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verb im·prove \im-ˈprüv\

Simple Definition of improve

  • : to make (something) better

  • : to become better

Full Definition of improve


  1. transitive verb
  2. 1 archaic :  employ, use

  3. 2 a :  to enhance in value or quality :  make better b :  to increase the value of (land or property) by making it more useful for humans (as by cultivation or the erection of buildings) c :  to grade and drain (a road) and apply surfacing material other than pavement

  4. 3 :  to use to good purpose

  5. intransitive verb
  6. 1 :  to advance or make progress in what is desirable

  7. 2 :  to make useful additions or amendments

im·prov·abil·i·ty play \(ˌ)im-ˌprü-və-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun
im·prov·able play \-ˈprü-və-bəl\ adjective
im·prov·er noun

Examples of improve

  1. This operation will greatly improve her chances of survival.

  2. The advertising campaign has improved sales.

  3. Maybe we'll buy a house when our financial situation improves.

  4. Her writing has improved since the beginning of the school year.

  5. The company has been having steadily improving sales.

Origin of improve

Middle English improuen, emprouen, from Anglo-French emprouer to make profit from, from French en- + pru, prou advantage, from Late Latin prode — more at proud

First Known Use: circa 1529

Synonym Discussion of improve

improve, better, help, ameliorate mean to make more acceptable or to bring nearer a standard. improve and better are general and interchangeable and apply to what can be made better whether it is good or bad <measures to further improve the quality of medical care> <immigrants hoping to better their lot>. help implies a bettering that still leaves room for improvement <a coat of paint would help that house>. ameliorate implies making more tolerable or acceptable conditions that are hard to endure <tried to ameliorate the lives of people in the tenements>.

Seen and Heard

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February 8, 2016

to clear from accusation or blame

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