Using Best as a verb

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A reader from Hyderabad – India writes :

I came across the sentence :

  • Mariam bested the favourite athletes and she won the race.

  • From the context I understand that the word
    best is used as a verb. Can the word best be used as a verb?

    Please explain the meaning of the word with some sample sentences.

    The word
    best means to achieve victory or success. To best someone means to do better than the opponent in a contest.

    Here are some examples :

    • Web 2.0 has bested Jai Ho, N00b and Slumdog as the millionth English word or phrase.

    • My goal was to best the competition.

    • At last I bested my brother, who has been a chess champion for years, in a chess contest.

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