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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



... uttered for him alone by 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 ...
— Rise and Fall of Cesar Birotteau • Honore de Balzac

... conversation with the attorney that Mr. Oakly walked, with resolute steps, towards the plum-tree, saying to himself, "If it cost me a hundred pounds I will not let this cunning Scotchman get the better of me." ...
— The Parent's Assistant • Maria Edgeworth

... you're thinking, man, but you're quite wrong," Patrick took the opportunity to put in hurriedly, conciliatingly. "I just happened to be coming by hungry tonight, a lonely tramp, and knocked at the window. Your wife was a bit foolish and let kindheartedness get the better of prudence—" ...
— The Moon is Green • Fritz Reuter Leiber

... knives with me and beat me—how I used to envy him! Why was it he could always get the better of me? Well, he went on trading knives and getting the better of people. Now, twenty-one years afterwards, he was doing time in the state penitentiary for forgery. He was now called a bad man, when twenty-one years ago when he did the same things ...
— The University of Hard Knocks • Ralph Parlette

... recover his appetite. The return to the north, therefore, brought on a dangerous obstruction, which the captain very unfortunately slighted, and concealed from every person in the ship, at the same time endeavouring to get the better of it by taking hardly any subsistence. This proceeding, instead of removing, increased the evil, his stomach being already weak enough before. He was afflicted with violent pains, which in the space of a few days confined him to his bed, and forced him to have recourse to medicines. ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Volume 14 • Robert Kerr

... M. Bartin the first time that they met after the concert. Their simultaneous appearance at Mrs. Slapman's was that time. M. Bartin had been privately informed of the Signer's intentions, and regretted that that gentleman's ridiculous vanity should get the better of his judgment. Seeing him at Mrs. Slapman's, M. Bartin avoided the Signer's presence, fearing they might come into a collision disgraceful to the time and the place. The Signer, for the same considerate reasons, kept shy of M. Bartin. After dodging each other for a long time, they ...
— Round the Block • John Bell Bouton

... of Defence, and makes his preparations for the North. He allows his patriotic sentiments to get the better of him in a momentary outburst of disloyalty—to which no serious importance ...
— Baboo Jabberjee, B.A. • F. Anstey

... 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 ...
— Voyage of H.M.S. Pandora - Despatched to Arrest the Mutineers of the 'Bounty' in the - South Seas, 1790-1791 • Edward Edwards

... settled into 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 ...
— The Prince of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... fetched up a seal-skin bag of red paint, and immediately smeared the fiddler's face all over with it: He was very desirous to pay me the same compliment, which, however, I thought fit to decline; but he made many very vigorous efforts to get the better of my modesty, and it was not without some difficulty that I defended myself from receiving the honour he designed me in my own despight. After having diverted and entertained them several hours, I intimated to them that it would be proper for them to go on shore; but their attachment was such, ...
— A General History and Collection of Voyages and Travels, Vol. 12 • Robert Kerr

... then!" she cried, looking at her companion steadily, a world of scorn in her face. "I never thought such a thing possible—that you would let your jealousy get the better of you like this!" She paused, and hurled the taunt she knew would hurt him most. "You are the last person on earth I would have selected to become a ...
— Ben Blair - The Story of a Plainsman • Will Lillibridge

... The horse became restive. "Gently, Jemmy," 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 to manage ...
— The Jest Book - The Choicest Anecdotes and Sayings • Mark Lemon

... were the more numerous, whether the rich or the poor, always overpowered them and assumed to themselves the administration of public affairs; from hence arose either a democracy or an oligarchy. Moreover, when in consequence of their disputes and quarrels with each other, either the rich get the better of the poor, or the poor of the rich, neither of them will establish a free state; but, as the record of their victory, one which inclines to their own principles, and form either ...
— Politics - A Treatise on Government • Aristotle

... 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 ...
— The Golden Face - A Great 'Crook' Romance • William Le Queux

... regarding her from this dim distance. Her gentleness struggled to get the better of her, and she came back and held out ...
— Other Things Being Equal • Emma Wolf

... general, under Gustavus Adolphus, who, pointing to an advancing enemy, observed to his troops:—"My lads, you see those men; if you don't kill them they will kill you." His lordship then continued:—"If we do not get the better of America, America will get the better of us. They have begun to raise a navy; trade, if left free to them, will beget opulence, and enable them to hire ships from foreign powers. It is said, the present war is only defensive on the part ...
— The History of England in Three Volumes, Vol.III. - From George III. to Victoria • E. Farr and E. H. Nolan

... Rose pointed out. "He has learnt to get the better of his infirmity, but nothing can alter the fact that the infirmity exists. I call him a most peculiar little person to look at. Of course I don't deny that he may be ...
— Greatheart • Ethel M. Dell

... answered, "I do not think I 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

... 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 makes it vastly ...
— Cecilia vol. 2 - Memoirs of an Heiress • Frances (Fanny) Burney (Madame d'Arblay)

