can't hold a candle to

Cultural Dictionary

can't hold a candle to definition


An expression describing a person or thing that is distinctly inferior to someone or something else: “Senator Nelson is extremely knowledgeable, but as a speaker, he can't hold a candle to Senator Delano.”

The American Heritage® New Dictionary of Cultural Literacy, Third Edition
Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.
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