hold a candle to


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hold a candle to

To compare favorably with: This film doesn't hold a candle to his previous ones.
See also: candle, hold
References in classic literature ?
The banker was evidently a ruler, but there was an opposition party, and even among his supporters there were some who allowed it to be seen that their support was a compromise, and who frankly stated their impression that the general scheme of things, and especially the casualties of trade, required you to hold a candle to the devil.
At a word since I must needs, for once, hold a candle to the devil what ransom am I to pay for walking on Watling-street, without having fifty men at my back?
But an experienced eye would have fixed on him at once as the village blacksmith, after seeing the humble deference with which the big saucy fellow took off his hat and stroked his hair to the farmers; for Chad was accustomed to say that a working-man must hold a candle to a personage understood to be as black as he was himself on weekdays; by which evil-sounding rule of conduct he meant what was, after all, rather virtuous than otherwise, namely, that men who had horses to be shod must be treated with respect.
It means that God himself may hold a candle to show me your infernal face.