best

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English[edit]

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Etymology[edit]

From Middle English beste, from Old English betst, betest(best), from Proto-Germanic *batistaz(best), from Proto-Indo-European *bhAd-(good). Cognate with Scots best(best), West Frisian best(best), Dutch best(best), Low German best(best), German beste(best), Danish bedst(best), Swedish bäst(best), Icelandic bestur(best). More at better.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

best

  1. superlative form of good: most good.
    I can either be your best friend or your worst enemy.
    • William Shakespeare (1564-1616)
      When he is best, he is a little worse than a man.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      Heaven's last, best gift
    • 2013 August 10, Schumpeter, “Cronies and capitols”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8848:
      Policing the relationship between government and business in a free society is difficult. [] Governments have to find the best people to fill important jobs: there is a limited supply of people who understand the financial system, for example. But governments must also remember that businesses are self-interested actors who will try to rig the system for their own benefit.
  2. Most; largest.
    Unpacking took the best part of a week.

Usage notes[edit]

In informal (often jocular) contexts, best may be inflected further and given the comparative bester and the superlative bestest; these forms are nonstandard.

Derived terms[edit]

Antonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

best

  1. superlative form of well: most well
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      Thou serpent! That name best befits thee.
    • Samuel Taylor Coleridge (1772-1834)
      He prayeth best, who loveth best / All things both great and small.
    • 1907, Robert W[illiam] Chambers, “chapter VIII”, in The Younger Set (Project Gutenberg; EBook #14852), New York, N.Y.: A. L. Burt Company, published 1 February 2005 (Project Gutenberg version), OCLC 4241346:
      At her invitation he outlined for her the succeeding chapters with terse military accuracy ; and what she liked best and best understood was avoidance of that false modesty which condescends, turning technicality into pabulum.
  2. To the most advantage; with the most success, cause, profit, benefit, or propriety.

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

best ‎(countable and uncountable, plural bests)

  1. (uncountable) The supreme effort one can make, or has made.
    I did my best.
    My personal best in that race is eighteen minutes, four seconds.
    • 2011 September 28, Tom Rostance, “Arsenal 2 - 1 Olympiakos”, in BBC Sport[1]:
      Home defender Per Mertesacker had to be at his best to stop a dangerous cross from Vassilis Torossidis reaching Djebbour, but moments later Arsenal doubled their lead through Santos.
  2. (countable) The person (or persons; or thing or things) that is (are) most excellent.
    • 1994, Otis L. Guernsey and Jeffrey Sweet, The Best Plays of 1993-1994, page vii:
      Mel Gussow reviews the bests of off off Broadway
    • 1995 October, Cincinnati Magazine, [2]:
      But in true Cincinnati style, the bests consistently outnumber the worsts.
    • 2011, G. Edward Evans, Sheila S. Intner, and Jean Riddle Weihs, Introduction to Technical Services, page 149:
      There are the bests for each institution, the bests for coalitions, and, of course, the bests for the group as a whole.
    • 2013, Jesse Jose, Collections Of My Best And Most-Hated, "A Cup O' Kapeng Barako" Writings, page 209:
      If he's one of the bests, he should be fighting the bests, NOT the pipitsugins.

Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

best ‎(third-person singular simple present bests, present participle besting, simple past and past participle bested)

  1. To surpass in skill or achievement.
  2. (transitive) To beat in a contest;
    • 2010, T. William Phillips, Restless Heart, page 16:
      "You did not win because I was sloppy. You bested me, Uncle. I've never seen you fight like that before.”

Antonyms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Related terms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923: until · does · Gutenberg · #245: best · word · light · felt

Anagrams[edit]


Dutch[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle Dutch best, from Old Dutch *betst, from Proto-Germanic *batistaz, superlative of *gōdaz. Compare Low German best, English best, West Frisian best, German besten, Danish bedst.

Adjective[edit]

best

  1. Superlative form of goed; best.
  2. fine, okay
    Mag ik buiten spelen? — Ik vind het best, als je maar voor het eten weer thuis bent.
    May I go and play outside? — It's fine with me, as long as you're back home again before dinner.

Synonyms[edit]

Adverb[edit]

best

  1. quite, rather
    Dat zou best kunnen.
    It's quite possible.

Derived terms[edit]


Middle Dutch[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Dutch *betst, from Proto-Germanic *batistaz, superlative of *gōdaz.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

best

  1. best; superlative degree of goet

Adverb[edit]

best

  1. best; superlative degree of wel

Descendants[edit]


Norwegian Bokmål[edit]

Adjective[edit]

best

  1. indefinite superlative of god
  2. indefinite superlative of bra

Norwegian Nynorsk[edit]

Adjective[edit]

best

  1. indefinite superlative of god
  2. indefinite superlative of bra

Old Saxon[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

from Proto-Germanic *batistaz(best).

Adverb[edit]

best

  1. best

Descendants[edit]


Scots[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

best

  1. superlative degree of guid

Derived terms[edit]

  • ill-best(best of a bad lot, best of a poor selection)

Noun[edit]

best ‎(plural bests)

  1. groomsman

Swedish[edit]

Noun[edit]

best c

  1. beast

Declension[edit]

Inflection of best 
Singular Plural
Indefinite Definite Indefinite Definite
Nominative best besten bestar bestarna
Genitive bests bestens bestars bestarnas