im·prove | \ im-ˈprüv \
improved; improving

Definition of improve 

transitive verb

1 archaic : employ, use

2a : 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

3 : to use to good purpose

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 \ noun
improvable \(ˌ)im-ˈprü-və-bəl \ 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

County officials learned months later that the water district in February approved a plan to remove discarded sand left over from the former sand-mining operation, with the goal of restoring the land to improve the conservation property. Jerry Fallstrom,, "Lake imposes weight limits on trucks in response to massive sand-removal plan," 12 July 2018 This, Health notes, is one way to improve your mental health, and that may be right. Sarah Conboy, Teen Vogue, "Kayla Itsines on Compliments and Mental Health," 11 July 2018 Enhance existing crossing: Beef up the water taxi or ferry, or find some other way to improve the crossing using existing infrastructure. Brittany Wallman,, "State forges ahead with New River pedestrian bridge or tunnel," 11 July 2018 Up next: The Royals, who improved to 26-65, will close this series against the Twins at 12:10 p.m. Wednesday. Maria Torres, kansascity, "‘Fun-to-watch’ Mondesi continues to progress as Royals snap losing streak, beat Twins," 10 July 2018 This is an ongoing way for towns to improve towns in the ways the town decides. Kitty Leshay, Courant Community, "Sustainable CT: A Helping Hand To Vibrant Communities," 10 July 2018 Prisco Community Center will also be getting an elevator in the fall to improve accessibility, according to Ijams. Jessie Spangler, Aurora Beacon-News, "Expansion project at Prisco Community Center in Aurora to be completed this month," 9 July 2018 Going big The best way to improve imagery on these traditional scopes is to increase the diameter of the mirror catching light. Scott K. Johnson, Ars Technica, "Building the world’s highest-resolution telescope," 9 July 2018 Manufacturers and services firms have said in recent surveys that their business is improving despite anxiety about the tariff showdown between the United States and China. Josh Boak,, "US economy added 213,000 jobs in June," 6 July 2018

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 2a

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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Phrases Related to improve

improve on/upon

Statistics for improve

Last Updated

18 Sep 2018

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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 \
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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to make amends

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