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English definition of “the next best thing”

the next best thing

C1 the thing that is best, if you cannot have or do the thing you really want: I really wanted to work in television but I ended up in radio, which is the next best thing.Quite good, or not very goodSuitable and acceptable
(Definition of the next best thing from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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