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    #1

    Bested

    Hello,

    Reading a story, I have come across an archaic word bested. I have found out it could mean to help or to profit or to get the upper hand but still I do not know what to choose to suit the context below. (though my money is on the third alternative).

    A scornful, yet lugubrious, smile stole over the fruit merchant's purplish features. He would be honest about it. He positively enjoyed acknowledging when a rival had bested him over a bargain. He would even agree that he had always nursed his own little superstitions. And now all that fine, silly talk—sheer fudge.

    Walter de la Mare, The Tree, 192?

    Thank you very much.
    Not a Teacher

  1. emsr2d2's Avatar
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    #2

    Re: Bested

    Yes, to "get the upper hand" is the closest. For me, "bested" simply means "beat". In your sentence, it would read "... a rival had beaten him ...".
    Remember - if you don't use correct capitalisation, punctuation and spacing, anything you write will be incorrect.

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    #3

    Re: Bested

    Another useful idiom to know is '... a rival had got the better of him ....'

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    #4

    Re: Bested

    A rival had edged him out.
    I am not a teacher.

  2. Skrej's Avatar
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    #5

    Re: Bested

    I don't know if I would consider 'bested' archaic, however. It may not be widely used, but I wouldn't say 'archaic' yet.
    Wear short sleeves! Support your right to bare arms!

  3. Piscean's Avatar
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    #6

    Re: Bested

    Quote Originally Posted by tedmc View Post
    A rival had edged him out.
    If you beat someone, you don't necessarily edge them out.

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  1. Bested
    By AH020387 in forum Ask a Teacher
    Replies: 1
    Last Post: 17-Mar-2011, 05:38

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