Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


"Settle the best you can," was his final direction to Coplen.

But the purest and best matrons of Greece refuse to be my guests.

The best of his works is the Olympian Zeus, made at Elis after his exile.

The best doctrines become the worst, when they are used for evil purposes.

Now, Mr. Bines, I like him and I dare say you've done the best thing for him, unusual as it was.

He went round to the back door, where he thought it best, in the first place, to knock.

I don't think it will, mind, but it's best to be prepared, so give me the key.

“Ay, sure, both of us; but Ambrose is the best scribe,” said Stephen.

Pray accept this author's copy with his best and hopefullest wishes.

She'd marry me—she'd marry you, if you was the best thing in sight.


Old English beste, reduced by assimilation of -t- from earlier Old English betst "best, first, in the best manner," originally superlative of bot "remedy, reparation," the root word now only surviving in to boot (see boot (n.2)), though its comparative, better, and superlative, best, have been transferred to good (and in some cases well). From Proto-Germanic root *bat-, with comparative *batizon and superlative *batistaz (cf. Old Frisian, Old Saxon, Middle Dutch best, Old High German bezzist, German best, Old Norse beztr, Gothic batists).

Best-seller as short for "best-selling book" is from 1902, apparently originally in the publishing trade; best friend was in Chaucer (late 14c.). Best girl is first attested 1881, American English; best man is 1814, originally Scottish, replacing groomsman. To be able to do something with the best of them is recorded by 1748.



adjectiveunsurpassed and permanent
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.