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Get the better of   /gɛt ðə bˈɛtər əv/   Listen
Get the better of

verb
1.
Win a victory over.  Synonyms: defeat, overcome.  "Defeat your enemies" , "He overcame his shyness" , "He overcame his infirmity" , "Her anger got the better of her and she blew up"






WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University








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"Get the better of" Quotes from Famous Books



... head. No; that was hardly the word—cowed, perhaps, for the moment, would be better. But afterward, with a document like that in existence, when they would never be safe for an instant—well, beasts in the cages had been known to get the better of the man with the whip, and beasts were gentle things compared with Australian Ike, The Mope, and Clarie Deane! Some day they would reverse the tables on the Indian Chief—if they could. And if they couldn't it would not be for the ...
— The Adventures of Jimmie Dale • Frank L. Packard

... in the affirmative; and, applying this mixed system to the cases stated above, I will guarantee that fifty thousand regular French troops, supported by the National Guards of the East, would get the better of this German army which had crossed the Vosges; for, reduced to fifty thousand men by many detachments, upon nearing the Meuse or arriving in Argonne it would have one hundred thousand men on its hands. To attain this mean, we have laid it down as a necessity that good ...
— The Art of War • Baron Henri de Jomini

... think not,' retorted Miss Mosk, firing up. 'I'd have the law on them if they did. I can look after myself, I hope, and there's no man I know likely to get the better of me. I don't say I'm an aristocrat, Gabriel, but I'm an honest girl, and as good a lady as any of them. I'll make you a first-class wife in ...
— The Bishop's Secret • Fergus Hume

... conquered." I had betrayed some weakness or sense of humanity, not long before, in fainting away while I attended the torture of one who was racked with the utmost barbarity, and I had on that occasion been reprimanded by the Inquisitor for suffering nature to get the better of grace; it being an inexcusable weakness, as he observed, to be in any degree affected with the suffering of the body, however great, when afflicted, as they ever are in the Holy Inquisition, for the ...
— Life in the Grey Nunnery at Montreal • Sarah J Richardson

... myself. No doubt I could protect her easily against five or six great brawny hulking porters ... armed with coal-hammers ... but I am seriously doubtful whether a dozen or so, aided with a little luck, mightn't get the better of me. ...
— Once a Week • Alan Alexander Milne

... about the battle of Lake Erie. One had the nature of comedy, the other partook rather of that of tragedy. Perry, as has been said, was a Rhode Islander, and many of the men he had with him had come from that state. Tristam Burges, in his lecture, had, in many instances, allowed his eloquence to get the better of his sense. In the preface to it, when published, he abandoned the latter altogether. He twice asserted, and gave his reasons for it, that "the fleet and battle of Erie" were to be regarded "as a part of the maritime affairs of Rhode Island." Apparently, however, the whole state ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... the perverse spirit of pride which this reply from the German hierarchy showed Frederic to be possessed of; and took only the firmer resolution to get the better of him, by opposing a calm dignity to his passion. He accordingly selected Cardinals Henry and Hyacinth,—men of more experience in diplomacy than the rest of their brethren in the conclave,—to go as legates on a new embassy to the emperor; who in the meanwhile ...
— Pope Adrian IV - An Historical Sketch • Richard Raby

... should be better off than a fool. But for that reason, is the fool to be wretched, utterly crushed down, and left in all the suffering which his conduct and capacity naturally inflict?—Not so. What do you suppose fools were made for? That you might tread upon them, and starve them, and get the better of them in every possible way? By no means. They were made that wise people might take care of them. That is the true and plain fact concerning the relations of every strong and wise man to the world about him. ...
— A Joy For Ever - (And Its Price in the Market) • John Ruskin

... demanded his money back, complaining at the same time to the boy's father, who passes for a person of high character and good sense, about the scurvy trick his son had played him. "Well," said this respectable old gentleman, "I am glad to see that the lad is so sharp; for, if he could get the better of you so well, he will make a capital merchant, and be ...
— Recollections of Manilla and the Philippines - During 1848, 1849 and 1850 • Robert Mac Micking

... majority who are weak; and they make laws and distribute praises and censures with a view to themselves and to their own interests; and they terrify the stronger sort of men, and those who are able to get the better of them, in order that they may not get the better of them; and they say, that dishonesty is shameful and unjust; meaning, by the word injustice, the desire of a man to have more than his neighbours; for knowing their ...
— Gorgias • Plato

... points of our pikes and the sharps of our sabres." Quoth another, "By Allah, this a mere misfortune: how shall we slay a youth so comely of face and shapely of form?" And a third continued, "Ye will have hard work to get the better of him; for the youth had not done this, but for what he knew of his own prowess and pre- eminence of valour." Meanwhile, having settled himself in his saddle, the Prince turned the pin of ascent; whilst all eyes were strained ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... side; the husband can't endure me; they are now quarrelling; and I shall get the better of it, for she does what she likes with ...
— The Lesser Bourgeoisie • Honore de Balzac

... says the doctor, "don't irritate him; always soothe your horse, Jemmy. You'll do better without me. Let me down, Jemmy." Once on terra-firma, the doctor's view of the case was changed. "Now, Jemmy, touch him up. Never let a horse get the better of you. Touch him up, conquer him, don't spare him; and now, I'll leave you ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... dignity was evident; now he looked undeniably odd. A poet needs a fine house rather than a fine dress to set him off, and Mrs. Sclater's drawing-room was neither large nor beautiful enough to frame this one, especially with his Sunday clothes to get the better of. To the school ladies, mistress and pupils, he was simply a clodhopper, and from their report became a treasure of poverty-stricken amusement to the school. Often did Ginevra's cheek burn with indignation at the small insolences of her fellow-pupils. ...
— Sir Gibbie • George MacDonald

... to be acquitted? Yes, upon the whole he did;—to be acquitted of that special sin. His desire to make Miss Dunstable temporarily subject to his sway arose, not from a hankering after her fortune, but from an ambition to get the better of a contest in which other men around ...
— Doctor Thorne • Anthony Trollope

