before 900;Middle Englishbettre,Old Englishbet(t)(e)ra; cognate with Old High Germanbezziro (Germanbesser), Dutchbeter,Old Norsebetr,Gothicbatiza, equivalent to bat- (cognate with Old High Germanbaz (adv.) better; akin to boot2) + -iza comparative suffix; suggested relation to Sanskritbhadrá- “fortunate” is doubtful. See best
10. amend; advance, promote; reform, correct, rectify. See improve.
O.E. betera (see best), from P.Gmc. *batizo-, from PIE *bhad- "good." Comparative adj. of good in the older Gmc. languages (cf. O.N. betr, Dan. bedre, Ger. besser, Goth. batiza). Superseded bet in the adverbial sense by 1600. Better half "wife" is first attested 1570s; to get the better of (someone) is from mid-15c.
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D. Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers. Cite This Source
Idioms and Phrases with get the better of
get the best of;
have the better or best of. Become superior to or master someone or something; win out. For example, John's common sense got the better of his pride, and he apologized, or Her older sister was always trying to get the best of her, or He was determined to have the better of his competitors.
[ c. 1600