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Difference between Come out on top and Come to the top

come out on topovercome difficulties; be victorious (over one’s competitors):

  • Although there were a lot of applicants, Henry was the one who came out on top.

come to the top

1. reach the top of a mountain, etc.:

  • The next little excitement was when we came to the top of the Grand Diable. One has to rope down it.

2. become most important:

  • Only the problem of traversing Kazakhstan prevented the khanates from coming to the top of the imperial agenda.