second best(redirected from second-best)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.
(Describing) someone or something that is one step below or slightly inferior to the person or thing that is considered the best, especially in a formal ranking. Even though I'd spent weeks working on my project for the science fair, I still came off second best. Do you want to be remembered as second best? Or as the champions?
Also, second class. Next after the first in rank or quality, inferior to the best, as in We aren't satisfied with being second best in sales, or This hotel is obviously second class. The first term dates from the first half of the 1400s, the variant from about 1800. Also see come off, def. 2; second class.