put best foot forward


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put (one's) best foot forward

To try to act as an ideal version of oneself, typically to try to impress others. You really need to put your best foot forward in the interview if you want to get this job.
See also: foot, forward, put

put one's best foot forward

Fig. to act or appear at one's best; to try to make a good impression. When you apply for a job, you should always put your best foot forward. I try to put my best foot forward whenever I meet someone for the first time.
See also: foot, forward, put

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.
See also: foot, put