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Say for example we are comparing the hotness of weather of two countries or cities. They are both hot, but one beats another one to a great extent. Lets say we are comparing Dubai to Death Valley. How can we say in short that Death Valley beats Dubai in hotness greatly? Something maybe in the form of:

Death Valley ____ Dubai in hotness!

But not necessarily confined to the form above, if there is a better way to deliver the meaning.

EDIT: In Persian for example we say something like:

Death Valley is so hot, it puts Dubai in its side pocket!
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5 Answers 5

up vote 3 down vote accepted

The following are forms in which the property of interest is clear from the context; one can use this method for almost any property. Optionally, to mention the property in the same sentence, add Dubai is hot, but..., or Death Valley is so hot, ... at the front of each form.

  • Dubai can't be compared to Death Valley. (Optional alternatives: "Death Valley is so hot, Dubai can hardly be compared to it" or "Death Valley is so hot, Dubai cannot hope to compare.")
  • Dubai can't hold a candle to Death Valley.
  • Death Valley is in a class of its own.
  • Death Valley puts Dubai in the shade.
  • Death Valley puts Dubai to shame. (Mostly used for things that are good. Things like 'skill', not 'heat'.)

Here are some forms where the property being compared must appear in the phrase:

  • Dubai is hot, but the heat in Death Valley is of another order of magnitude entirely.
  • Death Valley makes Dubai seem cool by comparison.
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I like all of your alternatives. But can we use them in other types of comparisons? For example comparing championship cups won by two football teams: "When it comes to world cups, Argentina can't hold a candle to Brazil!" Does it work? I'm looking for kind of a general idiom. The Persian example I gave can be used in almost all kinds of comparisons. –  aligf Feb 25 '12 at 16:17
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@aligf: The rewrite of my answer hopefully answers your question? I've made this community wiki, so everyone is welcome to add answers under the headings. (And, indeed, new headings entirely.) –  Esteis Feb 25 '12 at 16:44
    
Good idea to make it a community, thanks! –  aligf Feb 25 '12 at 18:46
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For OP's exact context, I think "puts Dubai in the shade" knocks all other alternatives into a cocked hat –  FumbleFingers Feb 26 '12 at 16:03
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It's a single word, not an idiom, but trounce could work. The word can mean to thrash physically, but it also means to defeat decisively in a competition.

  • In terms of heat, Death Valley trounces Dubai!
  • Dubai is hot, but Death Valley trounces Dubai.
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The word I most often encounter in this kind of comparison is beat (Coke beats Pepsi in taste tests), and I wonder why you don't consider that even though you use it in your question.

If you simply can't stand that word, another possibility is

trump
v.
beat (someone or something) by saying or doing something better: taste trumps most if not all other factors when consumers choose food products. [NOAD]

If you want to suggest that the difference is slight but real, you could use edges: Death Valley edges Dubai in temperature war. To suggest the difference is vast, substitute slaughters, annihilates, or a similar verb.

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In re 'to edge', wouldn't that be 'to have the edge on'? E.g. '(When it comes to temperature,) Death Valley has the edge on Dubai.' (Or 'to edge out', but that to my mind suggests actual competitions, be they sports or business.) –  Esteis Feb 25 '12 at 16:15
    
@Esteis: "Edges" is a familiar verb used by the writers of sports headlines in U.S. media to suggest a close final score: "Chicago edges Cleveland 1-0 in 10 innings" –  Robusto Feb 25 '12 at 16:21
    
Ahh, so the expression has gotten shortened. I'd missed that development. Ta for the heads-up! –  Esteis Feb 25 '12 at 16:27
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Triumphs over?

Exceeds or greatly exceeds?

Totally pwns? ;)

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"Totally pwns" is really good, but brings to mind MMORPG kind of rivarly between people! Is it used in other contexts, in comparing cities for example? –  aligf Feb 25 '12 at 16:04
    
@aligf: Sometimes, but only (1) in (very) informal situations, and (2) between people who know that they are both familiar with Internet culture. –  Esteis Feb 25 '12 at 16:26
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@Esteis, Nice ones those! I would probably have said it like: Death Valley is so hot that it puts Dubai right out of the competition.

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