had best


adjective superl. of good with better as compar.
of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work; the best students.
most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
largest; most: the best part of a day.
adverb superl. of well with better as compar.
most excellently or suitably; with most advantage or success: an opera role that best suits her voice.
in or to the highest degree; most fully (usually used in combination): best-suited; best-known; best-loved.
something or someone that is best: They always demand and get the best. The best of us can make mistakes.
a person's finest clothing: It's important that you wear your best.
a person's most agreeable or desirable emotional state (often preceded by at ).
a person's highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc. (often preceded by at ).
the highest quality to be found in a given activity or category of things (often preceded by at ): cabinetmaking at its best.
the best effort that a person, group, or thing can make: Their best fell far short of excellence.
a person's best wishes or kindest regards: Please give my best to your father.
verb (used with object)
to get the better of; defeat; beat: He easily bested his opponent in hand-to-hand combat. She bested me in the argument.
all for the best, for the good as the final result; to an ultimate advantage: At the time it was hard to realize how it could be all for the best. Also, for the best.
as best one can, in the best way possible under the circumstances: We tried to smooth over the disagreement as best we could.
at best, under the most favorable circumstances: You may expect to be treated civilly, at best.
get/have the best of,
to gain the advantage over.
to defeat; subdue: His arthritis gets the best of him from time to time.
had best, would be wisest or most reasonable to; ought to: You had best phone your mother to tell her where you are going.
make the best of, to cope with in the best way possible: to make the best of a bad situation.
with the best, on a par with the most capable: He can play bridge with the best.

before 900; Middle English beste, Old English betst, best; cognate with Dutch best, Old High German bezzist (German best), Old Norse bezt, Gothic batists. See better1, -est

Dictionary.com Unabridged


[hav; unstressed huhv, uhv; for 26 usually haf]
verb (used with object), present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle having.
to possess; own; hold for use; contain: He has property. The work has an index.
to hold, possess, or accept in some relation, as of kindred or relative position: He wanted to marry her, but she wouldn't have him.
to get, receive, or take: to have a part in a play; to have news.
to experience, undergo, or endure, as joy or pain: Have a good time. He had a heart attack last year.
to hold in mind, sight, etc.: to have doubts.
to cause to, as by command or invitation: Have him come here at five.
to be related to or be in a certain relation to: She has three cousins. He has a kind boss.
to show or exhibit in action or words: She had the crust to refuse my invitation.
to be identified or distinguished by; possess the characteristic of: He has a mole on his left cheek. This wood has a silky texture.
to engage in or carry on: to have a talk; to have a fight.
to partake of; eat or drink: He had cake and coffee for dessert.
to permit or allow: I will not have any talking during the concert.
to assert, maintain, or represent as being: Rumor has it that she's going to be married.
to know, understand, or be skilled in: to have neither Latin nor Greek.
to beget or give birth to: to have a baby.
to hold an advantage over: He has you there.
to outwit, deceive, or cheat: We realized we'd been had by an expert con artist.
to control or possess through bribery; bribe.
to gain possession of: There is none to be had at that price.
to hold or put in a certain position or situation: The problem had me stumped. They had him where they wanted him.
to exercise, display, or make use of: Have pity on him.
to invite or cause to be present as a companion or guest: We had Evelyn and Everett over for dinner. He has his bodyguard with him at all times.
to engage in sexual intercourse with.
verb (used without object), present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle having.
to be in possession of money or wealth: There are some who have and some who have not.
auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle having.
(used with a past participle to form perfect tenses): She has gone. It would have been an enjoyable party if he hadn't felt downcast.
to be required, compelled, or under obligation (followed by infinitival to, with or without a main verb): I have to leave now. I didn't want to study, but I had to.
Usually, haves. an individual or group that has wealth, social position, or other material benefits (contrasted with have-not ).
Verb phrases
have at, to go at vigorously; attack: First he decided to have at his correspondence.
had better/best, ought to: You'd better go now, it's late.
had rather. rather ( def 7 ).
have done, to cease; finish: It seemed that they would never have done with their struggle.
have had it,
to become weary of or disgusted with whatever one has been doing: I've been working like a fool, but now I've had it.
to suffer defeat; fail: He was a great pitcher, but after this season he'll have had it.
to have missed a last opportunity: He refused to take any more excuses and told them all that they'd had it.
to become unpopular or passé: Quiz shows have had it.
have it coming, to merit or deserve: When they lost their fortune, everyone said that they had it coming.
have it in for, to plan or wish to do something unpleasant to; hold a grudge against: She has it in for intelligent students who fail to use their abilities.
have it out, to come to an understanding or decision through discussion or combat: We've been in disagreement about this for a long time, and I think we should have it out, once and for all.
have on,
to be clothed in; be wearing: She had on a new dress.
to have arranged or planned: What do you have on for Christmas?
to tease (a person); make the butt of a joke. Compare put ( def 35 ).
have to do with,
to be connected or associated with: Your lack of confidence probably had a lot to do with your not getting the job.
to deal with; be concerned with: I will have nothing to do with their personal squabbles.
to have and to hold, to possess legally; have permanent possession of: The house, with the mortgage finally paid, was at last their own to have and to hold.

