best foot forward
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(one's) best foot forward
A phrase used when one is trying to present an ideal version of oneself, typically to try to impress others. Often used in the phrase "put (one's) best foot forward." You really need to put your best foot forward in the interview if you want to get this job. Now that I'm on probation, I really need to put my best foot forward and show them I can do this job. You guys haven't been dating for very long—I doubt you really know each other. In the honeymoon phase, both people are usually still putting their best foot forward.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2022 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
best foot forward
A favorable initial impression: He always has his best foot forward when speaking to his constituents. Put your best foot forward during an employment interview.
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
put one's best foot forward, to
To try to make the best possible impression. There is something inherently puzzling about this expression, which dates from the sixteenth century. What exactly is one’s “best foot,” and why should it signify putting on a good show? Shakespeare made it the better foot (in Titus Andronicus and King John), and Sir Thomas Overby wrote, in 1613 (Characters: A footeman), “His legs are not matches, for he is still setting the best foot forward.” One writer suggests that “best foot” always meant “right foot,” the left being considered unlucky. Whatever the explanation, the metaphor is still current.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer