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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



... shook their heads and simply did not believe. "We can make all the guns and the shells that are wanted without giving up our rules. We value our sons' lives as much as you do. We love our country as much as you do. The capitalists are using a plea of patriotism to get the better of us." It was a pitiful deadlock—honest for the most part; yet it was a deadlock which, as Dawson said, brought very near the day when English artillery would be firing shotted guns ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... 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 itself ...
— The Belton Estate • Anthony Trollope

... the situation. An enormous pride over their departed townsman became evident. They paraded him, flaunting him like a banner in the eyes of the new man. "David is awful smart," they said; "there won't nobody get the better of him in the city if he has lived in Townsend Centre all his life. He's got his eyes open. Know what he paid for his house in Boston? Well, sir, that house cost twenty-five thousand dollars, and David he bought it for five. ...
— The Wind in the Rose-bush and Other Stories of the Supernatural • Mary Eleanor Wilkins Freeman

... too harshly, Leoh warned himself. You just might be letting your frustrations with the dueling machine get the better of ...
— The Dueling Machine • Benjamin William Bova

... confident about 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

... be found in the Chronicle, before referred to, of Azurara. The merciful chronicler is smitten to the heart at the sorrow he witnesses, but still believes it to be for good, and that he must not let his mere earthly commiseration get the better of his piety. ...
— The Great Events by Famous Historians, Volume 07 • Various

... conducted by half-truths. Everyone tries to deceive the person he is doing business with to some extent. It is not altogether his fault, for he knows that if he didn't do so, the other man would deceive him, and so get the better of the bargain. That is the way of the world, as it is called, and a very bad way, and, as we believe, a very unchristian ...
— The Missionary • George Griffith

... hold of the fetters upon each other might easily be forced asunder, and the purpose of them entirely frustrated. The locks also, large, and apparently very strong, were so coarsely made, that an artist of small ingenuity could easily contrive to get the better of their fastenings upon the same principle. The daylight found its way to the subterranean dungeon only at noon, and through a passage which was purposely made tortuous, so as to exclude the rays of the sun, ...
— Waverley Volume XII • Sir Walter Scott

... him as if it had been yesterday. He saw him half-backed up against the wall already, swinging his gun over his head. One second more, and the butt-end would have come whizzing down. But a sleepy Russian was never the man to get the better of John Bogdan. Before he had the chance to bring down his gun, Bogdan's bayonet was in between his ribs, and the Russian fell over on his own gun. The bayonet pierced him through and through, and even went into the wall behind him, and came mighty ...
— Men in War • Andreas Latzko

... this thing. There are some English ones here no doubt. I do not wish to write in French—Maurice must find me a suitable one.—I won't have anything young and attractive. In my idiotic state she might get the better of me! The idea of some steady employment quite ...
— Man and Maid • Elinor Glyn

... Captain Willis, as the "Chieftain," under all sail, was standing down the Mersey. "You must not let thoughts of home get the better of you. We shall soon be in blue water, and you must turn to and learn to be a sailor. By the time you have made another voyage or so I expect to have you as one of my mates, and, perhaps, before you are many years older, ...
— The African Trader - The Adventures of Harry Bayford • W. H. G. Kingston

... horses are as active as young goats; and although neither horse nor rider can stand a charge of a heavily-armed knight or squire, methinks that if one of our troopers brought him to a stand, he would get the better of him, save if the knight ...
— Both Sides the Border - A Tale of Hotspur and Glendower • G. A. Henty

... her? Would my feelings get the better of me and lead to my betraying who I was? Though I had not been identified by people who knew me, would Dulcie's perception be keener and lead to her seeing through my disguise? These and similar doubts and questions crowded my brain ...
— The Four Faces - A Mystery • William le Queux

... conflict between M'Adam and Tammas Thornton, spokesman of the Dales men. Many a long-drawn bout of words had the two anent the respective merits and Cup chances of red and gray. In these duels Tammas was usually worsted. His temper would get the better of his discretion; and the cynical debater would be ...
— Bob, Son of Battle • Alfred Ollivant

... did Arjuna replace each broken string that Karna could not mark when it was broken and when replaced. The feat seemed to him to be exceedingly wonderful. The son of Radha baffled with his own weapons those of Savyasaci. Displaying also his own prowess, he seemed to get the better of Dhananjaya at that time. Then Krishna, beholding Arjuna afflicted with the weapons of Karna, said these words unto Partha: "Approaching Karna, strike him with superior weapons." Then Dhananjaya, filled with rage, ...
— The Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa, Volume 3 - Books 8, 9, 10, 11 and 12 • Unknown

... (III. xxxvii.) will be greater or less in proportion to the emotion from which it arises. Therefore, if it be greater than that which arises from hatred, and through which the man endeavours to affect painfully the thing which he hates, it will get the better of it and banish the hatred from ...
— The Ethics • Benedict de Spinoza

... guide had partly prepared him for Nina's revelation about her aunt's fortune, and he had his own theories about Scorpa. "Quite likely," he answered dryly, "but it is also quite likely that we shall get the better of him——" Then, with a sudden change in his manner he looked at her steadily. "But perhaps you don't want us to get the better ...
— The Title Market • Emily Post

... Mr. Smalls, holding up "Bell's Life," and making private signals to Mr. Larkyns. "You'll soon get the better of that weakness! As you are a freshman, let me give you a little advice. You know what deep readers the Germans are. That is because they smoke more than we do. I should advise you to go at once to the vice-chancellor and ask him for a box of good cigars. He will be delighted to find ...
— The Worlds Greatest Books - Vol. II: Fiction • Arthur Mee, J. A. Hammerton, Eds.

... cheeks, and covering them with the blush of shame?" ejaculated the artist, as he gazed on his picture. "When I think that there is five hundred francs' worth of color there, and at least a million of genius, without counting my lovely youth, now as bald as my old hat! But they shan't get the better of me! Till my dying day, I will send them my picture. It shall ...
— Bohemians of the Latin Quarter • Henry Murger

... them to me two weeks after we sign the deed of sale before Grevin—" Violette stared at Michu and grew livid. "Ah! you came here to spy upon a Jacobin who had the honor to be president of the club at Arcis, and you imagine he will let you get the better of him! I have eyes, I saw where your tiles have been freshly cemented, and I concluded that you did not pry them up to ...
— An Historical Mystery • Honore de Balzac

... the doctor, "upon which I stand in doubt—which gives me an uncomfortable, troublesome sort of feeling when I am in your presence. It must be superstition. I suppose I shall get the better of it—or of you!—in time. Meanwhile, who has ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... glad that he felt quite calm. "This will be easier than I had expected," he said to himself. "I thought it was going to be much harder on me to see Gertrude again, and to hear her speak. I was afraid that my love for her would get the better of me." ...
— Jerusalem • Selma Lagerlof

... durability of his right to the rectory, and the unalienable nature of 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, on the discovery of a most ...
— The Loyalists, Vol. 1-3 - An Historical Novel • Jane West

... mused. "But why more distinct from that inaccessible hill than from the others? Was it the work of—ah, pshaw! I am allowing the absurdity of spiritualism to get the better of my reason. And yet, after all, who knows? There be more things in Heaven and earth than are dreamed of in our philosophy. But it ...
— The Boy Nihilist - or, Young America in Russia • Allan Arnold

... sounds 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 ...
— Dorothy's House Party • Evelyn Raymond

... not go without me. You will get the better of Mr. Vizard, because he is only a man; but I am a woman, and have a will as well as you. If you make a journey to-morrow, I go with you. Deny me, and you shan't go at all." Her eyes ...
— The Woman-Hater • Charles Reade

... Science, as Professor Bergson has told us, has for its initial aim the making of tools for life. Man tries to find out the laws of Nature, that is, how natural things behave, in order primarily that he may get the better of them, rule over them, shape them to his ends. That is why science is at first so near akin to magic—the ...
— Ancient Art and Ritual • Jane Ellen Harrison

... months and every one of us had fever. I was the last to come down, and I had a bad case. The doctors sent me home for three months, and when I go back—for I didn't mean to let the infernal climate out there get the better of me—I shall be in Guam. That's paradise compared with ...
— Betty at Fort Blizzard • Molly Elliot Seawell

... done what all seem to have done, permitted sympathy to get the better of reason. And yet it would require strong proof to persuade me that villanous-looking attorney was engaged in a good cause, and that meek and warm-hearted wife ...
— Homeward Bound - or, The Chase • James Fenimore Cooper

... and faint when I saw that life again. I looked around me—but I couldn't! However, I conquered my repulsion. 'Fiddlesticks!' I said. 'I won't let my feelings get the better of me. I'll stay here. I won't get your bread for you; but I'll cook you a pretty mess, I will.' I carry within me the wrongs of my people and hatred of the oppressor. I feel these wrongs like a knife constantly ...
— Mother • Maxim Gorky

... good 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

... 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 to ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... Your sincere tutelary. Copy of another letter to clergyman; discovery tested by logarithms; reasons such as none but a knave or a sinner can resist. Let me advise you to take counsel before it is too late! Keep your temper. Let not your pride get the better of your discretion! Screw up your courage, my good friend, and resolve to show the world that you ...
— A Budget of Paradoxes, Volume II (of II) • Augustus de Morgan

... on the one hand, was determined on beating down the working class at every point, it was, on the other, unceasingly warring among itself. In business dealings there was no such recognized thing as friendship. To get the better of the other was held the quintessence of mercantile shrewdness. A flint-hard, brute spirit enveloped all business transactions. The business man who lost his fortune was generally looked upon without emotion or pity, and condemned as an incapable. For self interest, business ...
— Great Fortunes from Railroads • Gustavus Myers

... I in my blindness, fool that I was. Jupiter might as soon keep awake, when Juno came in best bib and tucker, and with the cestus of Venus, to get him to sleep. Poor Slender might as well hope to get the better of pretty Mistress Anne Page, as one of us clumsy-footed men might endeavor to escape from the tangled ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 13, No. 75, January, 1864 • Various

... walked away, and would not argue the matter any further with his wife at that moment. He knew very well that he could not get the better of her, and was apt at such moments to think that she took an unfair advantage of him by keeping her temper. But he could not get out of his head the idea that perhaps on this very day things were being arranged between his son and Grace Crawley at Framley; and he resolved that he himself would ...
— The Last Chronicle of Barset • Anthony Trollope

... many things happened," 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 ...
— The Second Jungle Book • Rudyard Kipling

... as calm as he can, he will never get the better of me," the boy thought desperately as he struggled with his own ...
— The Windy Hill • Cornelia Meigs

... do hope, after all, the vampyre will get the better of them. It's like a whole flotilla attacking one vessel—a lubberly proceeding at the best, and I'll be hanged if I like it. I should like to pour in a broadside into those fellows, just to let them see it wasn't a proper English mode ...
— Varney the Vampire - Or the Feast of Blood • Thomas Preskett Prest

... 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 ...
— Atlantic Monthly, Vol. 5, No. 30, April, 1860 • Various

... 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 simplicity, ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... I said. You don't look well, and when people come and sit down here, feeling as you do, they sometimes lets their feelings get the better of 'em and jump off. Next moment they're sorry for it, and call for help, often enough when no help can come. You go home, sir, and have a day or two in bed. You'll come out ...
— Witness to the Deed • George Manville Fenn

... remember that I did not share their fears, but watched the cloud, curious as to what the end of the world would be like. I cannot brag, as Thoreau did, when he said he would not go around the corner to see the world blow up. I am quite sure my curiosity would get the better of me and that I should go, even at this late day. Or think of the more harmless obsession of many good people about the second coming of Christ, or about the resurrection of the physical body when the last trumpet shall sound. ...
— Time and Change • John Burroughs

... of the man, she had thought! and the humiliation to herself of knowing full well that, instead of making this dismissal a scene of subtle superlative cleverness, so that through all his torture he would be obliged to admire and respect her skill—she had let her temper get the better of her, and had shown him a side of herself that, she was well aware, was most unrefined, so that he had been able to leave her, not as a humbled, beaten cur, as she had intended, but feeling what she ...
— Halcyone • Elinor Glyn

... young men might agree in opposing Edward, but could agree in nothing else, as they were rivals for the throne of Scotland. Probably it was because they knew this, and knew what troubles must arise even if they could hope to get the better of the great English King, that the principal Scottish people applied to the Pope for his interference. The Pope, on the principle of losing nothing for want of trying to get it, very coolly claimed that Scotland ...
— A Child's History of England • Charles Dickens

... nations that fell one after another, we have seen the young and vigorous subdue the more wealthy and luxurious; or we have seen superior art and skill get the better of valour and ignorance; but, in the fall of the Roman empire, the art and skill were all on the side of those who fell, and the vigour of those who conquered was not so powerful an agent as the very low and degraded state into which the masters of ...
— An Inquiry into the Permanent Causes of the Decline and Fall of Powerful and Wealthy Nations. • William Playfair

... get the better of me in this way, you are mistaken," she said. "I am not your daughter; how dare you treat me so? Grandmamma, forgive me. I have been up all night. I am going to lie down," said Phoebe. "If grandpapa has anything more to say against me, he ...
— Phoebe, Junior • Mrs [Margaret] Oliphant

... appearance presented something as terrible to their apprehensions. Every eye was fixed on me as I seated myself by a vacant table; and I heard whisperings, with suspicious glances occasionally directed towards the place where I sat. The company, however, soon began to get the better of their consternation, and were evidently not pleased at so unseasonable an interruption to their mirth. I found that some explanation was necessary as to the cause of my intrusion, and with difficulty made them comprehend the nature of my ...
— Traditions of Lancashire, Volume 1 (of 2) • John Roby

... yours is a positive mania, Skepsey. You must try to get the better of it—must! And my name too! I'm to be proclaimed, as having in my service an inveterate pugilist—who breaks the law from patriotism! Male or female, these very respectable persons—the people your show was ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... to the author. He used the materials, mixing a great deal of his own with them. In a work which is sure of going down to the latest posterity, I thought it material to set facts to rights, as much as possible. The author was well disposed; but could not entirely get the better of his original bias. I send you the article as ultimately published. If you find any material errors in it, and will be so good as to inform me of them, I shall probably have opportunities of setting this author to rights. What has heretofore passed between us on this ...
— Memoir, Correspondence, And Miscellanies, From The Papers Of Thomas Jefferson - Volume I • Thomas Jefferson

