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second best

the next to the best in performance, achievement, craftsmanship, etc.
Origin of second best
late Middle English
1400-50; late Middle English
Related forms
second-best, adjective Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for second best
  • Wind is the second best emission free energy source next nuclear.
  • Not pursuing an academic career can be seen as settling for second best, if not downright failure.
  • Five years ago, they were the second best way to do almost any problem.
  • second best, extension of the unemployment insurance.
  • Everything about it is either second best or second hand.
  • In the upcoming week, don't settle for second best or merely punch the time clock.
  • The second best solution would be to only require them at the time the account is opened and at the time the notice is changed.
  • The second best thing is too get out of your car immediately if you are caught unexpectedly in running water.
  • If the high fares are taken as given, it might then be second best efficient to restrict the number of cabs.
British Dictionary definitions for second best


next to the best
(informal) come off second best, to be defeated in competition
an inferior alternative
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Idioms and Phrases with second best

second best

Also, second class . Next after the first in rank or quality, inferior to the best, as in We aren't satisfied with being second best in sales , or This hotel is obviously second class . The first term dates from the first half of the 1400s, the variant from about 1800. Also see come off , def. 2; second class
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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