... by tellin' you as you ain't.' You know Jerusha Dodd, Mrs. Lathrop; she began to cry hard an' rock harder right off, said she knowed she was a fool, but it was nature's fault an' not hers for she was born so an' could n't seem to get the better of it. I told her my view of the matter would be for her to stay home an' patch up that hole in her fence an' pull up some o' that choice garden full of weeds as she's growin', an' brush the dust off the crown of her bonnet, an' do a few other of them wholesome little ...
— Susan Clegg and a Man in the House • Anne Warner

... which he succeeded in clasping over his still beautiful, and once faun-like face, affected the sensitive sculptor more sadly than even the unrestrained passion of the preceding scene. It is a very miserable epoch, when the evil necessities of life, in our tortuous world, first get the better of us so far as to compel us to attempt throwing a cloud over our transparency. Simplicity increases in value the longer we can keep it, and the further we carry it onward into life; the loss of a child's ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... is but one law in the world. The weakest goes to the wall. The men are sharper-witted than the creatures, and so they get the better of them and use them. They may call it just if they like; but when a tiger eats a man I guess he has just as much justice on his side as the man when he ...
— Short Studies on Great Subjects • James Anthony Froude

... was running over the paper, the poor perfumer felt something that was like a hot iron in his stomach. He assumed the ingratiating manner which for ten years past the banker had seen all men put on when they wanted to get the better of him for their own purposes, and which gave him at once the advantage over them. Francois Keller accordingly darted at Cesar a look which shot through his head,—a Napoleonic look. This imitation of Napoleon's glance was a silly satire, then popular with certain ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... considerable humiliation that he could not get the better of Kitchell, either physically or mentally. Kitchell was a more powerful man than he, and cleverer. The Captain was in his element now, and he was the commander. On shore it would have been vastly different. The city-bred fellow, with a policeman always in call, ...
— Moran of the Lady Letty • Frank Norris

... at sensible dogs. When a pail of dish-water is brought out to them, the strongest drinks first, and the others stand by and lick their lips, although they know that he will take the best part; then they all take their turn. If they start quarrelling, they upset the pail and the strong get the better of ...
— Selected Polish Tales • Various

... tooth and nail," answered the old gentleman, "but there are some things that always get the better of you in the end, Cupid, and the ...
— The Battle Ground • Ellen Glasgow

... need keep you in the dark as to this point, that you will have to go home to-night without any bargain struck." Then said Thorstein, "Nor do I think it needful to delay making known to you what we have in our mind to do; for we, deeming that we shall get the better of you by reason of the odds on our side, have bethought us of two choices for you: one choice is, that you do this matter willingly and take in return our friendship; but the other, clearly a worse one, ...
— Laxdaela Saga - Translated from the Icelandic • Anonymous

... the elder and richer of the two, "I must not let that young scapegrace Jumper get the better of me. A pretty joke indeed that he should think of the beautiful Miss Leapfrog, he who is not worth a rap, and is ...
— The Comical Creatures from Wurtemberg - Second Edition • Unknown

... was waiting for her Return, used his utmost to appease her. Believe me, says he to her, Zeokinizul is smitten, only allow him Time to get the better of some troublesome Scruples, and every Thing will be according to our Desires. And indeed, she was scarce out of Sight, but Zeokinizul was sorry for the cold Reception he had given her. He blamed himself for his Incivility; and, to make her some ...
— The Amours of Zeokinizul, King of the Kofirans - Translated from the Arabic of the famous Traveller Krinelbol • Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crbillon

... worth the name made their appearance. To fend off the black worry that might get the better of him did he sit idle, he next drew his Bible to him, and set about doing methodically what he had so far undertaken merely by fits and starts—deciding for himself to what degree the Scriptures were inspired. Polly was neither proud nor happy while this went on, ...
— Australia Felix • Henry Handel Richardson

... the air which draws men from their beds in the hot season, and retains them to taste with delight the cool of the summer; and he who will do well by his art will not strive to be more skilful than learned, nor let greed get the better of glory. Seest thou not among human beauties that it is the beautiful faces which stop the passers-by, and not the richness of their ornaments? And this I say to thee who adornest thy figures with gold and other rich ornaments: Seest thou not splendid, youthful beauties, who diminish their excellence ...
— Thoughts on Art and Life • Leonardo da Vinci

... her feelings seemed to get the better of her. "Oh," she cried, "I've been afraid all along, lately. It's dangerous work. And then, the stories that have been told of the ship and the treasure. It seems ill-fated. Professor Kennedy," she appealed, "I wish you would ...
— The Treasure-Train • Arthur B. Reeve

... thought. Going over to the big iron door, he tried to turn the great knob, but his fingers either were not strong enough or he did not know the secret of the lock. Returning to his seat, he made up his mind to wait a while before allowing his fears to get the better of him. This is what every brave boy would do under the circumstances, he said to himself, resolving not to ...
— The Magic Soap Bubble • David Cory

... not, Peacocke. I rather think not. You'll have to get up earlier before you get the better of Robert Lefroy. You don't expect to get this money back ...
— Dr. Wortle's School • Anthony Trollope

... shores I know, As I walked where the sea-ripples wash you, Paumanok, Where they rustle up, hoarse and sibilant, Where the fierce old mother endlessly cries for her castaways, I, musing, late in the autumn day, gazing off southward, Alone, held by the eternal self of me that threatens to get the better of me and stifle me, Was seized by the spirit that trails in the lines underfoot, In the ruin, the sediment, that stands for all the water and all the land ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... were choking him; and the complaint he was about to narrate was never spoken. Before he had recovered breath and calmness, Arthur entered and took his seat at the tea-table. Poor Tom, allowing one of his unfortunate explosions of temper to get the better of him, sprang from his chair and burst forth with a passionate reproach to Arthur, whom he regarded as the author ...
— The Channings • Mrs. Henry Wood

... and, we could not be expected, having always lived on animal food, to confine ourselves to roots and herbs like the negroes, which are the food of wild beasts. Besides, having been always accustomed to the use of clothes, we could not for shame go naked. Even if we could get the better of that prejudice, our bodies would be grievously tormented and emaciated by the scorching heat of the sun, for want of that covering and defence to which we had been accustomed. The only other course was to stay at sea in the boat, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII • Robert Kerr

