come off second best

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come off second best

To finish something, such as a contest or competition, in second place. Even though I'd spent weeks working on my project for the science fair, I still came off second best.
See also: come, off, second
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

come off second best

to be second to someone or something; to get the poorer end of a bargain. As usual, he came off second best with a little less prize money than the winner. I don't want to come off second best again.
See also: come, off, second
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
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References in periodicals archive ?
HAM ROLLED OVER: Michael Carrick comes off second best against Preston scorer Ricardo Fuller
Ranger ' s' A LITTLE NASTY Rangers' Andy Little comes off second best in an accidental clash with Dunfermline's Alex Whittle and, above, is stretchered off
"He comes off second best sometimes and we have had to get him treated for nasty injuries and infections as well."
Lara, or Lady Croft as we should properly address the agreeably indestructible posh adventuress, is back for a second helping in which serious archaeology comes off second best to savage butt-kicking.
Because when cars and pedestrians 'mingle', it's usually the pedestrian who comes off second best.
"He comes off second best sometimes and we have had him treated for nasty injuries."
THE HUNTER 102mins 15 THE perennially underrated Willem Dafoe shows his star power once again in this absorbing thriller - but even his searing intensity comes off second best to The Hunter's imagery.