get the better of him


      • outsmart or defeat someone
        To describe a situation where one person is able to outwit or defeat another person in a particular situation or competition.

      • overcome a negative emotion or habit
        To express overcoming a negative emotion or habit that was previously controlling someone's actions or thoughts.

    Examples of get the better of him

    • In their recent cricket match, the opposition team managed to get the better of our players, winning the game by a significant margin.

      The idiom 'get the better of' is used here to describe how the opposition team outplayed our team and ultimately emerged victorious.

    • Despite his initial doubts, John's new marketing strategy proved to be more effective than his colleague's, allowing him to get the better of her and receive a promotion.

      In this instance, 'get the better of' is used to indicate that John's strategy succeeded in outperforming that of his coworker, ultimately resulting in him being awarded a promotion.

    • Despite Sarah's best efforts to complete the project on time, her rival, Tom, was able to submit his work earlier, getting the better of her and earning recognition for his timely delivery.

      Here, 'get the better of' is used to depict how Tom's early submission enabled him to excel over Sarah, who ultimately faced the negative consequences of her late submission.

    • In a heated debate, Jane's well-prepared arguments and persuasive delivery enabled her to get the better of her opponent, who eventually succumbed to her superior logic.

      This example employs 'get the better of' to describe how Jane's strong argumentation and articulation allowed her to come out victorious in the debate, leaving her opponent behind.

    • Despite all his efforts, the opponent could not get the better of the skilled player during the heated tennis match.

      The skilled player was able to perform better than his opponent throughout the game, causing the other player to lose.

    • The student had prepared thoroughly for the exam, and as a result, managed to get the better of his classmates who had underestimated him.

      The student's hard work and preparation paid off, and he performed better than his classmates who had not taken the exam seriously.

    • Even though the teacher was strict and challenging, the student was determined to get the better of her by proving his knowledge and understanding of the subject.

      The student aimed to excel in the subject by surpassing the expectations set by the teacher, demonstrating his skills and capabilities.

    • In the final round of the boxing match, the underdog managed to get the better of the reigning champion, surprising everyone with his unexpected victory.

      The underdog outperformed the champion in the final round, leading to his victory and defeating the expectations set by the other contestant.


    The idiom "get the better of him" can be used in various contexts to describe either outsmarting or defeating someone in a situation, or overcoming a negative emotion or habit that was previously controlling them. It is a versatile phrase that can be applied to different scenarios where one individual gains the upper hand or triumphs over a challenge.

    Origin of "get the better of him"

    The origin of the idiom "get the better of him" can be traced back to the late 17th century. The phrase stems from the idea of gaining an advantage or superiority over someone or something. It is often used in competitive situations where one person emerges victorious over another. The concept of "getting the better of someone" has been a common theme in literature and storytelling, depicting the triumph of one character over another through wit, skill, or perseverance.

    For example, in classic tales such as Aesop's fables or Shakespearean plays, characters often strive to "get the better of" their adversaries through cunning or strategy. Over time, the idiom has become a popular way to describe overcoming challenges or obstacles in everyday life, whether it be in a personal or professional context. The phrase has evolved to symbolize the idea of achieving success or victory in the face of adversity, making it a timeless and widely used expression in the English language.