... success. I soon noticed that they are sexless and can alternately appear as man or woman. As long as I clearly realize this I have power over them. But when the clearness of my consciousness and memory is dimmed they get the better of me. ...
— The Bride of Dreams • Frederik van Eeden

... on these extracts would be to waste time and paper. On reading them, I became persuaded that Mr Paradise and American liberty were mere pretences to cover a more important errand to America, and I was surprised that Mr Jones's vanity should so far get the better of his prudence, as to put such pamphlets into my hands at such ...
— The Diplomatic Correspondence of the American Revolution, Vol. VIII • Various

... get the better of our colonies, still more rigorously did we apply the same methods to foreign countries, regarding each gain which accrued to us as an advantage which would have wholly gone to the foreigner if we had not by firmness and ...
— The Evolution of Modern Capitalism - A Study of Machine Production • John Atkinson Hobson

... something," she said. "Suppose my master refuses to see you. His temper might get the better of him; he might make it so unpleasant for you that you would be ...
— Little Novels • Wilkie Collins

... marvel; believe me, I have refused a hundred pistoles for him, with one of the horses destined for the King to boot. I then mounted, and was in high spirits to see some of the hounds coursing over the plain to get the better of the deer. I pressed on, and found myself in a by-thicket at the heels of the dogs, with none else ...
— The Bores • Moliere

... one hand and leaned back in his chair, looking at the scientist across from him. "I'm sorry," he said. "I've let my humiliation get the better of me." He clipped his upper lip between his teeth until his lower incisors were brushed by his crisp, military mustache, and held it there for a ...
— Cum Grano Salis • Gordon Randall Garrett

... said quietly, "you always get the better of the old Satan in me, but I sometimes feel as if I could more easily tame a whole menagerie than my own nature. Come to think of it, it's all turning out for the best. To-morrow I go home on quite a long vacation. Father isn't very well this summer, and I'm to take ...
— Without a Home • E. P. Roe

... to the loyalty of the Heathcotes. But when he had completed the circuit of the buildings, having entered all parts from their cellars to the garrets, his spleen became so strong as, in some degree, to get the better of a certain parade of discretion, which he had hitherto managed to maintain in the midst ...
— The Wept of Wish-Ton-Wish • James Fenimore Cooper

... circumstances abuse and badinage is continually being bandied across the intervening spaces between the trenches, and the quick-witted Frenchmen generally get the better of it in the ...
— The New York Times Current History: the European War, February, 1915 • Various

... I hope so. I think so. [Fluctuating] You really think so? You are sure you are not allowing your enthusiasm for our principles to get the better of your judgment? ...
— John Bull's Other Island • George Bernard Shaw

... pardon," she said with humility. "But I must positively have it out with Mrs. Ellmother. She has been more than a match for me—my turn next. I mean to get the better of ...
— I Say No • Wilkie Collins

... my good-nature, compassion, and charity, happily interweaving the three. Had it been otherwise, doubtless, as you hint, some of my interferences might have ended unhappily enough. Besides, those feelings I spoke of enabled me to get the better of momentary distrust, at times when acuteness might have cost me my life, without saving another's. Only at the end did my suspicions get the better of me, and you know how wide of the ...
— The Piazza Tales • Herman Melville

... up and shook himself, and stalked about the garden always keeping within a few yards of his sister's chair and carried on a strong battle within his breast, struggling to get the better of the weakness which his love produced, though resolved that the love ...
— The Belton Estate • Anthony Trollope

... past all doubt, that custom, by time, becomes a second nature, forcing men to use that, whether good or bad, to which they have been habituated: nay, we see habit, in many things, get the better of reason. This is so undeniably true, that virtuous men, by conversing with the wicked, very often fall into the same vicious course of life. The contrary, likewise, we see sometimes happen; viz. that, as good morals easily change to bad, so bad morals change again to good. For instance: let ...
— Discourses on a Sober and Temperate Life • Lewis Cornaro

... gaping mob of zanies who go to races, and zanies who stay at home, are readily bled by the fellows who have the money and the "information" and the power. The rule of the Turf is easily formulated:—"Get the better of your neighbour. Play the game outwardly according to fair rules. Pay like a man if your calculations prove faulty, but take care that they shall be as seldom faulty as possible. Never mind what you pay for information if it gives you a point the better ...
— The Ethics of Drink and Other Social Questions - Joints In Our Social Armour • James Runciman

... the first instance, he had looked on David as his only child, later he came to regard him as the natural purchaser of the business, whose interests were therefore his own. Sechard meant to sell dear; David, of course, to buy cheap; his son, therefore, was an antagonist, and it was his duty to get the better of him. The transformation of sentiment into self-seeking, ordinarily slow, tortuous, and veiled by hypocrisy in better educated people, was swift and direct in the old "bear," who demonstrated the superiority of shrewd tipple-ography over ...
— Lost Illusions • Honore De Balzac

... to the permanent interests of communities. I know, that it is but too natural for us to see our own CERTAIN ruin in the POSSIBLE prosperity of other people. It is hard to persuade us, that everything which is GOT by another is not TAKEN from ourselves. But it is fit that we should get the better of these suggestions, which come from what is not the best and soundest part of our nature, and that we should form to ourselves a way of thinking, more rational, more just, and more religious. Trade is not a limited thing; as if the objects of mutual demand and consumption could ...
— Selections from the Speeches and Writings of Edmund Burke. • Edmund Burke

... swimmer, and he had no serious doubt of his ability to reach the shore, but he did not fancy being dragged out on a pier drenched and shoeless, and having to give an account of himself. And in that case Corinna would win out anyway. The only way he could really get the better of her would be by committing suicide, and he was not prepared to go as far ...
— The Deaves Affair • Hulbert Footner

... society, but to the very foundations of social life. This enabled him to make a clever change of front, to pass into the field of politics, where he hoped that his wide experience and his knowledge of the world would render it possible for him to get the better of his adversary. But although she lacked acquaintance with the notable personalities of the age; although she was without inside knowledge of courtly and diplomatic intrigues; although, therefore, she had to renounce any attempt to answer ...
— Casanova's Homecoming • Arthur Schnitzler