... 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[26] because he was not fit for it. A strict honesty and an even regular behaviour, are in themselves obstacles to him that must press through crowds, who endeavour ...
— The De Coverley Papers - From 'The Spectator' • Joseph Addison and Others

... like the rough and ready life in camp and on the march to cure a boy of being over-clean. He'd never learn any different at home, you know, because his mother is the same way, and brought him up pretty much like a girl. But he's reached the point now where the true boy nature is beginning to get the better of that ...
— The Boy Scouts' First Camp Fire - or, Scouting with the Silver Fox Patrol • Herbert Carter

... 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

... as he rose from the table, "I really am afraid you are the very devil. But make your mind easy. If I don't succeed in getting the Barricini hanged, I'll contrive to get the better of them in some other fashion. 'Hot bullet or cold steel'—you see ...
— Columba • Prosper Merimee

... Goldsmith conspicuously lacked. Put a pen into his hand, and shut him up in a room: then he was master of the situation—nothing could be more incisive, polished, and easy than his playful sarcasm. But in society any fool could get the better of him by a sudden question followed by a horse-laugh. All through his life—even after he had become one of the most famous of living writers—Goldsmith suffered from want of self-confidence. He ...
— Goldsmith - English Men of Letters Series • William Black

... (Allowing the waiter to put the domino on his shoulders.) You can do nothing but make a friendly arrangement. If you want your family more than they want you, you'll get the worse of the arrangement: if they want you more than you want them, you'll get the better of it. (He shakes the domino into becoming folds and takes up the false nose. Dolly gazes admiringly at him.) The strength of their position lies in their being very agreeable people personally. The strength of your position lies in your income. (He claps ...
— You Never Can Tell • [George] Bernard Shaw

... and discovered the absence of the prisoner. These startling announcements filled the blacks with a combination of terror and rage; but, seeing no foe in evidence they were enabled to permit their rage to get the better of their terror, and so the leaders, pushed on by those behind them, ran rapidly around the hut in the direction of the yapping of the mangy cur. Here they found a single white warrior making away with their captive, and recognizing him as the author of numerous raids and indignities and ...
— The Son of Tarzan • Edgar Rice Burroughs

... an agreement never meaning to stick to it, ust to get the better of you for a little while. They mak' any promise you demand of them to get you quieted and willing to leave them alone, and then when the time comes and it suits them they'll break it, and laugh in your face. I'm not guessing or joking. And it's not the Bolshevists in Russia I'm thinking ...
— Between You and Me • Sir Harry Lauder

... or very wise; very weak or very strong; very poor or very rich—just as happened to suit his humor best. Whatever any one else could do, he would attempt without a moment's reflection. He was a match for any man he met, and there were few manitoes that could get the better of him. By turns he would be very kind, or very cruel; an animal or a bird; a man or a spirit; and yet, in spite of all these gifts, Manabozho was always getting himself involved in all sorts of troubles; and more than once, in the course of his busy adventures, was this ...
— The Indian Fairy Book - From the Original Legends • Cornelius Mathews

... with such a woman as you," said he affably. "A young man like that too. It would be fatal for him. Therefore, you are to say nothing about it. You are not eager to talk about your failure ... Cleopatra blushes for your failure ... but a heedless tongue and a bitter feeling often get the better of sense. If you remain silent, so ...
— The Art of Disappearing • John Talbot Smith

... delay." "Which of the two," continued Socrates, "would you teach to abstain from drinking when he was thirsty, to sleep but little, to go late to bed, to rise early, to watch whole nights, to live chastely, to get the better of his favourite inclinations, and not to avoid fatigues, but expose himself freely to them?" "The same still," replied Aristippus. "And if there be any art that teaches to overcome our enemies, to which of the two is it rather reasonable to teach it?" "To him to," said Aristippus, ...
— The Memorable Thoughts of Socrates • Xenophon

... 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 ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. II. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... it is no use your being cross with a female, or she will get the better of you. She has outwitted us. We took her for a fool, and she is a clever girl. I'll—tell—you—what, she is a very clever girl. Never mind that, she is only a girl; and, if you will be ruled by me, her happiness shall be secured in ...
— Love Me Little, Love Me Long • Charles Reade

... 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, shoot themselves, and even kill others; why they fret about things that do not ...
— The Lady with the Dog and Other Stories • Anton Chekhov

... be that." And she struggled grievously to get the better of the hysterical attack which had overpowered her. "I won't be regarded as ill-used; not as specially ill-used. But I am your darling, your own darling. Only I wish you'd beat me and thump me when I'm such a fool, instead of pitying me. It's a great mistake being soft to ...
— The Small House at Allington • Anthony Trollope

... no better. 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 failed, and the fond hearts ...
— The Atlantic Monthly, Volume 18, No. 106, August, 1866 • Various

... riding beside you in the field,—he is still thinking how he can make use of you to tide him over some difficulty. He has lived in that way till he has a pleasure in cheating, and has become so clever in his line of life that if you or I were with him again to-morrow he would again get the better of us. He is a man that must be absolutely avoided; I, at any rate, have learned to know so much." In the expression of which opinion Lord Lufton was too hard upon poor Sowerby; as indeed we are all apt to be too ...
— Framley Parsonage • Anthony Trollope