before 900; Middle English haven, habben, Old English habban; cognate with German haben, Old Norse hafa, Gothic haban to have; perhaps akin to heave

halve, have.

1. Have, hold, occupy, own, possess mean to be, in varying degrees, in possession of something. Have being the most general word, admits of the widest range of application: to have money, rights, discretion, a disease, a glimpse, an idea; to have a friend's umbrella. To hold is to have in one's grasp or one's control, but not necessarily as one's own: to hold stakes. To occupy is to hold and use, but not necessarily by any right of ownership: to occupy a chair, a house, a position. To own is to have the full rights of property in a thing, which, however, another may be holding or enjoying: to own a house that is rented to tenants. Possess is a more formal equivalent for own and suggests control, and often occupation, of large holdings: to possess vast territories. 3. obtain, gain, secure, procure.

1. lack.

See of2.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To had best
World English Dictionary
best (bɛst)
1.  the superlative of good
2.  most excellent of a particular group, category, etc
3.  most suitable, advantageous, desirable, attractive, etc
4.  the best part of most of: the best part of an hour
5.  put one's best foot forward
 a.  to do one's utmost to make progress
 b.  to hurry
6.  the superlative of well
7.  in a manner surpassing all others; most excellently, advantageously, attractively, etc
8.  (in combination) in or to the greatest degree or extent; most: the best-loved hero
9.  as best one can, as best one may as effectively as possible within one's limitations
10.  had best would be wise, sensible, etc, to: you had best go now
11.  the best the most outstanding or excellent person, thing, or group in a category
12.  (often preceded by at) the most excellent, pleasing, or skilled quality or condition: journalism at its best
13.  the most effective effort of which a person or group is capable: even their best was inadequate
14.  a winning majority: the best of three games
15.  Also: all the best best wishes: she sent him her best
16.  a person's smartest outfit of clothing
17.  at best
 a.  in the most favourable interpretation
 b.  under the most favourable conditions
18.  for the best
 a.  for an ultimately good outcome
 b.  with good intentions: he meant it for the best
19.  get the best of, have the best of to surpass, defeat, or outwit; better
20.  give someone the best to concede someone's superiority
21.  make the best of to cope as well as possible in the unfavourable circumstances of (often in the phrases make the best of a bad job, make the best of it)
22.  informal six of the best six strokes with a cane on the buttocks or hand
23.  (tr) to gain the advantage over or defeat
[Old English betst; related to Gothic batista, Old High German bezzist]

Best (bɛst)
1.  Charles Herbert. 1899--1978, Canadian physiologist: associated with Banting and Macleod in their discovery of insulin in 1922
2.  George. 1946--2005, Northern Ireland footballer

