verb im·prove \ im-ˈprüv \
|Updated on: 21 Aug 2018

Definition of improve

improved; improving
1 archaic : employ, use
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
3 : to use to good purpose
1 : to advance or make progress in what is desirable
2 : to make useful additions or amendments


play \(ˌ)im-ˌprü-və-ˈbi-lə-tē\ noun


play \(ˌ)im-ˈprü-və-bəl\ adjective



Examples of improve in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of improve from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology 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

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

IMPROVE Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of improve for English Language Learners

  • : to make (something) better

  • : to become better

IMPROVE Defined for Kids


verb im·prove \ im-ˈprüv \

Definition of improve for Students

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

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