... the writing of history, the field I have deserted; for as to the giving of dinners, he can now have no further pretensions. I should have made a very bad use of my abode in Paris if I could not get the better of a mere provincial like him. All my friends encourage me in this ambition; as thinking it will redound ...
— Hume - (English Men of Letters Series) • T.H. Huxley

... which is inseparable from a real passion struck him entirely dumb; and whenever he was about to open his mouth to utter what he intended, he had neither words nor voice; and tho' he saw her every day, was often alone with her, and had opportunity enough to have revealed himself, yet could he not get the better of his timidity for a great while, and perhaps should have been much longer under this cruel constraint, had not an accident favoured his wishes beyond what he could have hoped, or even imagined, and by shewing him part of what passed in her soul, emboldened him ...
— The Fortunate Foundlings • Eliza Fowler Haywood

... reproducing the liberty but the forms of liberty. It seems to have been his idea that a Sullan party might rule the Empire by adherence to these forms. I doubt if Marius had any fixed idea of government. To get the better of his enemies, and then to grind them into powder under his feet, to seize rank and power and riches, and then to enjoy them, to sate his lust with blood and money and women, at last even with wine, and to feed his revenge by remembering the hard things which he was made to endure during the period ...
— Life of Cicero - Volume One • Anthony Trollope

... Pious," and tried to induce him to pitch cents, in the back yard, on Sunday afternoon, instead of going to church. He generally bore these taunts with patience, though sometimes his high spirit would get the better of his desire to be what the little ...
— Try Again - or, the Trials and Triumphs of Harry West. A Story for Young Folks • Oliver Optic

... 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

... between the ranks, we will take him on the 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 to see what he would do, whereupon the horse began to heave and rock and ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 5 • Richard F. Burton

... as has been seen in instances more recent than that of Rodney. He clearly had told Sandwich the same in private letters, for the First Lord writes him, "I fear the picture you give of the faction in your fleet is too well drawn. Time and moderation will by degrees get the better of this bane of discipline. I exceedingly applaud your resolution to shut your ears against the illiberal language of your officers, who are inclined to arraign each other's conduct." In this two things are ...
— Types of Naval Officers - Drawn from the History of the British Navy • A. T. Mahan

... to seize Edwards, when Allen pulled him back. "Sit down, Seth; the fellow is only trying to embroil us, so that our enemies may get the better of us." ...
— The Hero of Ticonderoga - or Ethan Allen and his Green Mountain Boys • John de Morgan

... Hancock (Number Three) used to fish and swim together, and go nutting, and set traps for squirrels, and help each other in fractions. And then they would climb trees, and wrestle, and sometimes fight. In the fights, they say, John Hancock used to get the better of his antagonist, but as an exploiter of fractions John Adams was more ...
— Little Journeys To the Homes of the Great, Volume 3 (of 14) • Elbert Hubbard

... "I wish I could set some of them to scrubbing orange-trunks with soap-and-water and spraying acre after acre, as we do, in a wild race to keep up with the pests, knowing all the time that some careless grove owner next door may let the rust mite or the black fly get the better of his grove and let it drift over into ours. Then there's always the chance that a grove may get so infected that the government will order it destroyed, —wiped out .... I've been talking just about the citrus fruits, the grapefruit and the tangeloes ...
— Black Caesar's Clan • Albert Payson Terhune

... looking at him with rueful admiration. She had tried a hundred times to get the better of him in conversation, but she had ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... them to Illinois; and I can never believe other but that the Latter-Day Saints has the truth, for the power of it is always to be seen among them; and now that I've lost everything a second time, and know that I have a sickness that I'll never get the better of, I have come east to see my folks once more and to testify ...
— The Mormon Prophet • Lily Dougall

... she stood in her room at the Savoy, when he saw her for the last time 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

... be locked up for beautiful lunatics if you let your jaw get the better of you, my Mabel ...
— The Enchanted Castle • E. Nesbit

... Lorne, "when he sees that the British manufacturer can't possibly get the better of men on the spot, who know to a nut the ...
— The Imperialist • (a.k.a. Mrs. Everard Cotes) Sara Jeannette Duncan

... sold like an ordinary fool," and Mr. Pinkerton looked at the tell-tale papers admiringly, for, although he felt a trifle chagrined at being taken in so nicely, he could not but pay tribute to the man who did it, for the man that could get the better of "Billy" Pinkerton, must be one of ...
— Jim Cummings • Frank Pinkerton

... it to be the mark of a really prudent general never to run a risk of his own choosing, except where it is plain to him beforehand, that he will get the better of his adversary. To play into the enemy's hands may more fitly be described as treason to one's fellow-combatants than true manliness. So, too, true generalship consists in attacking where the enemy is weakest, even if the point be some leagues distant. Severity ...
— The Cavalry General • Xenophon