... said the Mugger, beaten in his second attempt that night to get the better of his friend. (Neither bore malice, however. Eat and be eaten was fair law along the river, and the Jackal came in for his share of plunder when the Mugger had finished a meal.) "I left that boat and went up-stream, and, when I had reached Arrah and the back-waters behind it, there were no more dead ...
— The Second Jungle Book • Rudyard Kipling

... said. What the Sicilians are doing, or how they are disposed towards our city? To my mind, they are very like wasps: so long as you only cause them a little annoyance they are quite unmanageable; you must destroy their nests if you wish to get the better of them. And in a similar way, the Syracusans, unless we set to work in earnest, and go against them with a great expedition, will never submit to our rule. The petty injuries which we at present inflict merely irritate them enough to ...
— Eryxias • An Imitator of Plato

... them welcome. During the storm, they had considered with some dread, what might be the fate of their brethren, though its violence was not felt so much there. Added to this, the hints of the Esquimaux had considerably increased their apprehensions for their safety, and their fears began to get the better of their hopes. All, therefore, joined most fervently in praise and thanksgiving to ...
— Dangers on the Ice Off the Coast of Labrador • Anonymous

... Swift shared in the good fortune. I do not say the profits of either shop were forty millions a year. "Keep the best of everything," said Silas to Andrew; "don't be too hard on 'em; they'll come after they've found your way." And Swift proved the wisdom of such counsel, and tried to get the better of his grim countenance while waiting on the customers Dexter directed to his side: gradually succeeding,—proving down there in Salt Lane the truth of that ancient saying, "Art is ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 14, No. 86, December, 1864 • Various

... six per cent. on the receipts. A number of the clerks in the other offices were foolish enough to complain to Calsabigi that I had spoilt their gains, but he sent them about their business telling them that to get the better of me they had only to do as I did—if ...
— The Memoires of Casanova, Complete • Jacques Casanova de Seingalt

... serves to make us all doubly sick of one another: though you must know it's one great reason why my father likes I should come; for he has some very old-fashioned notions, though I take a great deal of pains to make him get the better of them. But I am always excessively rejoiced when the visit has been paid, for I am obliged to come every year. I don't mean now, indeed, because your being here ...
— Cecilia vol. 2 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... how it was possible for her to do so) Madame Minoret had thought only of increasing the family fortune and was wholly given up to the management of their immense establishment. To steal a bale of hay or a bushel of oats or get the better of Zelie in even the most complicated accounts was a thing impossible, though she scribbled hardly better than a cat, and knew nothing of arithmetic but addition and subtraction. She never took a walk except to look at ...
— Ursula • Honore de Balzac

... obey his orders as long as life was left in their bodies. To attack a vessel armed with cannon, and manned by a crew very much larger than their little party, seemed almost like throwing themselves upon certain death. But still, there was a chance that in some way they might get the better of the Spaniards; whereas, if they rowed away again into the solitudes of the ocean, they would give up all chance of saving themselves from death by starvation. Steadily, therefore, they pulled toward the Spanish vessel, and slowly—for there was but little ...
— Buccaneers and Pirates of Our Coasts • Frank Richard Stockton

... Don Quixote. "That must have been Freston. He is a famous enchanter, and my bitter enemy. But when I am again well I shall get the better of him." ...
— Young Folks Treasury, Volume 3 (of 12) - Classic Tales And Old-Fashioned Stories • Various

... of her vanity, of her desire to get the better of Elizabeth by taking her brother from her, of the satisfaction she felt in mortifying the pride of the Burrells and the Treshams—even of her impatience and ill-temper with Roland because he was not able to conquer the weaknesses which were as natural ...
— A Singer from the Sea • Amelia Edith Huddleston Barr

... whom his noble ancestors used to command. The only adventure worth relating that has befallen me since I left you was a duel that I fought at Poitiers, with a certain young duke, who is held to be invincible; but, thanks to your good instructions, I was able to get the better of him easily. I ran him through the right arm, and could just as well have run him through the body, and left him dead upon the field, for his defence was weak and insufficient—by no means equal to his attack, which was daring and brilliant, though very reckless—and several times ...
— Captain Fracasse • Theophile Gautier

... man. The strong man is bad. They fight, and the result is insignificance. Some day one of the two will get the better of the other." ...
— Casa Braccio, Volumes 1 and 2 (of 2) • F. Marion Crawford

... heart felt lighter for that kind tone and those few casual words. It was his own sulkiness which had made great part of his misery before, and he could see that plainly now that he was beginning to get the better of it. ...
— Holiday Tales • Florence Wilford

... securities find that they have got to get down to hard pan to keep their foothold at all. I am willing to let Jack come into the field with the giant, and if Jack has the brains that some Jacks that I know in America have, then I should like to see the giant get the better of him, with the load that he, the giant, has to carry,—the load of water. For I'll undertake to put a water-logged giant out of business any time, if you will give me a fair field and as much credit as I am entitled ...
— The New Freedom - A Call For the Emancipation of the Generous Energies of a People • Woodrow Wilson

... C.) Perverse and peevish: What a slave is man, To let his itching flesh thus get the better of him! Despatch the tool, her ...
— Venice Preserved - A Tragedy in Five Acts • Thomas Otway

... upon the roof and after brief deliberation and close investigation he came to the conclusion, 'twas a snare and a delusion to toy with imagination and fear assassination till the hallucination became habituation and his mental aberration get the better of his determination toward analyzation of the sound upon the roof. Of the pat, pat, patter and the clat, clat, clatter of small claws upon the roof! Then with ...
— Dorothy's House Party • Evelyn Raymond

... next heir to Sir ROGER, he has quitted a way of life in which no man can rise suitably to his merit, who is not something of a courtier, as well as a soldier. I have heard him often lament, that in a profession where merit is placed in so conspicuous a view, impudence should get the better of modesty. When he has talked to this purpose, I never heard him make a sour expression, but frankly confess that he left the world because he was not fit for it. A strict honesty and an even regular behaviour, are in themselves obstacles ...
— The Coverley Papers • Various

