improve

verb
im·​prove | \ im-ˈprüv How to pronounce improve (audio) \
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 How to pronounce improvability (audio) \ noun
improvable \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprü-​və-​bəl How to pronounce improvable (audio) \ adjective
improver noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for improve

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

worsen

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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

Some critics said the new proposals may not necessarily improve the standard of audits. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Lawmakers Propose ‘Structural Break-Up’ of Big Four Accounting Firms," 2 Apr. 2019 The state had fought before to require larger cages, but the past law had enough loopholes that conditions didn’t really improve. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "2018’s big wins — and big losses — for animals," 24 Dec. 2018 In our family, resistance means to always put the truth before yourself and this drove me to improve my life as a young black immigrant woman, as well as the lives of all black people across the Diaspora, by becoming an activist. Kanyinsola Oye, Teen Vogue, "A Love Letter to My Immigrant Mother, From Her Activist Daughter," 29 Mar. 2019 These include improving data insights at Sephora to boost personalization and customer loyalty capabilities, among other projects. Angus Loten, WSJ, "Arby’s Parent Taps Sephora Executive as CIO," 27 Mar. 2019 With hyperburst, the G11’s recoil buffer prevented a strong recoil impulse from the three rounds, greatly improving accuracy over normal full-auto fire. Matthew Moss, Popular Mechanics, "We Got Our Hands on an HK G11, the Space-Age Rifle That Never Was," 20 Mar. 2019 While the once-a-day remedy may be acquired in a stronger prescription form, many effective over-the-counter remedies, like L'Oréal's Revitalift Cicacream are gentler and work well to improve skin tone and texture. Jenna Rennert, Vogue, "5 Drugstore Beauty Staples Every Woman Should Own," 1 Mar. 2019 The Kilpatrick eliminates a tool and a step while improving upon the only bar strainer on the market. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "This Product Will Revolutionize The Art of Cocktail Mixing," 20 Feb. 2019 That's why the Duchess of Sussex recently became the royal patron of Smart Works, a UK charity that helps women return to work by offering them coaching and professional clothes to improve their confidence. Caroline Picard, Good Housekeeping, "This $20 Meghan Markle Look-Alike Dress Has Over 1,000 Rave Reviews," 11 Feb. 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 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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Statistics for improve

Last Updated

17 Apr 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

improve

verb

English Language Learners Definition of improve

: to make (something) better
: to become better

improve

verb
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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