- 1 the 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 the highest standard that somebody/something can reach She always brings out the best in people. The town looks its best (= is most attractive) in the spring. Don't worry about the exam—just do your best. The roses are past their best now. I don't really feel at my best today.
- 3 something that is as close as possible to what you need or want Fifty pounds is the best I can offer you. The best we can hope for in the game is a draw.
- 4the highest standard that a particular person has reached, especially in a sport a lifetime best of 12.0 seconds see also personal best Word Origin Old English betest (adjective), betost, betst (adverb), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch and German best, also to better.Idioms (informal) used when you are saying goodbye to somebody or ending a letter, to give somebody your good wishes used for saying what is the best opinion you can have of somebody/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. 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.
(informal) a person or thing that is a little better than the rest of a group, although none are very good the best out of a group of people or things
(informal) used to wish somebody success with something The best of luck with your exams. Good luck! I hope it goes well. (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 very best We make sure our clients get the best that money can buy. to do or say something in order to achieve a good result or to help somebody 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. to gain more advantage from something than somebody else I thought you had the best of that discussion. 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.
to accept a bad or difficult situation and do as well as you can (informal, humorous) your best clothes I put on my Sunday best for the occasion. as far as you know He never made a will, to the best of my knowledge. as well as anyone He'll be out there, dancing with the best of them.