American English

Definition of best noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    [singular] the best
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  1. 1the most excellent thing or person We all want the best for our children. They only buy the best. They're all good players, but she's the best of all. We're the best of friends (= very close friends).
  2. 2the highest standard that someone or something can reach She always brings out the best in people (= gives people a chance to show their good qualities). The town looks its best (= is most attractive) in the spring. Don't worry about the exam—just do your best (= do as well as you can). Yesterday I wasn't at my best (= performing or working as well as I can). I will do the job to the best of my ability (= as well as I can). I'm not feeling my best (= not feeling very well) today. Exercise helps me to feel my best (= feel healthy) My mom's not in the best of health (= not healthy).
  3. 3something that is as close as possible to what you need or want Fifty dollars is the best I can offer you. The best we can hope for in the game is a tie.
  4. 4the highest standard that a particular person has reached, especially in a sport She won the race with a personal best of 2 minutes 22 seconds.
  5. Idioms
    all the best (informal)
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    used when you are saying goodbye to someone or ending a letter, to give someone your good wishes
    used for saying what is the best opinion you can have of someone or something, or the best thing that can happen, when the situation is bad Their response to the proposal was, at best, cool. We can't arrive before Friday at best.
    be (all) for the best
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    used to say that although something appears bad or unpleasant now, it will be good in the end I don't want you to leave, but perhaps it's for the best.
    the best/pick of the bunch
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    the best out of a group of people or things
    (the) best of luck (with something), good luck (with something) (informal)
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    used to wish someone success with something Best of luck with your exams. I wish you the best of luck. Good luck! I hope it goes well.
    the best of three, five, etc.
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    (especially in games and sports) up to three, five, etc. games played to decide who wins, the winner being the person who wins most of them
    the best that money can buy
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    the very best We make sure our clients get the best that money can buy.
    do, mean, etc. something for the best
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    to do or say something in order to achieve a good result or to help someone I just don't know what to do for the best. I'm sorry if my advice offended you—I meant it for the best.
    get the best of somebody/something
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    to defeat someone or something, or gain an advantage I thought you had the best of that discussion. I'm sorry I opened your mail—my curiosity got the best of me (= I didn't intend to open it, but I was so interested that I did).
    hope for the best
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    to hope that something will happen successfully, especially where it seems likely that it will not I'm just going to answer all the questions I can and hope for the best.
    make the best of something/it, make the best of things
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    to accept a bad or difficult situation, and do as well as you can
    your Sunday best (informal) (humorous)
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    your best clothes I put on my Sunday best for the occasion.
    to the best of your knowledge/belief
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    as far as you know He never made a will, to the best of my knowledge.
    with the best (of them)
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    as well as anyone He'll be out there, dancing with the best of them.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: best