im·​prove | \ im-ˈprüv How to pronounce improve (audio) \
improved; improving

Definition of improve

transitive verb

1a : 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
2 : to use to good purpose
3 archaic : employ, use

intransitive verb

1 : to advance or make progress in what is desirable
2 : to make useful additions or amendments

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Other Words from improve

improvability \ (ˌ)im-​ˌprü-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce improvability (audio) \ noun
improvable \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprü-​və-​bəl How to pronounce improvable (audio) \ adjective
improver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for improve


ameliorate, amend, better, enhance, enrich, help, meliorate, perfect, refine, upgrade



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Choose the Right Synonym for 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

Examples of improve in a Sentence

This operation will greatly improve her chances of survival. The advertising campaign has improved sales. Maybe we'll buy a house when our financial situation improves. Her writing has improved since the beginning of the school year. The company has been having steadily improving sales.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Seven Lakes improved to 2-1 with a 38-14 victory against Fort Bend Austin. Jack Marrion, Houston Chronicle, "Katy ISD football excelling in Week 3," 14 Sep. 2019 Westminster Christian 39, Lexington 0 The Wildcats improved to 2-2 and 1-1 in 3A region 8 with a 39-0 win over Lexington. Reports, al, "Huntsville Week 4 HS football roundup: Buckhorn, Madison County, Priceville win," 14 Sep. 2019 The Aztecs improved their lead to 14-0 five minutes into the second quarter Byrd completed a 50-yard drive with a 1-yard touchdown run. San Diego Union-Tribune, "New Mexico natives lead Aztecs to 31-10 win at New Mexico State," 14 Sep. 2019 The Green Terror improved to 2-1, and sophomore goalie Katherine Carstensen made three saves for her first shutout of the season, and McDaniel outshot the Spartans 18-6. Pat Stoetzer,, "McDaniel Notebook: Stefanelli has solid return for Green Terror football," 9 Sep. 2019 Hartford improves to 6-18-4 and is in 15th place in the Eastern Conference with 22 points, just behind Loudoun (6-13-6) with 24 points. Staff Report,, "Hartford Athletic wallops Loudoun United 5-1," 8 Sep. 2019 Matt Coghlin improved to 7-for-7 on field goals with three more, and new kickoff specialist Evan Morris had a busy day with four touchbacks on nine kickoffs. Chris Solari, Detroit Free Press, "Michigan State football grades: Hard to complain in easy win over Western Michigan," 8 Sep. 2019 Arizona State soccer improved to 5-0 Friday with a 3-1 win over UC Irvine in Tucson. Jeff Metcalfe, azcentral, "ASU soccer beats UC Irvine, improving to 5-0," 6 Sep. 2019 Despite being sacked five times, Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers improved to 17-5 in the regular season against the Bears. Stacey Wescott,, "The best images from the Bears’ lackluster 10-3 loss to the Packers at Soldier Field in Week 1," 6 Sep. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'improve.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of improve

1509, in the meaning defined at transitive sense 1a

History and Etymology for 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

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Statistics for improve

Last Updated

18 Sep 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for improve

The first known use of improve was in 1509

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More Definitions for improve



English Language Learners Definition of improve

: to make (something) better
: to become better


im·​prove | \ im-ˈprüv How to pronounce improve (audio) \
improved; improving

Kids Definition of improve

: to make or become better Her writing has greatly improved.

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More from Merriam-Webster on improve

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for improve

Spanish Central: Translation of improve

Nglish: Translation of improve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of improve for Arabic Speakers

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authorized for issue (as a bond)

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