... over for a minute, lookin' me square in the eye all the time, and all of a sudden he puts out his hand. "You're right," says he. "I was hot headed, and let my zeal get the better of my commonsense. Thank you, ...
— Odd Numbers - Being Further Chronicles of Shorty McCabe • Sewell Ford

... 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 before any man, would make no difficulties, and agreed to everything, which ...
— The Red True Story Book • Various

... being angry and trying to hang a threat of penal servitude over the heads of the directors of shipping companies. You can't get the better of the immortal gods by the mere power of material contrivances. There will be neither scapegoats in this matter nor yet penal servitude for anyone. The Directors of the Canadian Pacific Railway Company did not sell "safety at sea" to the people on ...
— Notes on Life and Letters • Joseph Conrad

... the chance to astonish us when we defined prose as 'a record of human thought, dispensing with metre and using rhythm laxly.' When you give genius leave to use something laxly, at its will, genius will pretty surely get the better of you. ...
— On the Art of Writing - Lectures delivered in the University of Cambridge 1913-1914 • Arthur Quiller-Couch

... might be insolent, and gain by it; but the smaller men must keep civil tongues in their heads. Oh, yes, talent of course—enormous talent!—but a poor early training, and a man wants all his time to get the better of that—instead of spouting and scribbling all over the place. No—John Fenwick would do nothing more of importance. Mrs. Wilson might take his word for that—sorry if he had said anything unpleasant of a friend ...
— Fenwick's Career • Mrs. Humphry Ward

... youth expected that she would make difficulties, and he left the room, humming the popular song, "Guard the nation's safety," and went to that of Mademoiselle de Verneuil, prompted by a keen desire to get the better of her scruples and take her back with him. Perhaps he wanted to solve the doubts which filled his mind; or else to exercise the power which all men like to think they wield over ...
— The Chouans • Honore de Balzac

... and subtleties improved and increased by contact with housewives and shopkeepers, who do their best to drive a hard bargain. In dealing with the 'boer' the townspeople's ingenuity is taxed to the utmost in endeavouring to get the better of one whose nature is heavy but cunning, and families who have dealt with the same 'boer' vendor for years have to be as careful as if they were transacting business with an entire stranger. The 'boer's' argument is simplicity itself: 'They ...
— Dutch Life in Town and Country • P. M. Hough

... required by natural causes, very well—let the reduction be made. If it was the result of unfair and unwise legislation, very well—repeal the legislation. If it was caused by misconduct on the part of railroad managers, very well—let them be punished. It was hard to get the better of a man who wanted only the truth, and was ready to act upon it, no matter which ...
— Theodore Roosevelt and His Times - A Chronicle of the Progressive Movement; Volume 47 in The - Chronicles Of America Series • Harold Howland

... Description often gives us more lively Ideas than the Sight of Things themselves. The Reader finds a Scene drawn in stronger Colours, and painted more to the Life in his Imagination, by the help of Words, than by an actual Survey of the Scene which they describe. In this case the Poet seems to get the better of Nature; he takes, indeed, the Landskip after her, but gives it more vigorous Touches, heightens its Beauty, and so enlivens the whole Piece, that the Images which flow from the Objects themselves appear weak and faint, in Comparison ...
— The Spectator, Volumes 1, 2 and 3 - With Translations and Index for the Series • Joseph Addison and Richard Steele

... 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 ...
— James Fenimore Cooper - American Men of Letters • Thomas R. Lounsbury

... disputing with Camutio[186] on some matter of Philosophy, for, as I have said before, my colleagues were wont to lead me on to argue in philosophy because they were well assured that it would be vain to try to get the better of me in Medicine. Now Branda began by advancing Aristotle as an authority, whereupon I, when he brought out his citation, said, 'Take care, you have left out the "non" which should stand after "album."' Then Branda contradicted me, and I, spitting out the phlegm with which I am often troubled, ...
— Jerome Cardan - A Biographical Study • William George Waters

... foolish, Auguste," I interposed; "you are letting your feelings get the better of you, strangely; and, Caroline, if you do not tell the people to drive home, you will keep the Judge waiting dinner—a proceeding to which you know he is by ...
— Valerie • Frederick Marryat

... his little, wretched, angry voice. "You tricked me once. Do you think you'll get the better of me again by a clumsy lie of that kind? Now then. Gee up! Home ...
— Old Peter's Russian Tales • Arthur Ransome

... fool, and don't let a woman get the better of you. Don't you see that she's trying to ...
— The Gold Hunter's Adventures - Or, Life in Australia • William H. Thomes

