hold a candle to, not

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hold a candle to, not

Also, not fit to or cannot hold a candle to. Be inferior to someone or something, as in This hotel can't hold a candle to the Palace, or This new friend of his is not fit to hold a candle to his former buddies. This expression was already a proverb in John Heywood's collection of 1546 and alludes to holding a candle to provide light for someone, at that time considered a menial chore.
See also: candle, hold, not
References in periodicals archive ?
The collected fiendishness of Frankenstein, Dracula, Freddy, Chucky, the Mummy, Norman Bates's mommy, and Rosemary's baby cannot hold a candle to the terror wrought by an insecure actor, a monomaniacal director, or a stalking camera.
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