Meaning of BEST in English


I. ˈbest adjective, superlative of good

Etymology: Middle English, adjective & adverb, from Old English betst; akin to Old High German bezzist best, Old Norse beztr, Gothic batista; superlative of the root found in Old English bōt remedy, compensation — more at better

1. of a person

a. : excelling all others (as in moral, intellectual, or physical qualities)

the best boxer in his class

the best teacher of the subject I ever knew

the best person in the community — kind, gentle, and understanding

b. : excelling or leading all others in social and usually financial standing — used especially in the phrases the best families or the best people

the best people, alas, were no longer always the people with money — Brian Glanville

the rich and arrogant, the traditional “ best families” — Bess A. Garner

2. of a thing : excelling or surpassing all others of its kind in inherent quality or according to some standard : most productive of good : providing or offering the greatest advantage, utility, or satisfaction

ready to receive ideas and to devote life's best energies to developing … their implications — M.R.Cohen

what is the best thing to do

a luxurious yet practical material, the best you can buy

the best road

the best way to make coffee

the best of Shakespeare's plays

3. : largest , most

they passed the best part of the three weeks at the seashore

II. adverb, superlative of well

Etymology: Middle English

1. : in the best way : to the most advantage : with the most success, ease, profit, benefit, or propriety

of his many roles, he appears best as Hamlet

adjusted to the situation as best they could

2. : to the highest degree : to the fullest extent : most

my best- loved friend

those best able to fight

III. noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from best, adjective

1. : something that is best: as

a. : the point or circumstance that is best

the best of it all is, they are willing to give even more

b. : best state or condition

a fine actor who is at his very best in this play

c. : best part

always managing to get the best out of life

2. usually plural in construction : best individuals

even the best of us make mistakes

3. : all that one can do : one's utmost or maximum effort

do your best and you'll win

4. : best clothes

wearing their best , for it was Sunday

5. : advantage — used in the phrase the best of it

in the 3d round the challenger seemed to be having the best of it

when it comes to ridin' pitchin' horses them little bench-legged fellows usually has all the best of it — Ross Santee

IV. transitive verb

( -ed/-ing/-s )

Etymology: best (I)

: to get the better of : outdo

in every game they were bested by their opponents

V. verbal auxiliary

Etymology: by shortening

: had best — not often in formal use

you best get home in a hurry

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.