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—adj., superl. of good with better as compar.
1. of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work; the best students.
2. most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
3. largest; most: the best part of a day.
—adv., superl. of well with better as compar.
1. most excellently or suitably; with most advantage or success: an opera role that best suits her voice.
2. in or to the highest degree; most fully (usually used in combination): best-suited; best-known; best-loved.
3. as best one can, in the best way possible under the circumstances: We tried to smooth over the disagreement as best we could.
4. had best, would be wisest or most reasonable to; ought to: You had best phone your mother to tell her where you are going.
1. something or someone that is best: They always demand and get the best. The best of us can make mistakes.
2. a person's finest clothing: It's important that you wear your best.
3. a person's most agreeable or desirable emotional state (often prec. by at).
4. a person's highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc. (often prec. by at).
5. the highest quality to be found in a given activity or category of things (often prec. by at): cabinetmaking at its best.
6. the best effort that a person, group, or thing can make: Their best fell far short of excellence.
7. a person's best wishes or kindest regards: Please give my best to your father.
8. all for the best, for the good as the final result; to an ultimate advantage: At the time it was hard to realize how it could be all for the best. Also,for the best.
9. at best, under the most favorable circumstances: You may expect to be treated civilly, at best.
10. get or have the best of,
a. to gain the advantage over.
b. to defeat; subdue: His arthritis gets the best of him from time to time.
11. make the best of, to cope with in the best way possible: to make the best of a bad situation.
12. with the best, on a par with the most capable: He can play bridge with the best.
to get the better of; defeat; beat: He easily bested his opponent in hand-to-hand combat. She bested me in the argument.
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Charles Herbert, 1899–1978, Canadian physiologist, born in the U.S.: one of the discoverers of insulin.
Random House Unabridged Dictionary, Copyright © 1997, by Random House, Inc., on Infoplease.