‘The Best of the Best’: Definition, Meaning, and Examples

By Sophia Merton, updated on November 27, 2022

Did someone say that you are 'the best of the best' and you're wondering what it means? In this article, we'll explore the meaning of the phrase, how you can use it in a sentence, and more.

'The best of the best' is an idiom that refers to the most excellent or desirable person or thing out of a specific selection. If someone called you 'the best of the best,' it's quite the compliment!

What Does ‘The Best of the Best’ Mean?

When something is described as ‘the best of the best,’ it means that it is of the highest quality. ‘The best of the best’ is a straightforward phrase that is easy to understand once you grasp the meaning of the word ‘best.’

According to Merriam-Webster, the word ‘best’ can be used as an adjective, adverb, noun, verb, and auxiliary verb. In relation to the phrase ‘best of the best’ the form being used is the adjective form of the word.

As an adjective, ‘best’ is defined as:

"Of the most effective, excellent, or desirable type or quality"

You might describe someone as ‘the best football player at school’ or your laptop as ‘the best computer on the market.’ ‘Best’ is a word that describes the absolute top-tier in excellence and quality.

Understanding the Meaning of ‘The Best of the Best’

Now that we have defined the word ‘best,’ we can take a closer look at the idiom ‘the best of the best.’

If you think of ‘the best of the best’ literally, the meaning becomes clear quite quickly. For example, imagine that you have a list of restaurants in your town, out of which you make a smaller list of the ten best restaurants. Finally, you select your number one favorite restaurant in town, which would quite literally be ‘the best of the best.’

Of course, describing something as ‘the best of the best’ doesn’t have to result from such a deliberate act of determining which person, place, or thing is the greatest of the greatest.

It is a phrase that can be used to convey the idea that something is of the highest quality or is the most desirable option.

Once you learn this phrase, you might feel like you start seeing and hearing it everywhere. It is a commonly used phrase in advertising to communicate that a product or service is the best possible option for consumers.

Using ‘The Best of the Best’ in a Sentence

You have a firm grasp of the meaning of ‘the best of the best’ now, but how would you use it in a sentence? Here are some examples:

  • I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but your new car is hardly the best of the best. You’re probably going to need to get some work done on it sooner rather than later.
  • The surgery is so risky that they are enlisting the best of the best for the operation.
  • I am tired of buying cheap electronics that break after a few months. From now on, I’m only purchasing the best of the best.
  • She was obviously very upset at work on Friday. When he told her the report she turned in was the best of the best, though, her mood completely turned around.
  • The newspaper described the county fair as the best of the best, but I found it underwhelming.
  • Sally, the essay you wrote really is the best of the best– I’ve never received such high-level writing from a student. Nice job, and keep up the good work!

Other Ways to Say "Best of the Best" in a Sentence

‘The best of the best’ isn’t the only idiom that describes something that is of the highest quality. There are a number of other related phrases that you can use to convey the same idea, including:

  • Crème de la crème
  • Cream of the crop
  • Pick of the crop
  • Pick of the litter
  • Best of the bunch

There are so many fascinating English idioms to learn that you'll never run out of new phrases to add to your vocabulary! Idioms can help you add flavor and variety to your writing and speech while also giving you the opportunity to gain interesting insights into the history of the English language.

If you're looking for more useful idioms, check out our recent posts on the phrases 'spill the tea,' 'bat an eye,' and 'dodge a bullet.'

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Written By:
Sophia Merton
Sophia Merton is one of the lead freelance writers for WritingTips.org. Sophia received her BA from Vassar College. She is passionate about reading, writing, and the written word. Her goal is to help everyone, whether native English speaker or not, learn how to write and speak with perfect English.

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