... 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

... power-loving George III was not happy about this repeal. In fact, he had given in very much against his will. He wanted to rule England in his own way, and how could he do so if he allowed his stubborn colonists in America thus to get the better of him? ...
— Stories of Later American History • Wilbur F. Gordy

... he was to escape at all, it must be alone, and he would have a much better chance of getting away while working by himself than he would get if he were one of a gang; for it would be strange indeed if a strong, able-bodied young Englishman could not get the better of a mere ...
— Under the Chilian Flag - A Tale of War between Chili and Peru • Harry Collingwood

... can "bust out" when their feelings get the better of them! Civilization robs us of ...
— As Seen By Me • Lilian Bell

... revolted him, the calm assumption that he was ready to enter light-heartedly into a liaison with his father's wife! He was filled with disgust. She had placed him in a position where whatever he did would be wrong; consequently he let his temper get the better of him and, taking her by the shoulders, put her out of the room. Naturally, she never ...
— Juggernaut • Alice Campbell

... home. He supplied Warwick with money and men, and pressed him to hasten his departure for England. "You know," he wrote to an agent, "the desire I have for Warwick's return to England, as well because I wish to see him get the better of his enemies as that at least through him the realm of England may be again thrown into confusion, so as to avoid the questions which have arisen out of his residence here." But Warwick was too cautious a statesman to hope to win England with French troops only. ...
— History of the English People, Volume III (of 8) - The Parliament, 1399-1461; The Monarchy 1461-1540 • John Richard Green

... too shrewd to have recourse to his gun. He knew that Corliss was the quicker man, and he realized that, even should he get the better of a six-gun argument, the ultimate result would be outlawry and perhaps death. He wanted to get away from that steady, heart-searching gaze that ...
— Sundown Slim • Henry Hubert Knibbs

... "You bid me be easy, and you would see me as often as you could. You had better have said, as often as you can get the better of your inclinations so much; or as often as you remember there was such a one in the world. If you continue to treat me as you do, you will not be made uneasy by me long. It is impossible to describe what I have suffered since I saw you last: I am ...
— Henry Esmond; The English Humourists; The Four Georges • William Makepeace Thackeray

... a baron," said McMunn, "and that's enough for me, forbye that he's coming here under very suspicious circumstances. If I can get the better of him by means of strong drink and the snare of ...
— Our Casualty And Other Stories - 1918 • James Owen Hannay, AKA George A. Birmingham

... 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; ...
— Funny Big Socks - Being the Fifth Book of the Series • Sarah L. Barrow

... really had the Disorder seemed to have received such an Injury of the Bladder, or Kidneys as required a considerable Space of Time to get the better of; and by reason of the short Time we had them under our Care at the flying Hospital, they seldom received much Benefit. One or two thought they grew better on taking the Bark and Balsam of Peru; at the ...
— An Account of the Diseases which were most frequent in the British military hospitals in Germany • Donald Monro

... attendant upon this sudden transition from public to private pursuits. "I am just beginning to experience the ease and freedom from public cares, which, however desirable, takes some time to realize; for strange as it may seem, it is nevertheless true, that it was not until lately, I could get the better of my usual custom of ruminating, as soon as I awoke in the morning, on the business of the ensuing day; and of my surprise at finding, after revolving many things in my mind, that I was no longer a public man, or had any thing to do with public transactions. I feel ...
— The Life of George Washington, Vol. 4 (of 5) • John Marshall

... diminished, but his stock of inventions 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: ...
— Dutch Life in Town and Country • P. M. Hough

... due to my excessive and almost morbid sensitiveness. All my feelings were exaggerated, so that the least thing angered me, and it was misery to me to recover myself. Even my father had found it very difficult to get the better of those fits of wounded feeling, during which I strove against my own relentings with a cold and concentrated anger which both relieved and tortured me. I was well aware of this moral infirmity, and as I was not a bad child in reality, I was ashamed of it. Therefore, my humiliation ...
— Stories of Modern French Novels • Julian Hawthorne

... contemptible, and at home distracted; he will believe also, that nothing but a firm combination of public men against this body, and that, too, supported by the hearty concurrence of the people at large, can possibly get the better of it. The people will see the necessity of restoring public men to an attention to the public opinion, and of restoring the constitution to its original principles. Above all, they will endeavor to keep the House of Commons from assuming ...
— The Works of the Right Honourable Edmund Burke, Vol. I. (of 12) • Edmund Burke

... have thought many times, that you were like her ... of the same clay. But you have something else too, you have something that she'll take away from you if you stay. You can't keep her from doing it. No one can get the better of her. She doesn't fight. But she always takes life. She has taken mine. She must have taken her bogie-husband's, she took young Gilbert's, she took Gilbert's wife's, she took Arnold's in another way.... God! think of ...
— The Bent Twig • Dorothy Canfield

