Is there a word that can describe something is good but not better than very few others? I have found the adjective competitive.

However, competitive seems not appropriate. Because it has a meaning that the compared stuff is the best.

For example: Joey gets 93 points in an exam. Rose gets 99. Chandler gets 88 points. Phoebe gets 89. Monica gets 98. Rachel gets 78.

Joey's result is not better than that of Rose and Monica, but better than that of Chandler, Phoebe, and Rachel. How do I describe Joey's result in a positive way?

What I used before is:

Joey gets a competitive result among the six people.

I'd prefer an adjective.

  • 1
    Midrange, adequate, second tier? "Regional powerhouse" for college sport teams.
    – user662852
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 11:15
  • third-best
    – Mari-Lou A
    Commented Aug 2, 2017 at 11:20
  • 1
    "Top-tier" and "competitive" both have positive connotations. "Adequate" and "acceptable" are much less positive. "Respectable" is probably what I would use to give it a very slight positive spin.
    – Solocutor
    Commented Jan 29, 2019 at 21:41
  • Midpack. C’s that get degrees.
    – Rusty Core
    Commented Mar 1, 2019 at 0:35
  • In this example i would go with "middling" (results)
    – Carly
    Commented Jul 30, 2019 at 0:18

3 Answers 3


The words "distinguishable", "notable", "honorable", "worthy", "admirable" and "laudable" would all be adjectives that suggest a place among a top tier of competitors, but also one that (probably) follows behind the few very highest of achievers.

Joey received a notable result among the six people.

https://www.thefreedictionary.com/distinguishable https://www.thefreedictionary.com/notable https://www.thefreedictionary.com/worthy https://www.thefreedictionary.com/honorable https://www.thefreedictionary.com/laudable


Perhaps "fine"? As in "Joey did fine on his exam". Or "This pizza is fine". It certainly doesn't carry any thought of the thing being bad - the thing is clearly acceptable, even slightly better than average, but it's not going to win any awards.


Joey got an A on his exam describes his result in a positive way, assuming scores of 90 or above receive a letter grade of A. Or you can say Joey got the third highest score on the exam.

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