... kept, in that he bore the bill while he lived. Those namesakes [the two Kolskeggs] fought together, and it was a near thing which would get the better of it. Then Gunnar came up, and gave the other Kolskegg his death-blow. After that the sea-rovers begged for mercy. Gunnar let them have that choice, and he let them also count the slain, and take the goods which the dead men owned, ...
— The story of Burnt Njal - From the Icelandic of the Njals Saga • Anonymous

... event from their minds as soon as possible. The night of old Mesuk's 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 wantonly lay hands on ancient traditional ...
— Ten Thousand Miles with a Dog Sled - A Narrative of Winter Travel in Interior Alaska • Hudson Stuck

... 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 ...
— The Adventures of Gerard • Arthur Conan Doyle

... Linda Tressel, because she was young, and was acknowledged to be a pretty girl; and he still wished to marry her, if not now for these reasons, still for others which were quite as potent. He wanted to be her master, to get the better of her, to punish her for her disdain of him, and to bring her to his feet. But he was not a man so carried away by anger or by a spirit of revenge as to be altogether indifferent to his own future happiness. There had already been some among his fellow-citizens, or perhaps citizenesses, ...
— Linda Tressel • Anthony Trollope

... year the interest has been paid in full up to the last two. As long as it was forthcoming I said nothing. I have not mentioned a word of this transaction between the half-brother and me, for I knew his hot temper would get the better of him. He thinks the man was drowned at sea, and it is best that he continue to think so. I have misled him into the belief that I was foreclosing because of the small loan I made last spring, and I trusted to his usual secrecy and apparent ...
— Captain Pott's Minister • Francis L. Cooper

... interrupted Frank, who saw that Archie's rage was in a fair way to get the better of him. "Johnny, stand back! Keep still, Archie! Go about your business, Arthur Vane! We know just what passed between you and Pierre, not five minutes ago, and we don't want to listen to any ...
— Frank Among The Rancheros • Harry Castlemon

... he was busying his mind in the endeavor to invent some clever scheme whereby he might get the better of the twin rascals and turn the ...
— Canoe Mates in Canada - Three Boys Afloat on the Saskatchewan • St. George Rathborne

... 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

... Edmund's account, for she had discernment enough to see that her mother and sister did not believe Diggory's dreadful narration; and she had been so unsettled and excited by Mr. Sylvester Enderby's notice, and by the way in which she had allowed her high spirits to get the better of her discretion, as well as by the sudden change from terror to joy, that when first she went to Rose's room she could not attend to her prayers, and next she ...
— The Pigeon Pie • Charlotte M. Yonge

... great fault of the burghers had come to light at Nooitgedacht—namely, that they shirked their duty in their eagerness for plunder. He was afraid that if they took the town their plundering spirit would get the better of them and so give the enemy a chance of catching them or putting them to flight. Lastly he said that he was going to act in opposition to the orders received from the Commandant-General, and would send the Zoutpansbergers and Waterbergers home that evening, as it was impossible for them in their ...
— On Commando • Dietlof Van Warmelo

... are little else; do you not chirp all over, Mohi? By my demi-god soul, were I not what I am, this wine would almost get the better of me." ...
— Mardi: and A Voyage Thither, Vol. II (of 2) • Herman Melville

... but listen to my boy there, we shall be good friends still. He is never unreasonable. He has no objections to your consorting even with Madame Prosperity, in a decent way; but he will not consent to your letting her get the better of you, nor to your doting on her, even to the giving her a share of your bed, when she should never be allowed to get farther than the servants hall, for she should be kept in subjection, or she'll ruin you for ever, Thomas.—Conscience is a rough lad, I grant you, and I am keen and snell ...
— Tom Cringle's Log • Michael Scott

... mighty man in his village and generation. He began to study archaeology and the style of his cumbersome forged divinities improved. For a number of years the statues from the Cerro de los Santos were swallowed whole by all learned Europe. But the watchmaker's imagination began to get the better of him; forms became more and more fantastic, Egyptian, Assyrian, art-nouveau influences began to be noted by the discerning, until at last someone whispered forgery and all the scientists scuttled ...
— Rosinante to the Road Again • John Dos Passos

... selection. With astonishing patience he gathered together an immense mass of material, and showed, in regard to Arthropods and Vertebrates, the wide distribution of secondary characters, which develop almost exclusively in the male, and which enable him, on the one hand, to get the better of his rivals in the struggle for the female by the greater perfection of his weapons, and, on the other hand, to offer greater allurements to the female through the higher development of decorative characters, of song, or of scent-producing ...
— Evolution in Modern Thought • Ernst Haeckel

... a dryness in the tone of this reply which warned Barrant that he had made a blunder in allowing his irritation to get the better of him. But his private opinion was that the letter was the outcome of some secret of the dead man's which he had imparted to his lawyer. He changed his mood with supple swiftness, in ...
— The Moon Rock • Arthur J. Rees