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

... yearning to stand in front of it, and such is the hate of being triumphed over by fellows who kiss one another and weep, and such is the tingling of the knuckles for a blow when the body has been kicked in sore places, that the heart will at last get the better of the head—or at least it used to be so in England. Wherefore Charley Bowles was in arms already against his country's enemies; and Harry Shanks waited for little except a clear proclamation of prize-money; and even ...
— Springhaven - A Tale of the Great War • R. D. Blackmore

... "Oh yes, he was fortunate! He was burnt to death in the Hydaspes, and never heard of his luck. His mother has got the money, though. I never saw a shilling of it." And then, seemingly displeased with himself for having allowed his tongue to get the better of his dignity, he walked away to the fire, musing, doubtless, on the difference between Maurice Frere, with a quarter of a million, disporting himself in the best society that could be procured, with command of dog-carts, prize-fighters, and gamecocks ...
— For the Term of His Natural Life • Marcus Clarke

... possible!" exclaimed Mr. Smalls, violently interrupting himself in the perusal of Tintinnabulum's Life, while some private signals were rapidly telegraphed between him and Mr. Larkyns; "ah! you'll soon get the better of that weakness! Now, as you're a freshman, you'll perhaps allow me to give you a little advice. The Germans, you know, would never be the deep readers that they are, unless they smoked; and I should advise you to go to the Vice-Chancellor as soon as possible, and ask him for ...
— The Adventures of Mr. Verdant Green • Cuthbert Bede

... Grant had been the first to discover her bald spot—which he promptly christened her storm centre—and to call Ned's attention to it; and therein lay much of his power over her. Now, whenever Mrs. Euphemia threatened to get the better of him, he had only to fix his eyes steadily on the top of her head, or abstractedly rub his hand over his own yellow pate, to cause her to abandon her lecture and escape to her mirror, in order to assure herself that all was as it ...
— In Blue Creek Canon • Anna Chapin Ray

... Benicia. A number of Sundays went by, on each of which the law was persistently violated. Yet, short of an armed force of soldiers, we could do nothing. The fishermen had hit upon a new idea and were using it for all it was worth, while there seemed no way by which we could get the better of them. ...
— Tales of the Fish Patrol • Jack London

... just now, of my late butler," he began, with a sip at his brandy. "Has it struck you that, when confronted with moral delinquency, I am apt to let my indignation get the better of me?" ...
— McClure's Magazine, Vol. 6, No. 5, April, 1896 • Various

... in reply, since the morality of Hans was past argument. It might perhaps be summed up in one sentence: To get the better of his neighbour in his master's service, honestly if possible; if not, by any means that came to his hand down to that of murder. At the bottom of his dark and mysterious heart Hans worshipped only ...
— The Ivory Child • H. Rider Haggard

... mind to come home the whole way by sea, thinking that the rest of the voyage would give his constitution a chance to get the better of the ills which still troubled him; and at Gibraltar he received a letter from Dick. One had reached him at Suez; but that was mainly occupied with congratulations, and there was a tenderness due to the fear that Alec had hardly ...
— The Explorer • W. Somerset Maugham

... longer time to depose an angel. And the devil may be utterly banished, but the angel never. And though the devil of mere wit and the little devils of analytic exercise—devils when they usurp the throne in a poet's soul and enslave imaginative emotion—did get the better of Browning, it was only for a time. Towards the end of his life he recovered, but never as completely as he had once possessed them, the noble attributes of a poet. The evils of the struggle clung to him; the poisonous pleasure he had pursued still affected him; he was again and again ...
— The Poetry Of Robert Browning • Stopford A. Brooke

... Gunnar 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 ...
— Njal's Saga • Unknown Icelanders

... 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 to cover shouting that there had never been any native ...
— Rosinante to the Road Again • John Dos Passos

... at him with rueful admiration. She had tried a hundred times to get the better of him in conversation, but she had not ...
— Red Pottage • Mary Cholmondeley

... armour, but the swineherd saw him and said to Ulysses who was beside him, "Ulysses, noble son of Laertes, it is that scoundrel Melanthius, just as we suspected, who is going to the store room. Say, shall I kill him, if I can get the better of him, or shall I bring him here that you may take your own revenge for all the many wrongs that he has done in ...
— The Odyssey • Homer

... interesting in the usual sense of the word, but because you would feel 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 ...
— Washington Square • Henry James

... without a chief is worse than a beast, unless the chief has a good understanding with the body, and unless everything be as well regulated as if it were measured with a pair of compasses, we see certain confusions arrive; the animal part then endeavours to get the better of the rational, and, we see one pull to the right, another to the left; one wants something soft, another something hard; in short, everything goes topsy turvy. This is to show that here below, as it has been explained to me, a woman's head is like a weather-cock ...
— The Love-Tiff • Moliere

... knew, but humanity was full of surprises, and he had been too calm a student of other men's lives to feel astonishment at any fresh revelation either of their pain, their perversity, or their humours. He had felt so sure, however, that Robert would, in the end, get the better of that unhappy attachment; everything in the process of time had to surrender to reason, and it was not possible, he thought, that a strong, self-reliant man could long remain ...
— Robert Orange - Being a Continuation of the History of Robert Orange • John Oliver Hobbes

