do (one's) best

(redirected from done their best)

do (one's) best

To do as well as one possibly can at something. I'm just not good at math, so, believe me, a B- in Algebra means that I've done my best. No, you're not the star player on the team, but you always do your best, which encourages the rest of us to do the same.

do one's (level) best

to do something as well as one can. Just do your level best. That's all we can ask of you. Tom isn't doing his best. We may have to replace him.

do one's best

Also, do one's level best or one's damnedest . Perform as well as one can, do the utmost possible, as in I'm doing my best to balance this statement, or She did her level best to pass the course, or He did his damnedest to get done in time. The first term dates from the 16th century, but the addition of level, here meaning "very," occurred only in the mid-1800s; the variant dates from the late 1800s.
References in classic literature ?
The sailors, goaded by the remorseless pangs of hunger, had eaten their leather belts, their shoes, the sweatbands from their caps, although both Clayton and Monsieur Thuran had done their best to convince them that these would only add to the suffering they were enduring.
They've done their best to ruin Great Britain by crabbing every sort of national service during the last ten years.
Some nominees were excellent choices but either had no serious track record yet or had done their best work two, three or more years ago.
But district officials have done their best to keep the matter secret, and a promised city report on the mold problem is now kept sealed under attorney-client privilege.
However, there are no perfect parents, only those who consider all the possibilities and feel they have done their best.