... said Bacchus, "and if you had throw'd him into the fire, he wouldn't a got burned; but I tell you, no cat's a gwine to get the better of me—I'll kill ...
— Aunt Phillis's Cabin - Or, Southern Life As It Is • Mary H. Eastman

... he; "and I'm going. I'm only half a gentleman yet, and my feelings get the better of me in the wrong way. But you'll never rob me of that fellow, and so I promise you two, and him. . . ...
— Foe-Farrell • Arthur Thomas Quiller-Couch

... forms which he assumes; they are the forms of the gods and of all the great elements and parts of the world. The separate gods are reduced from the rank of independent potentates to shapes of Ra, and thus a kind of unity is set up in the populous Egyptian Pantheon. But Ra is not strong enough to get the better of these shapes, and to rule a sole monarch by his own right, in his own way. He is the god, but he is not an independent god; it is pantheism, not theism, to which he owes his exaltation. The one in Egypt cannot govern the many; the pure exaltation of Ra as a supreme ...
— History of Religion - A Sketch of Primitive Religious Beliefs and Practices, and of the Origin and Character of the Great Systems • Allan Menzies

... the high tone of Dr. Grantly's face and figure. Mr. Slope had only himself and his own courage and tact to depend on, but he nevertheless was perfectly self-assured, and did not doubt but that he should soon get the better of weak men who trusted so much to externals, as both bishop and archdeacon appeared ...
— Barchester Towers • Anthony Trollope

... miserliness they demanded higher wages than usual from him and would not work without. Now there was a young fellow named Kora who heard all this and he said "If I were that man's servant I would not run away. I would get the better of him; ask him if he wants a servant and if he says, yes, take me to him." The man to whom Kora told this went to the miser and informed him that Kora was willing to engage himself to him; so Kora was fetched and they had a drink of rice ...
— Folklore of the Santal Parganas • Cecil Henry Bompas

... "That has been my difficulty; for I have moral and religious objections, and also a great horror, to the use of the rod, and I have not been gifted with a harsh voice and a stern brow; so that, after a while, my little people sometimes get the better of me. The present generation of men is too gross ...
— Doctor Grimshawe's Secret - A Romance • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... with 'You'd better let him alone Byles'; 'You'll not get the better of Dempster in a hurry', drowned the retort of the too well-informed Mr. Byles, who, white with rage, rose and walked out ...
— Scenes of Clerical Life • George Eliot

... indistinct. I love Blair's Sermons. Though the dog is a Scotchman, and a Presbyterian, and every thing he should not be, I was the first to praise them[320]. Such was my candour.' (smiling.) MRS. BOSCAWEN. 'Such his great merit to get the better of all your prejudices.' JOHNSON. 'Why, Madam, let us compound the matter; let us ascribe it to ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6) • Boswell

... told—with embellishments—the story of the encounter; but before he had come to the end of the narrative the visitor burst into a roar of laughter and confessed that he had personated the supernatural visitant, having wagered a dozen bottles of wine with the landlord of the Boar's Head that he could get the better of Mike Wild. For all this the old tree bore, for many ...
— Myths And Legends Of Our Own Land, Complete • Charles M. Skinner

... there abide, till I see what cometh of their case, that none may know of me; for love hath lorded over both and correspondence passeth between them. At this present their go-between and confidante is a slave-girl who hath till now kept their counsel, but I fear lest haply anxiety get the better of her and she discover their secret to some one and the matter, being bruited abroad, might bring me to great grief and prove the cause of my ruin; for I have no excuse to offer my accusers." Rejoined his friend, "Thou hast ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 3 • Richard F. Burton

... of the cows, and found it very tough, disagreeable eating, by which means they were disgusted with all the horned cattle, and drew an unfavourable conclusion that their meat was all of the same texture. Had some pains been taken with them, to get the better of a dislike they have to milk, and explained to them how variously it might be employed as food, I have no doubt but they would have paid more attention to the horned cattle. They used to persist in saying that milk was urine; but on pointing to a woman that ...
— Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora - Despatched to Arrest the Mutineers of the 'Bounty' in the - South Seas, 1790-1791 • Edward Edwards

... her arm] Come, come; I say, Chloe! You're making mountains. See things in proportion. Father's paid nine thousand five hundred to get the better of those people, and you want him to chuck it away to save a woman who's insulted you. That's not sense, and it's ...
— Forsyte Saga • John Galsworthy

... strangers. Let each one here creep into the meeting with a short spear, choose his man, sit down beside him, and be ready when the signal is given by Angut or me. But do not kill. You are young and strong. Throw each man on his back, but do not kill unless he seems likely to get the better of you. Hold them down, ...
— Red Rooney - The Last of the Crew • R.M. Ballantyne

... might turn and cut him down, as I had the Hussar, before his comrade could come to his help. But the others had closed up and were not far behind. I reflected that this Stein was probably as fine a swordsman as he was a rider, and that it might take me some little time to get the better of him. In that case the others would come to his aid and I should be lost. On the whole, it was wiser to continue ...
— The Adventures of Gerard • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Language,' 1st edition 1861.), and had intended recommending you to read it. I quite agree that it is extremely interesting, but the latter part about the FIRST origin of language much the least satisfactory. It is a marvellous problem...[There are] covert sneers at me, which he seems to get the better of towards the close of the book. I cannot quite see how it will forward "my cause," as you call it; but I can see how any one with literary talent (I do not feel up to it) could make great use of the subject in illustration. (Language was treated in the manner here indicated by Sir C. Lyell in ...
— The Life and Letters of Charles Darwin, Volume II • Francis Darwin

... before she married his friend. She had been dressed in rose colour that day. Now she was in black—for Harwich. It seemed that for evening wear she had brought some "thin mourning." Did he mean her to get the better of him again? ...
— Bella Donna - A Novel • Robert Hichens

... patriotism into epic form; Barbour had written his Bruce and Blind Harry his Wallace. But what with the nearness of their events, and what with the rusticity of their authors, these tolerable, ambling poems are quite unable to get the better of the hardness of history. Probably the boldest attempt to make epic of well-known, documented history is Lucan's Pharsalia. It is a brilliant performance, and a deliberate effort to carry on the development of epic. At the ...
— The Epic - An Essay • Lascelles Abercrombie