... Croaker, 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

... Greeby, planting herself manfully in an opposite chair and crossing her legs in a gentlemanly manner. "Fresh air and exercise, beefsteaks and tankards of beer are what you need. Defy Nature and you get the better of her. Kill or cure ...
— Red Money • Fergus Hume

... which nearly prevailed in 1873, gives some relief and originality to his work on the Revolution. You are not likely to meet with it. When Talleyrand's Memoirs appeared, most people learnt for the first time that he went at night to offer his services to the king, to get the better of the Assembly. The editor placed the event in the middle of July. Nobody seemed to know that the story was already told by Genoude, and that he fixed the midnight bid for power at its proper date, a ...
— Lectures on the French Revolution • John Emerich Edward Dalberg-Acton

... 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

... and are ever plotting our ruin—enemies within the race and without it. We have got to live in the consciousness of this fact. If we assume that all is well, that there is nothing to fear, and so relax our vigilance, so cease to be watchful, we need not be surprised if our enemies get the better of us, if we ...
— Masterpieces of Negro Eloquence - The Best Speeches Delivered by the Negro from the days of - Slavery to the Present Time • Various

... reached home safely yesterday, and in a day or two I doubt not we shall get the better of the fatigues ...
— Charlotte Bronte and Her Circle • Clement K. Shorter

... have learned to control your speech. It is the same in regard to controlling your temper. But there is one truth of which I can assure you: If you will learn to be silent and not speak at all when you feel that your temper is getting or has gotten the better of you, you will soon get the better of your temper. There is no such efficient discipline for a hasty temper as determined, self-imposed silence. Then, too, there is a dignity about silence under provocation that is impressive and effective. The greatest disadvantage at which any person can be placed ...
— Letters to a Daughter and A Little Sermon to School Girls • Helen Ekin Starrett

... Jack," said Alick, in a low voice, "I never thought it would come to this; but it seems that the enemy will get the better of us, after all. We'll render a good account of them, however, ...
— The Three Midshipmen • W.H.G. Kingston

... contain the exuberant flow!' returned that gentleman. 'My animal spirits always get the better of me,' he ...
— The Shaving of Shagpat • George Meredith

... in vain dilating and opening it, only let more flame than water into it, be it said without a figure. At the same time he made me feel his own engine, which was so well wound up, as to stand even the working in water, and he accordingly threw one arm round my neck, and was endeavouring to get the better of that harsher construction bred by the surrounding fluid; and had in effect one hiway so far as to make me sensible of the pleasing stretch of those nether lips, from the in-driving machine; when, independent of my not ...
— Memoirs Of Fanny Hill - A New and Genuine Edition from the Original Text (London, 1749) • John Cleland

... up the token Grigosie had leant forward to see it, the color mounting into his cheeks. Now his enthusiasm appeared to get the better of his prudence, and ...
— Princess Maritza • Percy Brebner

... I am most afraid of is that last rag of life. I may just go on—a scarred salvage of suffering stuff. And then—all the things I have hidden and kept down or discounted or set right afterwards will get the better of me. I shall be peevish. I may lose my grip upon my own egotism. It's never been a very firm grip. No, no, Gardener, don't say that! You know better, you've had glimpses of it. Suppose I came through on the other side of this affair, belittled, vain, and spiteful, using the prestige I have got among ...
— The World Set Free • Herbert George Wells

... my presence save him." When he heard of the Buffalo-bug he exclaimed: "Are we going to have another pest to contend with? I think it is a serious question whether the insect world is not going to get the better of us." ...
— Cambridge Sketches • Frank Preston Stearns

... on daily wages and because of his 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 beer and then the miser asked Kora whether ...
— Folklore of the Santal Parganas • Cecil Henry Bompas

... shelter in the hut: Percival only, by his own choice, remained outside until he thought that they were sleeping. He wanted to be alone. He had banished reflection pretty successfully during the day; but at night he knew that it would get the better of him. And he felt that he must meet and master the thronging doubts and fears and regrets that assailed him. Whatever happened he would not be sorry that he had come. If he never saw Elizabeth's face again, he was sure that her memories of him would be full of tenderness. ...
— Under False Pretences - A Novel • Adeline Sergeant

... rejoined, and something in his voice was out of keeping with his half whimsical bow. "It's nice to know your friends think well of you; but you mustn't let your good-nature get the better of your judgment." ...
— Blake's Burden • Harold Bindloss

... 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 ...
— Frank Among The Rancheros • Harry Castlemon

... watching this demonstration of affection not without sympathy; and Skull-Splitter, for one, heartily wished that the chief had not wounded the little bear. Quite ignorant as he was of the nature of bears, he allowed his compassion to get the better of his judgment. It seemed such a pity that the poor little beast should lie there and suffer with one eye put out and forty or fifty bits of lead distributed through its body. It would be much more merciful to put it out of its misery altogether. And ...
— Boyhood in Norway • Hjalmar Hjorth Boyesen

