Meaning of “best” in the English Dictionary

"best" in English

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us uk /best/

A1 of the highest quality, or being the most suitable, pleasing, or effective type of thing or person:

This is the best meal I've ever had.
He's one of our best students.
Are you sure this is the best way of doing it?
What's the best (= shortest or quickest) way to get to their house?
Your parents only want what is best for you.
She was my best friend (= the friend I liked most).
It's best (= it is wise) to get to the supermarket early.

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us uk /best/

B1 in the most suitable, pleasing, or satisfactory way, or to the greatest degree:

Which evening would suit you best for the party?
The Grand Canyon is best seen at sunset.
He couldn't decide which one he liked best (= preferred).

to the greatest degree when used as the superlative of adjectives beginning with "good" or "well":

They were the best-dressed couple at the party.
He was voted the best-looking (= most attractive) actor in Hollywood.
as best you can mainly UK

as well as you can:

It is a difficult passage, but just translate it as best you can.

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bestnoun [ S ]

us uk /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).
all the best A2 informal

used to say goodbye, or to end a letter to someone you know well, or to send good wishes to someone:

All the best to your parents!
at best

C2 even when considered in the most positive way:

The food was bland at best, and at worst completely inedible.
at its best

B1 at the highest standard that can be achieved:

be at your best

to be as active or intelligent as you can be:

I'm not at my best in the morning.
best of all

B2 this is the most pleasing thing:

There was wonderful food, good company, and, best of all, a jazz band.
best of luck

used to wish someone success before a test, etc. or a difficult activity:

US Best of luck on your finals!
UK Best of luck with your finals!
We would like to wish you the (very) best of luck on/with your move to France.
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?
do/try your (very) best

B1 to make the greatest effort possible:

It doesn't matter if you fail, just do your best.
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.
to the best of your ability

as well as you can:

Just do the job to the best of your ability.
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.
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.
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.

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bestverb [ T ]

us uk /best/ formal

(Definition of “best” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"best" in American English

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bestadjective, adverb

us /best/

best adjective, adverb (HIGHEST QUALITY)

of the highest quality, to the greatest degree, in the most effective way, or being the most suitable or pleasing; superlative ofgood orwell:

He’s one of our best students.
Which of the songs did you like best?
She was my best friend at school.
best bet

Someone’s best bet is the action most likely to be successful:

If you want to get to the theater on time, your best bet is to get a cab.
Best wishes

Best wishes is a polite way of finishing a letter to someone.

bestnoun [ U ]

us /best/

best noun [ U ] (EXCELLENCE)

the most excellent in a group of things or people:

As an athlete, Jim Thorpe is one of the best of all time.
I like all of Hitchcock’s films, but I think "Notorious" is the best.

bestverb [ T ]

us /best/

best verb [ T ] (DEFEAT)

to defeat someone in a fight or competition:

In chess, I was bested by my 13-year-old niece.

(Definition of “best” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)