... was no one to hear me save a bluejay which for an hour or more kept me company. He sat on a twig just across the brook, cocking his head at me, and saucily wagging his tail. Occasionally he would dart off among the trees crying shrilly; but his curiosity would always get the better of him and back he would come again to try to solve the mystery of this rival whistling, which I'm sure was as shrill and as harsh ...
— The Friendly Road - New Adventures in Contentment • (AKA David Grayson) Ray Stannard Baker

... death, however, there were fires lighted on all the trails and before most of the Esquimau cabins, the object of which was probably to frighten the spirit away from the dwellings of the living. We shall get the better of these superstitions by and by, but superstitions die hard, not only amongst Esquimaux. Moreover, practices like this linger as traditional practices long after their superstitious content is dissipated, and men of feeling do not ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... subject of many jeers and jokes, although few dared to make them openly. Buck realized that he was losing prestige rapidly, and, although he was getting secretly to fear another encounter with the radio boys, he felt that he must soon get the better of them if he were to regain his former reputation as a fighter. He and his cronies spent many an hour in hatching plots against Bob and his friends, but for a long time could think of nothing that offered ...
— The Radio Boys at the Sending Station - Making Good in the Wireless Room • Allen Chapman

... must do one of the two, resign his holding in the island or kill Grettir. He was in great straits, for he saw no way of killing Grettir, and yet he wanted to keep the island. He tried everything he could think of to get the better of Grettir by force or by fraud or in any other way ...
— Grettir The Strong - Grettir's Saga • Unknown

... an enemy crosses my path, will I not beat him out of it! Look at me! am I a man like to let any sneaking, crawling, skin-trader get the better of me in a matter that touches me as near as the kindness of Judith Hutter! Besides, when we live beyond law, we must be our own judges and executioners. And if a man should be found dead in the woods, who is there to say who slew him, even admitting ...
— The Deerslayer • James Fenimore Cooper

... gentility and by prejudiced views as to the derogatory nature of certain occupations. For his own part he had always preferred sailing merchant ships (which is a straightforward occupation) to buying and selling merchandise, of which the essence is to get the better of somebody in a bargain—an undignified trial of wits at best. His father had been Colonel Whalley (retired) of the H. E. I. Company's service, with very slender means besides his pension, but with distinguished ...
— End of the Tether • Joseph Conrad

... shores of the isle, on which they could not see either bay or creek fit even for a boat to land in; nor the least signs of fresh water. What the natives brought them here was real salt water; but they observed that some of them drank pretty plentifully of it, so far will necessity and custom get the better of nature! On this account they were obliged to return to the last-mentioned well, where, after having quenched their thirst, they directed their route across the island towards the ship, as it ...
— A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World, Volume 1 • James Cook

... Shedd, "that the enemy might get the better of us and we should have to leave the carts and run for our lives. While they were plundering the wagons and the loads we would get away. I looked about me to see what we might carry. There was little May, six years old (the daughter of one of their Syrian teachers) who had unconcernedly curled ...
— The Book of Missionary Heroes • Basil Mathews

... galleys or sailing ships to the days when Napoleon, Wellington, and Nelson were going about at very much the same pace in much the same vehicles and vessels. At the advent of steam and electricity the muse of history holds her nose and shuts her eyes. Science will study and get the better of a modern disease, as, for example, sleeping sickness, in spite of the fact that it has no classical standing; but our history schools would be shocked at the bare idea of studying the effect of modern means of communication upon administrative areas, large or small. ...
— In The Fourth Year - Anticipations of a World Peace (1918) • H.G. Wells

... ordination, he must know, from numerous instances, that they had a way now of cutting this sort of disputes very short, by expelling those who would not walk out of doors quietly. Some indeed suffered their prudence to get the better of their obstinacy, and were comfortably re-settled in their benefices. One method of reconciliation which he would advise Dr. Beaumont to attend to, was, to volunteer his subscription to the engagement which had just been taken by Parliament and the City of London, ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... to his feet and attempted to run a long, steel-pointed lance through the officer's shoulder. Colonel St. Vrain was a large, powerfully built man; so was the Indian, I have been told. As each of the struggling combatants endeavoured to get the better of the other, with the savage having a little the advantage, perhaps, it appears that "Uncle Dick" Wooton, who was in the chase after the rebels, happened to arrive on the scene, and hitting the Indian a terrific blow on the head with his ...
— The Old Santa Fe Trail - The Story of a Great Highway • Henry Inman

... and spirits up his horse and dogs, in order to hunt him with more ardour and fury than he would a wolf, or any other wild beast? On an open plain, a few colonists on horseback are always sure to get the better of the greatest number of Boshies-men that can be brought together; as the former always keep at the distance of about an hundred, or an hundred and fifty paces (just as they find it convenient) and charging their heavy fire-arms ...
— An Essay on the Slavery and Commerce of the Human Species, Particularly the African • Thomas Clarkson

... very seriously. A strictly conventional man, as the conventions of his time and race went; probably some of his gayer and lighter-hearted contemporaries thought him a dull enough dog, who would not join in a carouse or a gallant adventure, but would probably get the better of you if he could in any commercial deal. He was a great stickler for the observances of religion; and never a Sunday or feast-day passed, when he was ashore, without finding him, like the dutiful son of the Church that he was, hearing Mass and attending ...
— Christopher Columbus, Complete • Filson Young

... an improvement on one of those old shacks. I remember one of the pioneer towns where there was a fierce rivalry between the proprietors of the only two hotels in town. They were each trying to get the better of the other by adding some improvement, real or fancied. First the owner of the 'Palace' had his shack painted a vivid white and green. Then the owner of the 'Lone Star' hostelry, not to be outdone, had ...
— Bert Wilson on the Gridiron • J. W. Duffield

... No-one could get the better of her; she was bored, and just invented any nonsense that came into her head. Maren gave it up and returned to her work quietly and ...
— Ditte: Girl Alive! • Martin Andersen Nexo