... ruddy-looking. In his spare time he played at being a country gentleman. He had a fine, straightforward eye and a direct manner that inspired one with confidence. He was dressed in complimentary mourning, but for the moment his natural hearty manner threatened to get the better of him. ...
— The Land of Promise • D. Torbett

... he tried to think that he was dreaming, and for a long while he kept his eyes shut very tight to what he did not want to see, but in spite of his efforts, the truth managed to wriggle through, and then the young man gave up trying to deceive himself, and set about finding some way to get the better of his rival. ...
— The Brown Fairy Book • Andrew Lang

... seize, is sensible of the double assault, and unsteadily obeys them both; no otherwise does the daughter of Thestius fluctuate between {two} varying affections, and in turn lays by her anger, and rouses it again, {when thus} laid by. Still, the sister begins to get the better of the parent; and that, with blood she may appease the shades of her relations, in her unnatural conduct she ...
— The Metamorphoses of Ovid - Literally Translated into English Prose, with Copious Notes - and Explanations • Publius Ovidius Naso

... and Joe Lorey were, by that time, locked in a desperate grip and struggling with the energy of men battling for their lives. Twisting and straining, each striving with the last ounce of energy within him to get the better of the other, they plunged across the room ...
— In Old Kentucky • Edward Marshall and Charles T. Dazey

... Nicholson," he commenced huskily, "that I let my temper get the better of me. I was greatly upset. In the matter of your services I was—er—doubtless hasty. It can ...
— Rimrock Trail • J. Allan Dunn

... and tried once more, vainly, to get the better of his shyness. He was blushing, and knew it: and he blushed the more, up to his temples and round to his ears. Christophe looked at him with a smile, and longed to take him in his arms. The young man ...
— Jean Christophe: In Paris - The Market-Place, Antoinette, The House • Romain Rolland

... similar reasonings addrest to the company in general, he embraced his wife; and after a brief but vigorous effort to get the better of the apprehensions that prest upon him at that moment, he besought and implored her "to refrain from surrendering herself to endless grief; but endeavor to mitigate her regret for her husband by means of those honorable consolations which she ...
— The Best of the World's Classics, Restricted to prose. Volume II (of X) - Rome • Various

... be tired," she said, low but vehemently. "I'm in a black mood, and the more I tire myself the quicker I shall get the better of it. Now you know. I suppose ...
— Under the Country Sky • Grace S. Richmond

... of the business which distresses me is pleasant to him. He is fond of arrangements, and delights in little party successes. Either to effect or to avoid a count-out is a job of work to his taste, and he loves to get the better of the Opposition by keeping it in the dark. A successful plot is as dear to him as to a writer of plays. And yet he is never bitter as is Ratler, or unscrupulous as was poor Mr. Bonteen, or full of wrath as is Lord Fawn. Nor is he idle like Fitzgibbon. ...
— Phineas Redux • Anthony Trollope

... so absorbed did he become in this fruitless pursuit, that he grew yellower and more dried up from day to day, and to his jaundiced eye the man who was at first simply his rival became his mortal enemy and the object of his implacable hate, so that at length merely to get the better of him, to outwit him, would, after so long-continued and obstinate a struggle and so many defeats, have seemed to him too mild a vengeance, too ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... 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

... love of pomp and dress, furniture, equipage, buildings, great company, expensive diversions, and elegant entertainments get the better of the principles and judgments of men and women, there is no knowing where they will stop, nor into what evils, natural, moral, or political, ...
— Pearls of Thought • Maturin M. Ballou

... your appearance, be the wife of Lucifer," said Miss Pross, in her breathing. "Nevertheless, you shall not get the better of me. I ...
— A Tale of Two Cities - A Story of the French Revolution • Charles Dickens

... lover whom Browning allows thus to get the better of unreturned love. His women have no such remedia amoris; their heart's blood will not transmute into the ichor of poetry. It is women almost alone who ever utter the poignancy of rejected love; in them it is tragic, unreflecting, unconsolable, ...
— Robert Browning • C. H. Herford

... but she feels vaguely that she has missed something, and she is reaching out gropingly and trying to find it. I like the spirit. It strikes me as American in the best sense—that young longing to make up in some way for her deficiencies and lack of opportunities, that gallant determination to get the better of her upbringing and her surroundings. A fight always appeals to me, you know. I like the courage that is in the girl—I am sure it is courage—and her straightforward effort to get the best out of life, to learn the things she was never taught, to make herself ...
— One Man in His Time • Ellen Glasgow

... 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)

... the 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 ...
— The Two Captains • Friedrich de La Motte-Fouque

... robbers and sheep-stealers still increasing notwithstanding the late executions, it was deemed necessary to pursue some other steps to get the better of this evil; and a proclamation was read in church on Sunday the 15th, preparatory to issuing a process of outlawry against these public depredators, whom all persons were commanded to aid and ...
— An Account of the English Colony in New South Wales, Vol. 2 • David Collins

