Etymology
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outdo (v.)

also out-do, "exceed, surpass, perform beyond," c. 1600, from out- + do (v.). Related: Outdone, outdoing.

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outfox (v.)

"outwit, outdo in deception or cunning," 1939, from out- + fox. Related: Outfoxed; outfoxing.

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best (v.)
"to get the better of, outdo, surpass," 1863, from best (adj.). Related: Bested; besting.
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beggar (v.)
"reduce to poverty," mid-15c., from beggar (n.). From c. 1600 as "exceed the means of," hence "to outdo." Related: Beggared; beggaring.
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better (v.)
Old English *beterian "improve, amend, make better," from Proto-Germanic *batizojan (source also of Old Frisian beteria, Dutch beteren, Old Norse betra, Old High German baziron, German bessern), from *batizo- (see better (adj.)). Meaning "exceed, surpass, outdo" is from 1540s. Related: Bettered; bettering.
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overmatch (v.)

late 14c., overmacchen, "be more than a match for, defeat, excel, outdo, surpass," from over- + match (v.). Burton ("Anatomy of Melancholy," 1621) has it in the sense of "to give in marriage above one's station." Related: Overmatched; overmatching.

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transcend (v.)
mid-14c., "escape inclusion in; lie beyond the scope of," from Old French transcendre "transcend, surpass," and directly from Latin transcendere "climb over or beyond, surmount, overstep," from trans "across, beyond" (see trans-) + scandere "to climb" (see scan (v.)). Meanings "be surpassing, outdo, excel; surmount, move beyond" are from early 15c. Related: Transcended; transcending.
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cap (v.)

c. 1400, "to put a cap on," from cap (n.); meaning "cover as with a cap" is from c. 1600. Figurative sense of "complete, consummate, bring to a climax" is from 1580s; that of "go one better, outdo, excel" is by 1821. Related: Capped; capping. To cap verses (1610s) was "to quote alternately verses each beginning with the same letter with which the last ended."

The capping of Latin verses is a common game in classical schools. No verse may be used twice, and no hesitation or delay is permitted; so that a moderate proficiency in the game supposes several thousand verses arranged in the memory alphabetically. [Century Dictionary, 1895]
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