Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “best”


noun [S]     /best/
B1 the most excellent in a group of things or people: My tastes are simple - I only like the best. He wanted the best for his children - good schools, a nice house, and trips abroad. I like all of Hitchcock's films, but I think "Notorious" is the best. Chris and I are the best of friends (= we are very close friends).Good and excellent things all the best! A2 mainly UK informal used to say goodbye or to end a letter to someone you know wellWritten greetingsLetters, notes and cards at best C2 even when considered in the most positive way: The food was bland at best, and at worst completely inedible.Good, better and bestInformal words for goodQuite good, or not very good at its best B1 at the highest standard that can be achieved: The documentary was an example of investigative journalism at its best.Good, better and bestInformal words for goodQuite good, or not very good be at your best to be as active or intelligent as you can be: I'm not at my best in the morning.Energetic and lively best of all B2 this is the most pleasing thing: There was wonderful food, good company, and, best of all, a jazz band.Good, better and bestInformal words for goodQuite good, or not very good best of luck used to wish someone success before an exam or a difficult activity: Best of luck with your exams! We would like to wish you the (very) best of luck with your move to the States.Good luck and bad luck the best of In a sport such as tennis, if you play the best of a particular number of games, you play that number of games and the winner is the player who wins the greatest number of those games: Shall we play the best of five?Tennis and racket sportsScoring, winning and losing in sportWinning and defeatingLosing and being defeated do/try your best B1 to make the greatest effort possible: It doesn't matter if you fail, just do your best.Trying and making an effortEffort and expending energy have had the best of If you have had the best of something, you have enjoyed the most pleasant part of it, and everything that is left is worse: I think we've already had the best of the hot weather this summer.Deteriorating and making worse to the best of your ability as well as you can: Just do the job to the best of your ability.Skilled, talented and able to the best of my knowledge/belief B2 from what I know and understand from the information that I have: To the best of my knowledge, the chemicals which were found are not dangerous.Knowledge and awareness for the best C2 If an action is for the best, it is done to improve a situation or produce a good result, although it might seem unpleasant at the time: Ending a relationship is always hard but in this case it's for the best.Making things betterBecoming better make the best of B2 to make an unsatisfactory situation as pleasant as possible: We'll have to spend the night here, so we might as well make the best of it.Coping and not copingDealing with things or peopleTolerating and enduring
(Definition of best noun from the Cambridge Advanced Learner's Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
Focus on the pronunciation of best

Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Good luck and bad luck, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Definitions of “best” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day


the skill with which something was made or done

Word of the Day


Read our blog about how the English language behaves.

Learn More

New Words

Find words and meanings that have just started to be used in English, and let us know what you think of them.

Learn More