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 improve (audio) \ noun
improvable \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprü-​və-​bəl How to pronounce improve (audio) \ adjective
improver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for improve



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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 Biden and senior administration officials said the vice president will lead diplomatic efforts in the region, working alongside other leaders to help improve immigration enforcement by other countries at home. Katherine Doyle, Washington Examiner, "White House seeks to right 'confusion' surrounding Kamala Harris's migrant crisis role," 29 Mar. 2021 Doing something for yourself like updating your look or having a personal spa day may also help to improve your mental outlook. Tarot Astrologers,, "Daily horoscope for March 28, 2021," 28 Mar. 2021 In a world where everything seems virtual, especially school, a group of Wayland students held a hackathon on Friday and Saturday to help improve online learning, with ideas contributed from kids around the globe., "Wayland students bring hackathon online, look at ways to improve remote learning," 28 Mar. 2021 Biden promised better media access to the camps — once his administration has a better handle on things — as well as improvements to the nation’s immigration system and U.S. help to improve conditions in the migrants’ home countries. Jonathan Lemire, Anchorage Daily News, "Biden leaves door open for change in Senate procedures to move his agenda forward," 26 Mar. 2021 Scientists say an upgrade to the National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration’s Global Forecast System weather model, also known as GFS, will help improve track and intensity forecasting for storms as well as landfall locations. Chris Perkins,, "Experts say hurricane forecasting will be better this year. Here’s why.," 25 Mar. 2021 Shipping companies have been turning to mega-sized vessels to help improve economies of scale, while some key routes -- including the Suez Canal -- being widened and deepened over the years to accommodate them. Fortune, "A ship longer than the Eiffel Tower runs aground in Suez Canal, roiling global trade," 24 Mar. 2021 The Netherlands team hope that this week's start of the World Cup qualifiers in Europe will highlight the plight of migrant workers in Qatar and help to improve their working conditions. Reuters, CNN, "Netherlands hope to highlight Qatar migrant workers' situation," 24 Mar. 2021 Despite the similar design and identical weight of 9 grams per earbud, the new MW08 earphones use upgraded 11mm Beryllium drivers that help improve sound quality as well as clarity. Zach Epstein, BGR, "Review: After 2 weeks, I still can’t believe how good Master & Dynamic’s new MW08 earphones are," 23 Mar. 2021

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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Time Traveler for improve

Time Traveler

The first known use of improve was in 1509

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Statistics for improve

Last Updated

5 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 13 Apr. 2021.

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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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Comments on improve

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