better than


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better than

1. Superior to, as in He's no better than Tom at writing a memo. [9th century]
2. More than, larger in amount or greater in rate, as in My new car can do better than 100 miles an hour, or The new plan will cut better than 15 percent of costs. Some authorities consider this usage colloquial and advise that it be avoided in formal writing. [Late 1500s] Also see better half, def. 1.
See also: better
References in classic literature ?
SOCRATES: And if virtue could have been taught, would his father Themistocles have sought to train him in these minor accomplishments, and allowed him who, as you must remember, was his own son, to be no better than his neighbours in those qualities in which he himself excelled?
I am always ready to mend my manners to my betters," said he, "but I am afraid you cannot teach me any better than you can dust my jacket.
If ye handle yew bow and apple shaft no better than ye do oaken cudgel, I wot ye are not fit to be called yeomen in my country; but if there be any man here that can shoot a better shaft than I, then will I bethink me of joining with you.
But Good still persevered, saying, with an approach to cheerfulness, that it was better than doing nothing.
Well, you needn't preach; you didn't any of you do any more, and you might have, for Mac likes you better than he does me.
I'm little better than one here, and see as much of the world.
I wish Hannah had come instead of me for it was Hannah that was wanted and she is better than I am and does not answer back so quick.
For I believe he's one o those gentlemen as wishes to do the right thing, and to leave the world a bit better than he found it, which it's my belief every man may do, whether he's gentle or simple, whether he sets a good bit o' work going and finds the money, or whether he does the work with his own hands.
A beautiful form is better than a beautiful face; a beautiful behavior is better than a beautiful form: it gives a higher pleasure than statues or pictures; it is the finest of the fine arts.
But now he may be no better than a Dissenter, and want to push aside my son on pretence of doctrine.
But they that had me would not part with me; and as for me, though I should have been very well treated with any of the others, yet I could not be better than where I was.
I am content to see Meg begin humbly, for if I am not mistaken, she will be rich in the possession of a good man's heart, and that is better than a fortune.
Polly did n't know why she chose it, but the instinct seemed to have been a true one, for, old as the song was, it went straight to the hearts of the hearers, and Polly sung it better than she ever had before, for now the memory of little Jane lent it a tender pathos which no art could give.
exclaimed the Prior, ``no one knows better than thy own cursed self, that our holy house of God is indebted for the finishing of our chancel ''
The landlady, the landlord, their daughter, and Maritornes, when they saw Don Quixote and Sancho coming, went out to welcome them with signs of hearty satisfaction, which Don Quixote received with dignity and gravity, and bade them make up a better bed for him than the last time: to which the landlady replied that if he paid better than he did the last time she would give him one fit for a prince.
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