... be kept with a traitor, Agatha. If we get the better of this, Santerre, as I am sure we shall now, you shall see that I know how to treat ...
— La Vendee • Anthony Trollope

... church, of which he was a member, having been many years in holy orders, though he did not then exercise any function of the priesthood. Indeed, Mr. Jolter's zeal was so exceedingly fervent, as, on some occasions, to get the better of his discretion; for, being a high churchman and of consequence a malcontent, his resentment was habituated into an insurmountable prejudice against the present disposition of affairs, which, by confounding the nation with the ministry, sometimes led him into erroneous, not to say absurd ...
— The Adventures of Peregrine Pickle, Volume I • Tobias Smollett

... ended, both boys had become so skillful in playing that the one could scarcely get the better of the other unless one in some way cheated. This caused them to try many underhanded tricks and encouraged them to bet and gamble; and in course of time they had exchanged as wagers the greater part of their simple belongings. Taking advantage of one another ...
— How John Became a Man • Isabel C. Byrum

... pounds; he would have been only too delighted to give her ten times the sum if she would have accepted it, and so far as profit went the whole transaction was for her benefit, and he might lose heavily by it. But in actual dealing he was constitutionally unable to resist the impulse to get the better of the person with whom he dealt. And on her side, Mrs. Rushmore, though generous to a fault, was by nature incapable of allowing money to slip through her fingers without reason. So the two were well matched, being both born financiers, and Logotheti respected Mrs. Rushmore ...
— Fair Margaret - A Portrait • Francis Marion Crawford

... you fear the stranger, then hide your eyes in the blue sky. When you hear that Cold-nose has conquered, then remember my blow called The-end-that-sang, the fruit of the tree which you have never tasted, the master's stroke which you have never learned. By this sign I know that he will never get the better of me, the end ...
— The Hawaiian Romance Of Laieikawai • Anonymous

... rested for about half an hour—then she drank off a glass of cold water—then she washed her face and hands—then she said aloud that the telegrams should not get the better of her, and then she prepared as nice a little dinner as she could for Noel ...
— The Palace Beautiful - A Story for Girls • L. T. Meade

... twice I found myself wishing that the crew were really gone, for the awful state of fright in which they lived was beginning to work on me too. You see I partly believed and partly didn't; but anyhow I didn't mean to let the thing get the better of me, whatever it was. I turned crusty, too, and kept the men at work on all sorts of jobs, and drove them to it until they wished I was overboard, too. It wasn't that the old man and I were trying to drive them to desert without their ...
— Man Overboard! • F(rancis) Marion Crawford

... longer the man I was, I am become timid, and when a person is timid in viper- hunting, he had better leave off, as it is quite clear his virtue is leaving him. I got a fright some years ago, which I am quite sure I shall never get the better of; my hand has been shaky more or less ever since.' 'What frightened you?' said I. 'I had better not tell you,' said the old man, 'or you may be frightened too, lose your virtue, and be no longer good for the business.' 'I don't ...
— Lavengro - The Scholar, The Gypsy, The Priest • George Borrow

... 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 ...
— Celebrated Crimes, Complete • Alexandre Dumas, Pere

... indignant, then it is up to the United States Senate to get indignant for them, even if the individual Senators has got to sit up with wet towels 'round their heads and strong black coffee stewing on the gas-stove, so as not to fall asleep over the job of letting their feelings get the better of their judgment in working up a six-hour speech which will give the country the impression that it just came pouring out on the spur of the moment as a consequence of the Senators' red-hot indignation about ...
— Potash and Perlmutter Settle Things • Montague Glass

... 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 dressed your ...
— Say and Seal, Volume I • Susan Warner

... glad for once to get the better of him in cross-examination, "I do not know, for I have not made up ...
— Great Expectations • Charles Dickens

... this too. Upon large ground if the South had the right to hold the negroes in slavery, the North would have the right to hold the South in the Union. If the South wanted to stuff fate into a small pocket of logic and allow their narrow bigotry to get the better of their reason, I was in favor of licking them in the name of sport and in justification of Darwin's law of the survival of ...
— Children of the Market Place • Edgar Lee Masters

... different sort of life. But Emeline's little streak of shrewd selfishness saved her. Emeline indulged in a hundred little coarsenesses and indiscretions, but take the final step toward ruin she would not. Nobody was going to get the better of her, she boasted. She used rouge and lip red. She "met fellers" under flaming gas jets, and went to dance halls with them, and to the Sunday picnics that were her father's especial abomination; she shyly ...
— The Story Of Julia Page - Works of Kathleen Norris, Volume V. • Kathleen Norris

... If she wants you to know, she'll tell you. Perhaps it would be well for you to be properly, officially presented to her hi—to the young lady. Your countryman, Mr. Tullis, will be glad to do so, I fancy. But let me suggest: don't permit your ingenuousness to get the better of you again. She's having sport with you on account of it. We all ...
— Truxton King - A Story of Graustark • George Barr McCutcheon

