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The Collaborative International Dictionary
To get the better of

Get \Get\ (g[e^]t), v. t. [imp. Got (g[o^]t) (Obs. Gat (g[a^]t)); p. p. Got (Obsolescent Gotten (g[o^]t"t'n)); p. pr. & vb. n. Getting.] [OE. geten, AS. gitan, gietan (in comp.); akin to Icel. geta, Goth. bigitan to find, L. prehendere to seize, take, Gr. chanda`nein to hold, contain. Cf. Comprehend, Enterprise, Forget, Impregnable, Prehensile.]

  1. To procure; to obtain; to gain possession of; to acquire; to earn; to obtain as a price or reward; to come by; to win, by almost any means; as, to get favor by kindness; to get wealth by industry and economy; to get land by purchase, etc.

  2. Hence, with have and had, to come into or be in possession of; to have.

    Thou hast got the face of man.

  3. To beget; to procreate; to generate.

    I had rather to adopt a child than get it.

  4. To obtain mental possession of; to learn; to commit to memory; to memorize; as to get a lesson; also with out; as, to get out one's Greek lesson.

    It being harder with him to get one sermon by heart, than to pen twenty.
    --Bp. Fell.

  5. To prevail on; to induce; to persuade.

    Get him to say his prayers.

  6. To procure to be, or to cause to be in any state or condition; -- with a following participle.

    Those things I bid you do; get them dispatched.

  7. To betake; to remove; -- in a reflexive use.

    Get thee out from this land.
    --Gen. xxxi. 13.

    He . . . got himself . . . to the strong town of Mega.

    Note: Get, as a transitive verb, is combined with adverbs implying motion, to express the causing to, or the effecting in, the object of the verb, of the kind of motion indicated by the preposition; thus, to get in, to cause to enter, to bring under shelter; as, to get in the hay; to get out, to make come forth, to extract; to get off, to take off, to remove; to get together, to cause to come together, to collect.

    To get by heart, to commit to memory.

    To get the better of, To get the best of, to obtain an advantage over; to surpass; to subdue.

    To get up, to cause to be established or to exit; to prepare; to arrange; to construct; to invent; as, to get up a celebration, a machine, a book, an agitation.

    Syn: To obtain; gain; win; acquire. See Obtain.

Usage examples of "to get the better of".

Even before Moros entered into the Dark Queen's service, he had heard the stories of this soldier or that merchant who tried to get the better of gnomes, and whose body was later found in innumerable easy-to-carry pieces.

Surely you will give me time to endeavour to get the better of so strong a disinclination as I have at present to this person.

And then, seemingly displeased with himself for having allowed his tongue to get the better of his dignity, he walked away to the fire, musing, doubtless, on the difference between Maurice Frere, with a quarter of a million, disporting himself in the best society that could be procured, with command of dog-carts, prize-fighters, and gamecocks galore.

In my youth, I would never have allowed someone like Bartta to get the better of me.

They had to try or risk allowing the tension to get the better of them.

But no flesh-and-blood critter was going to get the better of her.

Anybody might sneak up from behind and try to get the better of him and then make off with the booty.

I reflected that this Stein was probably as fine a swordsman as he was a rider, and that it might take me some little time to get the better of him.

We each have to figure out how to get the better of our own moods!

One against three and he'd killed one man before they began to get the better of him.

I'll wait and see you served, and then I'll ask you to excuse me, if I go away, and try to get the better of this by myself.

Unfortunately, my father had trained him too well for his instincts to get the better of him.