... customs, so opposite to ours; 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, and die miserably. Being ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume VII • Robert Kerr

... with a design to be short, yet my letter insensibly slides into length, and swells perhaps into an enormous size. I know not how it happens, but on such occasions I have a knack of throwing myself out on paper that I cannot readily get the better of. It is a sign, however, that I more than barely esteem the person I write to, as I have constantly experienced that my hand but illy performs its office unless my heart concurs. I confess I cannot conceive ...
— Memoirs of Aaron Burr, Complete • Matthew L. Davis

... satisfying it. The outcome of social life, since it is an admiration of ourselves based on the admiration we think we are inspiring in others, it is even more natural, more universally innate than egoism; for egoism may be conquered by nature, whereas only by reflection do we get the better of vanity. It does not seem, indeed, as if men were ever born modest, unless we dub with the name of modesty a sort of purely physical bashfulness, which is nearer to pride than is generally supposed. True modesty can be nothing but a ...
— Laughter: An Essay on the Meaning of the Comic • Henri Bergson

... Khartum on the wireless and delivered their position and a brief description of their adventures. As may be imagined, however, the two youths did not shut their eyes immediately. There was much to think about and to talk about before even fatigue could get the better of them. ...
— Around the World in Ten Days • Chelsea Curtis Fraser

... I 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! Not on ...
— Frank Merriwell's Reward • Burt L. Standish

... who 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 Amends, he went to the Queen's ...
— The Amours of Zeokinizul, King of the Kofirans - Translated from the Arabic of the famous Traveller Krinelbol • Claude Prosper Jolyot de Crbillon

... personified, loud, important, and inquisitive; the daughter, pretty, affected, and over-dressed; all on the lookout for adventures and titles, fellow-countrymen to impress, and foreigners eager to get the better of them. ...
— Shawl-Straps - A Second Series of Aunt Jo's Scrap-Bag • Louisa M. Alcott

... credit, Doctor Carmack," said Hugh, reddening with confusion. "I could hardly claim I had any great scruples about not engaging in such things that are almost universal among boys. But years ago I promised my mother never to let my temper get the better of me; and under no conditions to strike a companion in anger, unless it was to save myself from a beating, or to whip a bully who was abusing some one weaker ...
— The Chums of Scranton High - Hugh Morgan's Uphill Fight • Donald Ferguson

... Buchanan, are full of rumours and contradictions, while the State Papers and Treaties of England merely prove the extreme treachery of James's brother Albany, and no evidence tells us how James contrived to get the better of the traitor. James's brothers Albany and Mar were popular; were good horsemen, men of their hands, and Cochrane is accused of persuading James to arrest Mar on a charge of treason and black magic. Many witches are said to have been burned: perhaps the only such case before the Reformation. ...
— A Short History of Scotland • Andrew Lang

... she, "don't let the hot blood of the Macleods get the better of you. You must be patient, and considerate. If you will sit down now quietly, and tell me all about the young lady, I will be your ambassador, if you like; and I think I will be able to ...
— Macleod of Dare • William Black

... saints and martyrs does not help me. I must see the light beyond with my own eyes. Whitman's indomitable faith I admire, but cannot share. My torch will not kindle at his great flame. From our youth up our associations with the dead and with the grave are oppressive. Our natural animal instincts get the better of us. Death seems the great catastrophe. The silver cord is loosened, and the golden bowl is broken. The physical aspects of death are unlovely and repellent. And the spiritual aspects—only the elect can see them. Our physical senses are so dominant, the visible ...
— The Last Harvest • John Burroughs

... But still the two women told each other they didn't think he was any worse. His disease was only an ague, common to the time of year and to the new country. It had come on so late it was not likely now that he would get the better of it before spring; making some little sacrifices for the present, they must all be patient and wait; and the nursing went on, till every device of nursing was exhausted, and one remedy after another was tried, and one after another utterly ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... how things were going I should have gone back and started afresh, and kept on doing so until I had her submissive. A hunter may balk at a high fence, but the rider must not give in to him unless he wishes to let the animal get the better of him. If he is wise he will go back and put the horse to it again and again, until he finally clears the topmost bar. That I should have done in this instance, and that I now intend to do, until that book comes ...
— A Rebellious Heroine • John Kendrick Bangs

... competition with the Great Southern. Such railway competition as existed in Ireland was dear to traders and the general public. In country towns in the sister Isle there is not (more the pity!) much afoot in the way of diversion, and to set the companies by the ears or get the better of either one or the other was looked upon as healthy ...
— Fifty Years of Railway Life in England, Scotland and Ireland • Joseph Tatlow

... the post-nati, get the better of us of the old school at every turn," said Mr. Pleydell. "But she must convey and make over her ...
— Guy Mannering • Sir Walter Scott

... a voice which influenced all Europe, while the eager hand 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 ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac



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



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