... I beg off," interrupted Van Berg, laughing. "You always get the better of one. No, children," he continued in answer to their looks of wonder, "I know less about painting pictures, in comparison, than you ...
— A Face Illumined • E. P. Roe

... before) as to say to Odysseus that he would sail away, and to Ajax that he would remain, and that he was not rather practising upon the simplicity of Odysseus, whom he regarded as an ancient, and thinking that he would get the better of him by his own cunning ...
— Lesser Hippias • Plato

... 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

... am fooled by this man; he is determined to get the better of me at every turn. I do beseech you, allow Agathon to lie ...
— Symposium • Plato

... Courtney, allowing rancour to get the better of fairness. Down in his heart he had said that Alix Crown was the loveliest girl he had ever seen. "What do you know about ...
— Quill's Window • George Barr McCutcheon

... frames were still according to the nature of the several scriptures that came in upon my mind; if this of grace, then was I quiet; but if that of Esau, then tormented; Lord, thought I, if both these scriptures would meet in my heart at once, I wonder which of them would get the better of me. So methought I had a longing mind that they might come both together upon me; yea, I desired of ...
— The Works of John Bunyan • John Bunyan

... whom Pompey had met. Each desired to be consul, but neither was properly qualified for the office, and therefore they agreed to overawe the senate and win the office for both, each probably thinking that at the first good opportunity he would get the better of the other. In this plan they were successful, and thus two aristocrats came to the head of government, and the oligarchy, to which one of them belonged, went out of power, and soon Pompey, who all the time posed as the friend of the people, proceeded to repeal the most important parts of the ...
— The Story of Rome From the Earliest Times to the End of the Republic • Arthur Gilman

... 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

... he had got ready this handful (as it were) of his troops, he ordered his astrologers to declare whether he should gain the battle and get the better of his enemies. After they had made their observations, they told him to go on boldly, for he would conquer and gain a glorious victory: whereat ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... not expect us to leave the train before we reached Edinburgh. That told in our favour. Most men trust much to just such vague expectations. They form a theory, and then neglect the adverse chances. You can only get the better of a skilled detective by taking him thus, psychologically ...
— Miss Cayley's Adventures • Grant Allen

... not care a straw for facts or figures,—had no opinion of his own whether the lady or the reviewer were right; but he knew very well that the 'Evening Pulpit' would surely get the better of any mere author in such a contention. 'Never fight the newspapers, Lady Carbury. Who ever yet got any satisfaction by that kind of thing? It's their business, and you are not ...
— The Way We Live Now • Anthony Trollope

... that force which is lawful in the interest of a friend, make Sophronia thine. I know the might of Love, how redoubtable it is, and how, not once only, but oftentimes, it has brought ill-starred lovers to a miserable death; and thee I see so hard bested that turn back thou mightst not, nor get the better of thy grief, but holding on thy course, must succumb, and perish, and without doubt I should speedily follow thee. And so, had I no other cause to love thee, thy life is precious to me in that my own is bound up with it. Sophronia, then, shall be thine; for thou wouldst ...
— The Decameron, Vol. II. • Giovanni Boccaccio

... as though Jesus were saying, "If you knew all along, why did you need to ask me in the first place?" The lawyer thought that he would get the better of Jesus, ...
— The King Nobody Wanted • Norman F. Langford

... composure 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 simplicity, in the inevitable lapse of years, causes but ...
— The Marble Faun, Volume II. - The Romance of Monte Beni • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... said the young fellow who had hummed the offensive song, 'your friend has not handled a schlager since the days of the flood. It is not likely that he can get the better of such a fellow as Bauer—may the incarnate thunder fly into his body! I can feel that splinter in my jaw ...
— Greifenstein • F. Marion Crawford

... in Pomerania that first brought it on. Out in all weathers—ice and snow—no help for it. I shall never get the better of it all the days ...
— The Works of Frederich Schiller in English • Frederich Schiller

... the noise, but the unpunctuality and carelessness of the native workmen sorely tried his patience, of which Nature had endowed him with but a small reserve. Vexed with himself for letting temper so often get the better of him, Yule's conscientious mind devised a characteristic remedy. Each time that he lost his temper, he transferred a fine of two rupees (then about five shillings) from his right to his left pocket. When about to leave Roorkee, he devoted this accumulation of self-imposed ...
— The Travels of Marco Polo Volume 1 • Marco Polo and Rustichello of Pisa

... and she never awoke the jealousy that lay like a sleeping python in the heart of Draycott Wilder. It was when they were in India that Clarice, for the first time, lost her grip and allowed her senses to get the better of her common sense, and she became for a brief time a woman with a very troublesome heart. Hector Copplestone, a young man newly come to the Indian Civil Service, was sent to their Punjaub station. He made Mrs. Wilder realize her own charm, he made her terribly conscious that she was older than him, ...
— The Pointing Man - A Burmese Mystery • Marjorie Douie

... get the better of me in arguments," said Frank, "so I am not going to fight with you in that way. But I ...
— In Honour's Cause - A Tale of the Days of George the First • George Manville Fenn

