Hypertext Webster Gateway: "best"

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Best \Best\ (b[e^]st), a.; superl. of Good. [AS. besta, best,
contr. from betest, betst, betsta; akin to Goth. batists,
OHG. pezzisto, G. best, beste, D. best, Icel. beztr, Dan.
best, Sw. b["a]st. This word has no connection in origin with
good. See {Better}.]
1. Having good qualities in the highest degree; most good,
kind, desirable, suitable, etc.; most excellent; as, the
best man; the best road; the best cloth; the best

When he is best, he is a little worse than a man.

Heaven's last, best gift, my ever new delight.

2. Most advanced; most correct or complete; as, the best
scholar; the best view of a subject.

3. Most; largest; as, the best part of a week.

{Best man}, the only or principal groomsman at a wedding

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Best \Best\, n.
Utmost; highest endeavor or state; most nearly perfect thing,
or being, or action; as, to do one's best; to the best of our

{At best}, in the utmost degree or extent applicable to the
case; under the most favorable circumstances; as, life is
at best very short.

{For best}, finally. [Obs.] ``Those constitutions . . . are
now established for best, and not to be mended.''

{To get the best of}, to gain an advantage over, whether
fairly or unfairly.

{To make the best of}.
(a) To improve to the utmost; to use or dispose of to the
greatest advantage. ``Let there be freedom to carry their
commodities where they can make the best of them.''
(b) To reduce to the least possible inconvenience; as, to
make the best of ill fortune or a bad bargain.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Best \Best\, adv.; superl. of {Well}.
1. In the highest degree; beyond all others. ``Thou serpent!
That name best befits thee.'' --Milton.

He prayeth best, who loveth best All things both
great and small. --Coleridge.

2. To the most advantage; with the most success, case,
profit, benefit, or propriety.

Had we best retire? I see a storm. --Milton.

Had I not best go to her? --Thackeray.

3. Most intimately; most thoroughly or correctly; as, what is
expedient is best known to himself.

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Best \Best\, v. t.
To get the better of. [Colloq.]

From Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary (1913) (web1913)

Good \Good\, a. [Compar. {Better}; superl. {Best}. These words,
though used as the comparative and superlative of good, are
from a different root.] [AS. G[=o]d, akin to D. goed, OS.
g[=o]d, OHG. guot, G. gut, Icel. g[=o][eth]r, Sw. & Dan. god,
Goth. g[=o]ds; prob. orig., fitting, belonging together, and
akin to E. gather. [root]29 Cf. {Gather}.]
1. Possessing desirable qualities; adapted to answer the end
designed; promoting success, welfare, or happiness;
serviceable; useful; fit; excellent; admirable;
commendable; not bad, corrupt, evil, noxious, offensive,
or troublesome, etc.

And God saw everything that he had made, and behold,
it was very good. --Gen. i. 31.

Good company, good wine, good welcome. --Shak.

2. Possessing moral excellence or virtue; virtuous; pious;
religious; -- said of persons or actions.

In all things showing thyself a pattern of good
works. --Tit. ii. 7.

3. Kind; benevolent; humane; merciful; gracious; polite;
propitious; friendly; well-disposed; -- often followed by
to or toward, also formerly by unto.

The men were very good unto us. --1 Sam. xxv.

4. Serviceable; suited; adapted; suitable; of use; to be
relied upon; -- followed especially by for.

All quality that is good for anything is founded
originally in merit. --Collier.

5. Clever; skillful; dexterous; ready; handy; -- followed
especially by at.

He . . . is a good workman; a very good tailor.

Those are generally good at flattering who are good
for nothing else. --South.

6. Adequate; sufficient; competent; sound; not fallacious;
valid; in a commercial sense, to be depended on for the
discharge of obligations incurred; having pecuniary
ability; of unimpaired credit.

My reasons are both good and weighty. --Shak.

My meaning in saying he is a good man is . . . that
he is sufficient . . . I think I may take his bond.

7. Real; actual; serious; as in the phrases in good earnest;
in good sooth.

Love no man in good earnest. --Shak.

8. Not small, insignificant, or of no account; considerable;
esp., in the phrases a good deal, a good way, a good
degree, a good share or part, etc.

