not fit to hold a candle to (someone or something)

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not fit to hold a candle to (someone or something)

Cannot compare to someone or something; is not nearly as good or desirable as someone or something. The sequel wasn't bad, but it's not fit to hold a candle to the original. John's fast all right, but he isn’t fit to hold a candle to Louise!
See also: candle, fit, hold, not

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
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