... sleep on the floor. It wouldn't be a bad little place (except for the drains) if only there wasn't this horrid influence about it all. I always particularly dislike toddling after people like a little lost dog, but here I find that unless I am with somebody the ghosts get the better of me. ...
— My War Experiences in Two Continents • Sarah Macnaughtan

... I had, I knew how to get the better of so troublesome an appendage. I hate hearing about hearts. If he'd take you to-morrow ...
— Is He Popenjoy? • Anthony Trollope

... art surnamed Ras al-Killaut[FN11] this is assuredly thy sister Miriam who chargeth upon us, and she seeketh to wage war and fight fray with us. So go thou out to give her battle: and I enjoin thee by the Messiah and the Faith which is no liar, an thou get the better of her, kill her not till thou have propounded to her the Nazarene faith. An she return to her old creed, bring her to me prisoner; but an she refuse, do her die by the foulest death and make of her the vilest of examples, as well as the accursed which is with her." Quoth Bartaut, ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 9 • Richard F. Burton

... wounded, fell into the hands of his enemies. They bore him, more dead than alive, to his own castle of Kilkenny, which had just been seized by the justiciar. After a few days Richard's tough constitution began to get the better of his wounds. Then his enemies, showing him the royal warranty for their acts, induced him to admit them into his castles. An ignorant or treacherous surgeon, called in by the justiciar, cauterised his wounds so severely that his sufferings became intense. He died ...
— The History of England - From the Accession of Henry III. to the Death of Edward III. (1216-1377) • T.F. Tout

... 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 ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... before, 320 I here discard my sickness! Soul of Rome! Brave son, deriv'd from honourable loins! Thou, like an exorcist, hast conjur'd up My mortified spirit. Now bid me run, And I will strive with things impossible; 325 Yea, get the better of them. What's to do? ...
— The New Hudson Shakespeare: Julius Caesar • William Shakespeare

... thoroughness of her German blood plus her American training. She came back minus her hat, and with her eyes carefully powdered, and not once during the morning was he able to meet her eyes fully. By the middle of the afternoon sex vanity and curiosity began to get the better of his judgment, and he made an excuse, when she stood beside him over some papers, her hand on the desk, to lay his fingers over hers. She drew her hand away quickly, and when he glanced up, boyishly smiling, her ...
— Dangerous Days • Mary Roberts Rinehart

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

... 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 was now ...
— A Voyage Towards the South Pole and Round the World, Volume 1 • James Cook

... sneers of ignorance or the attacks of envy, he began to despond, and flew to dissipation as a relief. For six weeks he was scarcely sober, and to show what a man does to gratify his appetites when once they get the better of him, he once covered his tongue and throat, as far as he could reach, with Cayenne pepper, in order to appreciate the "delicious coldness of claret in all ...
— Little Memoirs of the Nineteenth Century • George Paston

... minister that could get the better of 'em?" said Mrs. Boddington. "'Cos, if you did, I would like to go and sit under his preachin' a spell, and see what he could do ...
— Diana • Susan Warner

... W. Coventry into the Park, and there met the King and the Duke of York, and walked a good while with them: and here met Sir Jer. Smith, who tells me he is like to get the better of Holmes, and that when he is come to an end of that he will do Hollis's business for him in the House for his blasphemies; which I shall be glad of. So to White Hall, and there walked with this man and that man till chapel done and ...
— The Diary of Samuel Pepys • Samuel Pepys

... impossible? If any one were to make a pyre of aspen boughs, a hundred loads of them, and were to burn me on that pyre, then he'd be able to get the better of me. Only he'd have to look out sharp in burning me; for snakes and worms and different kinds of reptiles would creep out of my inside, and crows and magpies and jackdaws would come flying up. All these must be caught and flung on the pyre. If so much as a single maggot were ...
— Russian Fairy Tales - A Choice Collection of Muscovite Folk-lore • W. R. S. Ralston

... 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 ...
— Pope Adrian IV - An Historical Sketch • Richard Raby

... could not exercise it—namely, the sort of men who are born and bred in the Five Towns. His instinctive belief in the Five Towns as the sole cradle of hard practical common sense was never stronger than just now. You might by wiles get the better of London and America, but not of the Five Towns. If Rose Euclid were to go around and about the Five Towns trying to do the siren business, she would pretty soon discover that she was up against something rather special in the way of ...
— The Regent • E. Arnold Bennett

... a spider? The omen is appropriate. We will make her a woman spider—an Arachne that is worth looking at. But this strange beauty is one of the most obstinate of her sex, and if I let her carry out her bold visit in broad daylight she will get the better of me completely. The blood must first be washed from my hands here. The wounded sea eagle tore the skin with its claw, and I concealed the scratch from Daphne. A strip of linen to bandage it! Meanwhile, let the impatient intruder learn that her sign ...
— Uarda • Georg Ebers

... man; surely you are not tied to that fellow's apron-strings,' he said, removing himself from the close contiguity of Mr. Manylodes, and speaking under his voice; 'take my advice; if you once let that man think you fear him, you'll never get the better of him.' ...
— The Three Clerks • Anthony Trollope



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



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