9. Not lacking or deficient; full; complete.

Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and
running over. --Luke vi. 38.

10. Not blemished or impeached; fair; honorable; unsullied;
as in the phrases a good name, a good report, good
repute, etc.

A good name is better than precious ointment.
--Eccl. vii.

{As good as}. See under {As}.

{For good}, or {For good and all}, completely and finally;
fully; truly.

The good woman never died after this, till she came
to die for good and all. --L'Estrange.

{Good breeding}, polite or polished manners, formed by
education; a polite education.

Distinguished by good humor and good breeding.

{Good cheap}, literally, good bargain; reasonably cheap.

{Good consideration} (Law).
(a) A consideration of blood or of natural love and
affection. --Blackstone.
(b) A valuable consideration, or one which will sustain a

{Good fellow}, a person of companionable qualities.

{Good folk}, {or Good people}, fairies; brownies; pixies,
etc. [Colloq. Eng. & Scot.]

{Good for nothing}.
(a) Of no value; useless; worthless.
(b) Used substantively, an idle, worthless person.

My father always said I was born to be a good
for nothing. --Ld. Lytton.

{Good Friday}, the Friday of Holy Week, kept in some churches
as a fast, in memoory of our Savior's passion or
suffering; the anniversary of the crucifixion.

{Good humor}, or {Good-humor}, a cheerful or pleasant temper
or state of mind.

{Good nature}, or {Good-nature}, habitual kindness or
mildness of temper or disposition; amiability; state of
being in good humor.

The good nature and generosity which belonged to his
character. --Macaulay.

The young count's good nature and easy
persuadability were among his best characteristics.

{Good people}. See {Good folk} (above).

{Good speed}, good luck; good success; godspeed; -- an old
form of wishing success. See {Speed}.

{Good turn}, an act of kidness; a favor.

{Good will}.
(a) Benevolence; well wishing; kindly feeling.
(b) (Law) The custom of any trade or business; the
tendency or inclination of persons, old customers and
others, to resort to an established place of
business; the advantage accruing from tendency or

The good will of a trade is nothing more than
the probability that the old customers will
resort to the old place. --Lord Eldon.

{In good time}.
(a) Promptly; punctually; opportunely; not too soon nor
too late.
(b) (Mus.) Correctly; in proper time.

{To hold good}, to remain true or valid; to be operative; to
remain in force or effect; as, his promise holds good; the
condition still holds good.

{To make good}, to fulfill; to establish; to maintain; to
supply (a defect or deficiency); to indemmify; to prove or
verify (an accusation); to prove to be blameless; to
clear; to vindicate.

Each word made good and true. --Shak.

Of no power to make his wishes good. --Shak.

I . . . would by combat make her good. --Shak.

Convenient numbers to make good the city. --Shak.

{To think good}, to approve; to be pleased or satisfied with;
to consider expedient or proper.

If ye think good, give me my price; and if not,
forbear. --Zech. xi.

Note: Good, in the sense of wishing well, is much used in
greeting and leave-taking; as, good day, good night,
good evening, good morning, etc.

From WordNet (r) 1.7 (wn)

adj 1: (superlative of `good') having the most positive qualities;
"the best film of the year"; "the best solution"; "the
best time for planting"; "wore his best suit" [ant: {worst}]
2: (comparative and superlative of `well') wiser or more
advantageous and hence advisable; "it would be better to
speak to him"; "the White House thought it best not to
respond" [syn: {better(p)}, {best(p)}]
n 1: the supreme effort one can make: "they did their best" [ant:
2: the person who is most outstanding or excellent; "he could
beat the best of them"
3: Canadian physiologist (born in the United States) who
assisted F. G. Banting in research leading to the
discovery of insulin (1899-1978) [syn: {Best}, {C. H. Best},
{Charles Herbert Best}]
adv 1: in a most excellent way or manner; "he played best after a
couple of martinis"
2: it would be sensible; "you'd best stay at home"
3: from a position of superiority or authority; "father knows
best"; "I know better." [syn: {better}]
v : get the better of [syn: {outdo}, {outflank}, {trump}, {scoop}]

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