... out his secret. But it need not be to any person. Let him go to the meeting of two roads, turn with the sun and tell his secret to the first tree on his right hand. And when he feels he has told his secret your son will get the better of ...
— The Boy Who Knew What The Birds Said • Padraic Colum

... yours? for I know you are a good man, and what you do will be right.' 'I have remained master of my ground,' he said; 'but when persons behave as you have done they are at the mercy of a man who can snap his fingers at them. As for me, I don't choose that any man should get the better of me,—get the better of a former attorney to the Chatelet!—ta-ra-ra! Every man to whom a sum of money is lent as heedlessly as you lent yours to Mongenod, ends, after a certain time, by thinking that money his own. It is no longer your money, it is his money; you become his creditor,—an inconvenient, ...
— The Brotherhood of Consolation • Honore de Balzac

... little later, and this momentary flash of health had died out; and we find him writing what was his last letter to his daughter, full, evidently, of uneasy forebodings as to his approaching end. He speaks of "this vile influenza—be not alarmed. I think I shall get the better of it, and shall be with you both the 1st of May;" though, he adds, "if I escape, 'twill not be for a long period, my child—unless a quiet retreat and peace of mind can restore me." But the occasion of this letter was a curious one, and a little ...
— Sterne • H.D. Traill

... neck to call his own to-day. Now, we snap our fingers at the best of them; there isn't a cruiser that can live with the thirty knots we can show; and there isn't a line-of-battle ship swimming that could get the better of us while our engines are moving. It's a big claim you think, but wait until you see us in action, then you'll know how much we owe to the little man in rags, but who has one of the clearest brains that ever ...
— The Iron Pirate - A Plain Tale of Strange Happenings on the Sea • Max Pemberton

... a state of complete satisfaction with himself over the successful inauguration of a shrewd campaign to get the better of the recalcitrant Maud and the incomprehensible Robin, when he was thrown into a panic by the discovery that young Chandler Scoville had sailed for Europe two days ahead of Maud and her elderly companion. The gratification of knowing that the two young people had sailed away ...
— The Prince of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... more world-wide successes (see page 187). These are not German traits, but it may have been the German blood he inherited from his mother and the example of his friends, fellow-workers, and helpers, which enabled him to get the better of such petulant and gloomy outbursts, and return to the day of small things with the ...
— Albert Durer • T. Sturge Moore

... Crecy and the loss of Calais had caused discouragement in the kingdom and aroused many doubts as to the issue of the war with England. Defection and even treason brought trouble into the court, the councils, and even the family of John. To get the better of them he at one time heaped favors upon the men he feared, at another he had them arrested, imprisoned, and even beheaded in his presence. He gave his daughter Joan in marriage to Charles the Bad, King of Navarre, and, some few months ...
— A Popular History of France From The Earliest Times - Volume II. of VI. • Francois Pierre Guillaume Guizot

... arms, declared that he preferred to fight on foot, because (he pretended) he was not so skilful a horseman as Monsieur de Bayard, but really because he knew that his adversary had that day an attack of malarial fever, and he hoped to find him weakened, and so to get the better of him. Monsieur de la Palisse and Bayard's other supporters advised him, from the fact of his fever, to excuse himself, and to insist on fighting on horseback; but Monsieur de Bayard, who had never trembled ...
— The Red True Story Book • Various

... sorry for her. She is so soft, so simple-minded, she would be such an easy victim! A bad husband would have remarkable facilities for making her miserable; for she would have neither the intelligence nor the resolution to get the better of him, and yet she would have an exaggerated power of suffering. I see," added the Doctor, with his most insinuating, his most professional laugh, "you are ...
— Washington Square • Henry James

... two figures by Heimbert's side, who were Lucila's brothers, remained quite quiet; but when Fadrique began to get the better of their brother-in-law they appeared as if they intended to take part in the fight. Heimbert therefore made his mighty sword gleam in the moonlight, and said, "Dear sirs, you will not surely oblige me to execute that of which ...
— The Two Captains • Friedrich de La Motte-Fouque

... paper; he understood finance and railway business thoroughly, and the machinery of Russian administration had no secrets for him; he was a most skilful pleader in civil suits, and it was not easy to get the better of him at law. But that exceptional intelligence could not grasp many things which are understood even by some stupid people. For instance, he was absolutely unable to understand why people are depressed, why they weep, ...
— The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... need not tell you how mine has been employed; but as I know you wish me well, I am sure you will be glad to hear that I am much better; whether I owe it to the operation I underwent, or to my medicines, I cannot tell; but I begin to think I shall entirely get the better of my illness. I have written to Dr. Arbuthnot, both to give him a particular account, and to ask his opinion about the Bath. I know him so well that, though in this last illness he was not my physician, he is so much my friend, ...
— Life And Letters Of John Gay (1685-1732) • Lewis Melville

... forehead ... and in the top of my head ... only please don't talk philosophy, as you did last time. If you can't take yourself off, talk of something amusing. Talk gossip, you are a poor relation, you ought to talk gossip. What a nightmare to have! But I am not afraid of you. I'll get the better of you. I won't be taken ...
— The Brothers Karamazov • Fyodor Dostoyevsky

... are always tempted to say and do what costs the least money and gives the least cause for alarm, because they think the People like that best. This was the case with the British governments in power during the fourteen years before the war, when Germany was straining every nerve to get the better of the British Navy. They were warned again and again. But they saw that most of the People, who were not watching the coming German storm, wanted most of the money spent on other things. So they did not like to hear the expert truth; they feared to tell ...
— Flag and Fleet - How the British Navy Won the Freedom of the Seas • William Wood

... was saying, "and I shouldn't have dropped in if I hadn't just been called to the telephone by Arnold. He was, of course, rushing off to a meeting about those everlasting mines—Perry's in it, too, and it's really helped his mind to get the better of his lungs at last." ...
— The Wheel of Life • Ellen Anderson Gholson Glasgow

... in any form, signifies your gain. For them to get the better of you is ominous of adverse fortunes. This dream ...
— 10,000 Dreams Interpreted • Gustavus Hindman Miller

... have him sitting there between them, that they felt as if they were far asunder. In order to get the better of the fancy, they wanted to hold each other's hand behind the dwarf's back. But the moment their hands began to approach, the back of the cat began to grow long, and its hump to grow high; and, in a moment more, Richard found himself ...
— Cross Purposes and The Shadows • George MacDonald

... may, reduce phrases and even clauses to a word. Thus the clause at the beginning and the phrase at the close of the following sentence constitute sheer verbiage: "Men who have let their temper get the better of them are often in a mood to do harm to somebody." The sentence tells us nothing that may not be told in five words: "Angry men ...
— The Century Vocabulary Builder • Creever & Bachelor

... the squire, indifferently. "I helped him to go to California; but I am not sure whether it was a wise step. I let my feelings get the better of my judgment." ...
— The Young Miner - or Tom Nelson in California • Horatio Alger, Jr.

