improve

verb
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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Synonyms

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

Antonyms

worsen

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

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.
See More

Recent Examples on the Web

But as the economy improves and the cost of living increases, workers are struggling to pay their bills. Alexia Fernández Campbell, Vox, "Voters just gave nearly 1 million workers a raise in 2 red states," 7 Nov. 2018 This is the pinnacle of the X-Series so far, improving upon the X-T2 with more advanced autofocus, blazing-fast continuous shooting, and video output that firmly puts it in the same conversation as Sony and Panasonic. Chris Welch, The Verge, "Fujifilm X-T3 review: the do-everything camera," 24 Oct. 2018 Vitamin C Everyone touts vitamin C for its abilities to ward off colds and flu, but this potent antioxidant may also improve skin's texture and appearance. Amy Capetta, Woman's Day, "5 Anti-Aging Supplements That May Actually Work," 16 Oct. 2018 Evidence suggests foam rolling can effectively reduce muscle soreness while improving range of motion. SELF, "7 Smart Things You Can Do to Proactively Prevent Running Injuries," 26 Sep. 2018 The local regional governor has threatened to shut the facility unless the government improves conditions. Fox News, "The Latest: EU says Libya responsible for rescue ship," 25 Sep. 2018 The Ketone Connection Is fasting better at improving people’s health than CR? Mark Barna, Discover Magazine, "Not So Fast," 24 Sep. 2018 More than 150 years later, our method for tracking and fighting outbreaks is still much the same, although our tools have improved since 1854. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "NASA Is Tracking Disease Outbreaks From Space—And Trying To Prevent the Next One," 30 Aug. 2018 At the same time, demand for housing has risen aggressively as the economy and employment have improved. Jeff Andrews, Curbed, "Is the housing market starting to cool off?," 2 Aug. 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.

See More

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

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about improve

Statistics for improve

Last Updated

13 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for improve

The first known use of improve was in 1509

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

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 \
improved; improving

Kids Definition of improve

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

Keep scrolling for more

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

Comments on improve

What made you want to look up improve? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

playful or foolish behavior

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Autumn Words of the Day 2018

  • a-top-down-image-of-road-through-an-autumn-forest
  • Which is a synonym of fugacious?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!