best1 W1S1 [best] adj [superlative of good]
[: Old English; Origin: betst]
1.) better than anything else or anyone else in quality, skill, how effective it is etc
He won the best actor award.
What's the best way to cook this fish?
The best thing to do is to stop worrying.
it's best to do sth
It's best to go later in the season.
easily the best/by far the best
(=much better than anything else)
John's idea is by far the best option.
Our pilots are given the best possible training.
We use only the very best ingredients.
2.) best friend
the friend that you know and like better than anyone else
She was my best friend in college.
3.) best dress/shoes/clothes etc
clothing that you keep for special occasions
I put on my best suit especially.
4.) the next best thing
something that is not exactly what you want but is as similar to it as possible
If sterile equipment isn't available, the next best thing is to clean equipment with disinfectant.
5.) best of all
used to introduce the fact about a situation that is even better than the other good things
It's clean and well-located, but best of all, it's affordable.
6.) best before
BrE written on food packets with the date which the food should be eaten before
Best before 13 July.
a best-before date
be on your best behaviour atbehaviour, your best bet atbet2 (2), the best/better part of atpart1 (6)
best 2
best2 W2S1 adv [superlative of well]
1.) in a way that is better than any other
It works best if you let it warm up first.
This can best be described as a series of steps.
the best-dressed man in Paris
2.) to the greatest degree
= ↑most
You know him best - you should ask him.
The part I like best is the meal afterwards.
He's perhaps best known for his role in 'Midnight Cowboy.'
3.) as best you can
spoken as well as you can, even if this is not very good
I'll try and fix it as best I can.
4.) had best
spoken ought to
We'd best be getting back.
had better atbetter2 (3)
best 3
best3 n
1.) the best
a) the most helpful, most successful etc situation or results that you can achieve
We all want the best for our children.
It's the best we can do in the circumstances.
b) the person or thing that is better than any other
She's the best of the new young writers.
2.) do your best
to try as hard as you can to do something
As long as you do your best, we'll be happy.
do your best to do sth
She did her best to make him comfortable.
3.) at best
used to emphasize that something is not very good, pleasant, honest etc even if you consider it in the best possible way
The campaign was at best only partially successful.
The technique is at best ineffective and at worst dangerous.
4.) to the best of your ability/knowledge/belief etc
used to say that something is as much as you know, believe, or are able to do
I'm sure he'll do the work to the best of his ability.
5.) not the best of sth
used to say that something is not very good or could be better
He hasn't been in the best of health lately.
They didn't part on the best of terms .
6.) with the best of intentions/for the best of reasons
used to mean that someone does something with good intentions or for good reasons, even if the result is not always good
I'm sure he went there with the best of intentions.
7.) the best of both worlds
a situation in which you have the advantages of two different things without any of the disadvantages
They live in a village but it's only an hour from London so they have the best of both worlds.
8.) at your best
performing as well or effectively as you are able to
At her best, she's a really stylish player.
He was never at his best early in the morning.
9.) make the best of sth
to accept a situation which is not very good, and do whatever you can to make it better
We are stuck here so we might as well make the best of it.
make the best of a bad job/situation etc
10.) all the best
used to express good wishes to someone for the future
We'd just like to wish him all the best in his new job.
all the best for
All the best for the New Year!
11.) at the best of times
if something is not very good, pleasant etc at the best of times, it is usually even worse than this
It's crowded at the best of times but today it was unbearable.
12.) the best of a bad lot/bunch
BrE the least bad person or thing in a group of not very good people or things
13.) be for the best
especially spoken used to say that a particular event may seem bad now, but might have a good result later
I still don't want him to go but maybe it's for the best.
14.) your Sunday best
old-fashioned your best clothes, which you only wear on special occasions
best 4
best4 v [T]
old-fashioned to defeat someone

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


Look at other dictionaries:

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  • best — /best/, 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 …   Universalium

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  • best — ► ADJECTIVE 1) of the most excellent or desirable type or quality. 2) most suitable, appropriate, or sensible. ► ADVERB 1) to the highest degree; most. 2) to the highest standard. 3) most suitably, appropriately, or sensibly. ► …   English terms dictionary

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  • Best — (b[e^]st), a.; superl. of Good. [AS. besta, best, contr. from betest, betst, betsta; akin to Goth. batists, OHG. pezzisto, G. best, beste, D. best, Icel. beztr, Dan. best, Sw. b[ a]st. This word has no connection in origin with good. See {Better} …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • best — I adjective above the average, beyond compare, brought to perfection, chief, choice, crowning, distinguished, exceptional, exemplary, extraordinary, faultless, favorite, first class, first rate, flawless, foremost, greater, highest, impeccable,… …   Law dictionary

  • Best — Best, n. Utmost; highest endeavor or state; most nearly perfect thing, or being, or action; as, to do one s best; to the best of our ability. [1913 Webster] {At best}, in the utmost degree or extent applicable to the case; under the most… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English