Consider the following English sentence (from The Science of Power by Benjamin Kidd):

In the social struggle he has trained himself to see, in the devouring tyrannies closing on the worsted, the natural law of efficiency.

Does "the worsted" stand for efficiency here, as it removes unevenness from wool cloth?

  • Hi @Tsundoku, thank you for migrating my question, it is a sentence from a non-fiction work called The Science of Power by Benjamin Kidd. – Bastonje Jan 25 at 19:36

Here is some more context https://www.amazon.com/Science-Power-Benjamin-Kidd/dp/0342707108#customerReviews

He is talking about war. It seems that the worsted are those who came out worst in the conflict, i.e. they are the losers. They are people whose lives have been made worse.

I believe that the author has simply adapted the word "bested". Someone who has been bested in a fight is the loser. "Worsted" certainly sounds more descriptive of a loser!

Meaning of bested in English

bested past simple and past participle of best best verb [ T ]
formal UK /best/ US /best/
to defeat someone in a fight or competition: He bested his opponent in just two rounds. https://dictionary.cambridge.org/dictionary/english/bested

  • Thank you for your answer and the provided meaning of bested. I haven't looked at it in that way and thought it was the noun worsted. What you are saying actually makes more sense. – Bastonje Mar 21 at 18:28

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