bet·​ter-off ˌbe-tə-ˈrȯf How to pronounce better-off (audio)
: being in comfortable economic circumstances
the better-off people live in the older section of town
: being in a more advantageous position

Examples of better-off in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Unlike their better-off friends, their use of private vehicles hasn’t budged. Andrew Van Dam, Washington Post, 2 Feb. 2024 It's said the better-off will get more than the less well-off from their vouchers; but at least the less well-off can choose a better school for their kids, and break them free from the lifetime consequences of being three grade levels behind in reading. Arkansas Online, 17 Oct. 2023 Slightly better-off Gazans are donating bags of rice and scraps of wood to encampments at UNRWA schools so that evacuees can cook plain rice on campfires and feed dozens. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 16 Oct. 2023 That doesn’t mean that low-income people get higher benefits than better-off people do. Tom Margenau, Dallas News, 6 Aug. 2023 Here, the better-off do not serve food to those without. Jordan Gale Jan Hoffman, New York Times, 31 July 2023 The author makes the discomfiting argument that better-off Americans benefit, whether knowingly or unknowingly, from the impoverishment of their fellow citizens. Barbara Spindel, The Christian Science Monitor, 28 Apr. 2023 Democrats say the latest Republican plan would largely favor companies and better-off households. Josh Boak,, 19 June 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'better-off.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

1840, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of better-off was in 1840

Dictionary Entries Near better-off

Cite this Entry

“Better-off.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 1 Mar. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on better-off

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