improve

verb
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

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

Its conservatism pleases the right; workers gain a stake in capitalism’s future, which may improve their performance, and so that of the business. The Economist, "Blue-collar capitalists," 8 June 2019 The refurbishment included rebuilding crumbling foundations at the east and west entrances, improving drainage around the hall, instead of into it, and installing a new HVAC unit. Christina Hyder, baltimoresun.com, "Renovations almost complete at Carroll Baldwin Hall," 7 June 2019 The unionization wave, however, has raised minimum salaries, improved benefits and established work rules that were previously left to the discretion of managers. Paul Farhi, Washington Post, "Vox Media employees walk off the job in day-long effort to win new union contract," 7 June 2019 First Look The retailer is experimenting with digitization in one of its New York stores to manage it more efficiently, improve the shopping experience, and compete with Amazon. Christian Science Monitor, "Technology," 7 June 2019 Rory Linnane reports on public health and works to make information accessible so readers can improve their lives and hold officials accountable. Rory Linnane, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, "'Kids in Crisis' film on youth mental health attracts national attention with DVD giveaway, NewsHour segment," 7 June 2019 Gentle Tai Chi: This class is for those who want to improve their balance and learn techniques of the art of Tai Chi. courant.com, "Community News For The South Windsor Edition," 6 June 2019 The authors suggest that addressing the psychological effects of injury can improve health and reduce the negative outcomes of injury. Aneri Pattani, https://www.inquirer.com, "Nearly half of men hospitalized with physical injuries develop depression or PTSD, study suggests," 6 June 2019 One of the club's top priorities is to continue to show their commitment to improving, and tying down Van Dijk, who is widely viewed as one of the world's finest in his position, to a new, long-term deal would go a long way to helping their cause. SI.com, "Virgil van Dijk 'Tells Liverpool' of Desire to Sign New Contract After Incredible Season," 5 June 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

12 Jun 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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