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



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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 Ski buses will run a full schedule amid the pandemic, but will limit ridership to 20 people per bus, require face masks and will open a front and back window — and use filters — to improve and clean air circulation. Lee Davidson, The Salt Lake Tribune, "UTA tweaks schedules on Sunday, launches new fare structure on Tuesday," 27 Nov. 2020 The highly efficient design uses thermal ventilation to improve performance and reduce heat while in use. Rl Theriot, Chron, "Relax your muscles and your wallet with the Actigun Percussion Massager at Black Friday prices," 25 Nov. 2020 Palantir’s ability to improve the operating system and identify additional use cases for it. Daniel Tenreiro, National Review, "Palantir’s Eye-Popping Rally," 25 Nov. 2020 To make this model work, Alexandria would also need to spend an additional $5,000 per month improve its Internet access, as well as somewhere between $300,000 to $400,000 to buy and install the necessary classroom cameras and other accessories. Washington Post, "Alexandria City Public Schools switches back to online learning until early 2021," 24 Nov. 2020 In total, 43 Illinois museums will be receiving a total of $22.8 million in Illinois Public Museum Capital Grants to fund various capital improvements to improve their facilities and develop new exhibits. . Steve Schering,, "Oak Park’s Pleasant Home receives $421k state grant to help fund geothermal project," 23 Nov. 2020 In previous recessions, many who lost their jobs pursued two-year degrees to improve their skills and quickly re-enter the workforce. Ryan Faircloth, Star Tribune, "Minnesota community colleges are losing students during the COVID-19 pandemic," 23 Nov. 2020 The biggest thing was to improve and get better each and every week. Khobi Price,, "FAU’s Willie Taggart: How successful 2020 season is depends on progress, not final record," 23 Nov. 2020 Thompson maintained that the department wants to continually improve and hopes the public offers grace to its police force. Brieanna J. Frank, The Arizona Republic, "Retiring Phoenix police spokesman Sgt. Tommy Thompson reflects on 37-year career," 22 Nov. 2020

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

30 Nov 2020

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 5 Dec. 2020.

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More Definitions for improve


How to pronounce improve (audio)

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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