have (hæv)
vb , has, having, had
1.  to be in material possession of; own: he has two cars
2.  to possess as a characteristic quality or attribute: he has dark hair
3.  to receive, take, or obtain: she had a present from him; have a look
4.  to hold or entertain in the mind: to have an idea
5.  to possess a knowledge or understanding of: I have no German
6.  to experience or undergo: to have a shock
7.  to be infected with or suffer from: to have a cold
8.  to gain control of or advantage over: you have me on that point
9.  slang (usually passive) to cheat or outwit: he was had by that dishonest salesman
10.  (foll by on) to exhibit (mercy, compassion, etc, towards): have mercy on us, Lord
11.  to engage or take part in: to have a conversation
12.  to arrange, carry out, or hold: to have a party
13.  to cause, compel, or require to (be, do, or be done): have my shoes mended
14.  (takes an infinitive with to) used as an auxiliary to express compulsion or necessity: I had to run quickly to escape him
15.  to eat, drink, or partake of: to have a good meal
16.  slang to have sexual intercourse with: he had her on the sofa
17.  (used with a negative) to tolerate or allow: I won't have all this noise
18.  to declare, state, or assert: rumour has it that they will marry
19.  to put or place: I'll have the sofa in this room
20.  to receive as a guest: to have three people to stay
21.  to beget or bear (offspring): she had three children
22.  (takes a past participle) used as an auxiliary to form compound tenses expressing completed action: I have gone; I shall have gone; I would have gone; I had gone
23.  had better, had best ought to: used to express compulsion, obligation, etc: you had better go
24.  had rather, had sooner to consider or find preferable that: I had rather you left at once
25.  have done See done
26.  informal have had it
 a.  to be exhausted, defeated, or killed
 b.  to have lost one's last chance
 c.  to become unfashionable
27.  have it to win a victory
28.  slang (Brit) have it away, have it off to have sexual intercourse
29.  informal have it coming to be about to receive or to merit punishment or retribution
30.  informal have it in for to wish or intend harm towards
31.  have it so good to have so many benefits, esp material benefits
32.  have to do with
 a.  to have dealings or associate with: I have nothing to do with her
 b.  to be of relevance to: this has nothing to do with you
33.  informal I have it I know the answer
34.  slang let someone have it to launch or deliver an attack on, esp to discharge a firearm at someone
35.  informal (foll by of) not having any refusing to take part or be involved (in)
36.  (usually plural) a person or group of people in possession of wealth, security, etc: the haves and the have-nots
[Old English habban; related to Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbian, Old High German habēn, Latin habēre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

O.E. habban "to own, possess," from P.Gmc. *khaf- (cf. O.N. hafa, O.S. hebbjan, O.Fris. habba, Ger. haben, Goth. haban "to have"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). Not related to L. habere, despite similarity in form and sense; the L. cognate is capere "seize." O.E.
second person singular present hæfst, third person singular present hæfð became M.E. hast, hath, while O.E. -bb- became -v- in have. The pp. had developed from O.E. gehæfd. Sense of "possess, have at one's disposal" (I have a book) is a shift from older languages, where the thing possessed was made the subject and the possessor took the dative case (e.g. L. est mihi liber "I have a book," lit. "there is to me a book"). Used as an auxiliary in O.E., too (esp. to form present perfect tense); the word has taken on more functions over time; Mod.Eng. he had better would have been O.E. him (dat.) wære betere. To have to for "must" (1570s) is from sense of "possess as a duty or thing to be done" (O.E.). Have-not "poor person" first recorded 1836. Phrase have a nice day first attested 1971. You never had it so good (1946) was said to be the stock answer to any complaints about U.S. Army life. Phrase have (noun), will (verb) is from 1954, originally from comedian Bob Hope, in the form Have tux, will travel; Hope described it as typical of vaudevillians' ads in "Variety," indicating a willingness to perform anywhere, any time.

O.E., reduced by assimilation of -t- from earlier O.E. betst "best, first, in the best manner," originally superlative of bot "remedy, reparation," the root word now only surviving in to boot (see boot (2)), though its comparative, better, and
superlative, best, transferred to good (and in some cases well). From P.Gmc. root *bat-, with comp. *batizon and superl. *batistaz. The verb "to get the better of" is from 1863. Best-seller is from 1889; best friend was in Chaucer (late 14c.). Best girl is first attested 1887 in a Texas context; best man is 1814, originally Scottish, replacing groomsman.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Best (běst), Charles Herbert. 1899-1978.

American-born Canadian physiologist noted for the discovery and successful clinical application of insulin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Best   (běst)  Pronunciation Key 
American-born Canadian physiologist who assisted Frederick Banting in the discovery of the hormone insulin. In acknowledgment of his work, Banting shared his portion of the 1923 Nobel Prize with Best. In addition to further refining the use of insulin, Best later discovered the vitamin choline and the enzyme histaminase, which breaks down histamine.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
Cite This Source
Copyright © 2014 Dictionary.com, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature