ranking of FBS coaches," 13 June 2019 After easily besting the competition in 2018, finishing 3 ½ games ahead of the second-place Vikings, the Bears are aiming to repeat as NFC North champions for the first time since 2005-2006. Brad Biggs, chicagotribune.com, "A look at how the Bears’ NFC North rivals are shaping up for 2019," 4 Sep. 2019 Twice Rafa has bested Djokovic in the U.S. Open final. oregonlive, "Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal on track for long-awaited U.S. Open showdown, but who would be the favorite?," 3 Sep. 2019 Editorial writers at Colorado news outlets haven’t beat the drum for Hickenlooper to return home, but polls show that the former governor has a good shot at besting Republican Sen. Cory Gardner. oregonlive.com, "John Hickenlooper eyes Senate race, could start exodus of struggling Democratic presidential candidates," 14 Aug. 2019

Recent Examples on the Web: Auxiliary verb

It can be powered by Core i3 and i5 processors, giving it strong performance that bested almost all others on our benchmark tests. Valentina Palladino, Ars Technica, "Guidemaster: How to buy a Chromebook, plus our best picks," 7 Sep. 2019 One reason for the growth spurt was the Toronto Raptors, who bested the Golden State Warriors in the NBA finals in June. Adam Rasmi, Quartz, "The Toronto Raptors helped Canada’s economy dunk on the US," 30 Aug. 2019 The writing experience is nearly flawless, with the pleasing friction—and even the scritch-scritch sound—of pencil on paper that easily bests Apple's stylus on a glass iPad screen. Wired, "Digital Note-Takers Let You Store and Share Your Scrawlings," 20 Aug. 2019 The writing experience is nearly flawless, with the pleasing friction—and even the scritch-scritch sound—of pencil on paper that easily bests Apple's stylus on a glass iPad screen. Michael Calore, WIRED, "Digital Note-Takers Let You Store and Share Your Scrawlings," 20 Aug. 2019 While the new Lion King will most likely make piles of money (thanks to heavy marketing, existing fan nostalgia, and a savvy Beyoncé casting), creating a movie that bests the beloved original is easier said than done. Alex Abad-santos, Vox, "The Lion King remake isn’t a better movie, but it did a few things better than the original.," 17 July 2019 Among registered voters, the only 2020 Democratic presidential candidate polled to beat Trump by a wide margin was former Vice President Joe Biden, who bested Trump by a 53 percent to 43 percent result. Allan Smith, NBC News, "Trump reaches highest approval rating of presidency in latest poll," 7 July 2019 The Bears allowed a league-low 144 points, an average of 10.3 per game that bests the ’85 team’s 12.4. Will Larkin, chicagotribune.com, "Ranking the 100 best Bears players ever: No. 75, Bennie McRae," 23 June 2019 President Trump beat Hillary Clinton there by more than 15 percentage points, besting Mitt Romney’s 2012 margin in the district, and Cook won his last reelection fight against a fellow Republican with 60% of the vote. Los Angeles Times, "California Republican Rep. Paul Cook to retire from Congress, run for county supervisor seat," 17 Sep. 2019

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

Dictionary Entries near best

Besser block

Bessy

Bessy cerka

best

Best

bestain

bestarred

Statistics for best

Last Updated

24 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for best

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

See more words from the same century

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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

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.

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More from Merriam-Webster on best

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with best

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for best

Spanish Central: Translation of best

Nglish: Translation of best for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of best for Arabic Speakers

Comments on best

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