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

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
References in periodicals archive ?
This week''s heat she's sharing the kitchen with comedian Les Dennis, cricketer Matthew Hoggard and boxer Joe Calzaghe, who may be undefeated in the ring, but comes off second best tonight after a knife fight with a dead squid.
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.
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.
Because when cars and pedestrians 'mingle', it's usually the pedestrian who comes off second best.
MOMENT OF IMPACT ZScott Severin comes off second best in this challenge with Jim Goodwin and is left with a double leg break.
LAST LAUGH: Filip Sebo comes off second best this time in clash with McManus