Meaning of BEST in English


I. best 1 S1 W1 /best/ BrE AmE adjective [superlative of good]

[ Language: 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 something

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 for the wedding.

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 British English written on food packets with the date that the food should be eaten before:

Best before 13 July.

a best-before date

⇨ be on your best behaviour at ↑ behaviour (2), ⇨ your best bet at ↑ bet 2 (2), ⇨ the best/better part of at ↑ part 1 (6)

• • •


■ adverbs

▪ the very best

He’s one of the very best players around.

▪ easily the best

The series was easily the best TV drama this year.

▪ by far the best

One girl stood out as by far the best singer.

■ adjectives

▪ the best possible

We sold the house at the best possible time.

▪ the best available

The tuition we offer here is the best available.

■ nouns

▪ the best way to do/of doing something

The best way to learn a language is to live in a country where it is spoken.

▪ the best thing to do

The best thing to do is to apologize immediately.

▪ the best way forward (=the best way to make progress or deal with a problem)

We believe that a merger is the best way forward for the business.

▪ make the best use of something

Making the best use of space is important in any room.

II. best 2 S1 W2 BrE AmE adverb [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 SYN 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 at ↑ better 2 (3)

III. best 3 BrE AmE noun

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 something

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 knowledge/belief/ability 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 . the best of something used to refer to something very good:

We wish him the best of luck with this venture.

He hasn’t been in the best of health lately.

They didn’t part on the best of terms.

They became the best of friends (=very close friends) .

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 something ( also make the best of a bad job/situation etc British English ) to accept a situation that 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.

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 British English 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, that you only wear on special occasions

IV. best 4 BrE AmE verb [transitive]

old-fashioned to defeat someone

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.