When we're comparing two or more things, there are times when we have to weigh the advantages or disadvantages of each one.

There are other times when one of the things is better for every way in which it's being judged, and the final decision is not based upon trade-offs. I know that I've heard a phrase for this (I want to say it was two words), but I've had no luck in remembering it.

I don't think 'clearly superior' or 'clear winner' quite fit the bill, as that might still suggest that the disadvantages are significantly outweighed by the advantages.

Is there such a phrase, or even a single word, that would convey this meaning without using idioms?

  • Outstanding?...
    – user66974
    Jan 3, 2015 at 21:22
  • 1
    Perhaps 'superlative'? Jan 3, 2015 at 21:29
  • 2
    "Better across the board" indicates superiority on every criterion or measure used in assessing the two or more things. This is quite rare in actual practice—at least when the price of the item is one of the criteria considered—since the better performer usually costs more, especially if it performs better in every respect.
    – Sven Yargs
    Jan 4, 2015 at 6:09

3 Answers 3


Dominated - typically used in game theory.

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    Welcome to English Language & Usage @Ryan. We're looking for answers with more detail. Can you edit your post to explain how it answers the question?
    – user63230
    Jan 4, 2015 at 12:43
  • I realize now that your game theory mention was the clue. I believe I was trying to remember 'dominant solution'.
    – Joe
    Oct 28, 2015 at 1:27


A beats B on every count.

There's nothing necessarily wrong in describing A as 'clearly superior' or 'the clear winner' if the context makes it clear that A is completely devoid of deficiencies.


The verb trump is used to mean

(transitive) to outdo or surpass


It is often used in the phrase trump the competition

  • But "trump" doesn't actually mean "better". It's often a case of "wins because of some obscure rule". Like how your younger brother's soccer game might trump your plans for the weekend.
    – Joe
    Apr 12, 2021 at 11:27

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