the next best thing


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the next best thing

Something that is as good a substitute as possible for that which is really desired or best suited. My walking shoes have a hole in them, so I've been using the next best thing—my hiking boots. I'm really craving some chocolate cake, but I guess this candy bar is the next best thing.
See also: next, thing

the next best ˈthing

the best alternative for a thing that you cannot have: I couldn’t find any more of that Italian ice cream but this is the next best thing in my opinion.
See also: next, thing
References in classic literature ?
It was not George, however, but it was the next best thing: it was news of him.
His big brother Charlie was in love with the guileless maiden who played the part of "Little Bright-Eyes" in "The Kaliph of Kamskatka." He had been on the verge of marrying her once, only "the guv'ner" had sworn to disinherit him, and had presented him with a sum that would stagger the imagination, and that had staggered the virtue of "Little Bright-Eyes." Now Charlie had got leave from college, and had gone away in his automobile on the next best thing to a honeymoon.
The next best thing is to hope to do it, and that's my case.
But as I don't go to the Princess Kleinfuss's, the next best thing is to go to Bullier's.
But for Take That obsessives, it's the next best thing and you've now got the chance to head down and recreate the world's biggest henparty-rammed Scotrail carriage ever.
"The next best thing when you finish is obviously coaching and the next best thing for me, I didn't play for Celtic, but to come and coach here is top class."
But the former winger insists trying to make the dreams come true of aspiring Hoops youngsters is the next best thing after landing a Parkhead coaching role.
Josh Wood Colour System promises to be the next best thing to a professional appointment with the man himself, with free online consultations and how-to videos to help you nail your perfect DIY makeover.
Location is key with hog hunting, but after you have that part figured out, Wildgame Innovations may have the next best thing to aid in your success.
RAISED a Roman catholic, I always thought that priests and nuns were the next best thing to God.
Summary: Even if your Mom's not around to check on you, here's the next best thing for maintaining a good posture - the LUMOback Posture Sensor.
I have never seen the real Led Zep so this is the next best thing. So I have dusted off my trusty air guitar and I am heading there with a crowd of equally daft friends for some plank spanking and bad dancing.
IF you missed Meat Loaf's farewell tour, the next best thing could be this.
Peter Abrahams, professor of clinical anatomy, said: "This plastinated heart is the next best thing to examining a living organ.
Rick Perry and his Democratic challenger, Bill White, Ben Philpott of KUT News and the Tribune has created the next best thing: a mash-up of their answers to questions asked Friday by the Tribune's Evan Smith during one-hour interviews of the candidates sponsored by the Trib, KUT and Austin public television station KLRU.