... Face' arranges a coup it never fails to come off—I assure you. The police have to be up very early to get the better of him. His one injunction to all of us is that we shall be ready at all times to show clean hands—as we have to-day! But let's get away, Hargreave—back to London, ...
— The Golden Face - A Great 'Crook' Romance • William Le Queux

... our national character and of my own veracity to think it improbable, when I assure you that most of our great men in place are as vain as presumptuous, and that sometimes vanity and presumption get the better of their discretion and prudence. What I am going to tell you I did not hear myself, but it was reported to me by a female friend, as estimable for her virtues as admired for her accomplishments. She is often honoured with invitations to Talleyrand's ...
— The Memoirs of Napoleon Bonaparte • Bourrienne, Constant, and Stewarton

... had a way with him; his only study in life, so he told me once, had been women; and he knew how to get the better of them. When I first met him I was playing in a middle western city in a stock company which gave two performances a day and paid a fairly respectable salary. It was the first good engagement I'd ever had; the following of the theatre liked me and I began to be talked about; ...
— Ashton-Kirk, Criminologist • John T. McIntyre

... his pockets, the light full on his fair, tranquil, bored face, and at Hilary, pale and tragic, with wavering, unhappy eyes. So they stood for a type and a symbol and a sign that never, as long as the world endures, shall Margerisons get the better of Urquharts. ...
— The Lee Shore • Rose Macaulay

... her sorrow get the better of her, Phemie had no time to stay to see if her indiscretion had done harm. If she did not go now, she might not be allowed fresh grace; and so she was fain ...
— Vagabondia - 1884 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... calmer now," said Mademoiselle Aurelie, after a time. "Well, in the end we always have to get the better of our feelings." ...
— A Love Episode • Emile Zola

... am in a hole," he grumbled. "But as long as Winnie has no notion of throwing me over, I shall not let any coyote weakness get the better of me! ...
— Frank Merriwell's Reward • Burt L. Standish

... Yesterday I beat them, and they would think I was running after them. Keep them at a distance. Keep them under, or they will get the better of you!" ...
— Historical Miniatures • August Strindberg

... comfort her in the cold season." So the father knew that his son had played this trick in order to have his will of her. Hereat he flew into a fury[FN590] and forthright divorced her, giving her the contingent dowry; and she went her ways. Then the man said in his mind, "I shall never get the better of this boy until I marry two wives and ever keep them with each other, so that he may not cozen the twain." Now after a couple of weeks he espoused a fair woman fairer than his former and during the next month he wived with a second and cohabited with the ...
— Supplemental Nights, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... and the Greek with bare fists would have been little short of murder. Brown was in no condition to thrash that wiry customer, and we in no mood to see Coutlass get the better of him. ...
— The Ivory Trail • Talbot Mundy

... gained an unjust advantage, and if he fails, to have met with merited misfortune. [-3-] This being so, any one might reproach us quite as much, even if we had nothing of the sort in mind at the beginning and were to begin to devise it only now. For to let the situation get the better of us and not restrain ourselves and not make a right use of the gifts of Fortune is much worse than for a man to do wrong through ill-luck. The latter sort are often compelled by their very disasters and in consideration of their ...
— Dio's Rome, Vol. 4 • Cassius Dio

... I cried, for once letting my temper get the better of me. "You are awfully cunning, but I am not afraid of you. I am willing to have all these matters sifted to the bottom, and the sooner the better. What papers have you missed? Were they the ones that Holtzmann of Chicago is after? How is it that my father is in prison ...
— True to Himself • Edward Stratemeyer

... dreadful blow, Rose walked out of the room, leaving Charlie as much astonished as if one of his pet pigeons had flown in his face and pecked at him. She was so seldom angry, that when her temper did get the better of her it made a deep impression on the lads, for it was generally a righteous sort of indignation at some injustice or wrong-doing, not ...
— Eight Cousins • Louisa M. Alcott

... predict from his appearance that he would leave the train at Knype. He was an undersized man, with a combative and suspicious face. He regarded the world with crafty pugnacity from beneath frowning eyebrows. His expression said: "Woe betide the being who tries to get the better of me!" His expression said: "Keep off!" His expression said: "I am that I am. Take me or leave me, but preferably leave me. I loathe fuss, pretence, flourishes—any and every form of ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... fact that Oliver thrice implores him to summon aid, Roland thrice refuses; so his friend, perceiving he will not yield, finally declares they must do their best, and adds that, should they not get the better of the foe, they will at least die fighting nobly. Then Archbishop Turpin—one of the peers—assures the soldiers that, since they are about to die as martyrs, they will earn Paradise, and pronounces the absolution, thus inspiring the French with such courage that, on rising from their knees, ...
— The Book of the Epic • Helene A. Guerber

... remote part of Swabia there once dwelt a rich peasant, who was noted in all the neighborhood for his shrewdness. No one could get the better of him in a bargain, and no man managed his farm with such extraordinary success. His crops always seemed to flourish when the whole country round was desolated with the blight; his hay was sure to be got in the very night before a flood swept away the ricks of his neighbors; his cows ...
— Funny Big Socks - Being the Fifth Book of the Series • Sarah L. Barrow



Words linked to "Get the better of" :   rout out, destroy, trounce, conquer, pull round, expel, overrun, nose, shell, vanquish, crush, make it, lurch, down, skunk, demolish, beat, wallop, upset, come through, rout, survive, beat out, pull through, defeat



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