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

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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

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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

Chefs in the second category spend their time seeking out the most talented farmers, fishermen, and artisans, but as American food has steadily improved, the chefs who rely on great products have been forced to work harder to surprise us. Ruth Reichl, Town & Country, "This Scarlet Prawn Is the Best Seafood You Can Eat," 30 Jan. 2019 Public-health obesity policies should prioritize fighting the over-consumption of low-quality food and improving the food environment. Julia Belluz, Vox, "The science is in: exercise won’t help you lose much weight," 2 Jan. 2019 Density means shorter commutes and less driving, leading to less congestion, fewer road fatalities, and improved health outcomes from cleaner air. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "As cities confront climate change, is density the answer?," 11 Dec. 2018 Chromo therapy, or color therapy, is the increasingly popular practice of using color to stimulate positive emotion and improve mental health. Lucia Tonelli, ELLE Decor, "14 Calming Paint Colors That Will Change the Way You Live," 9 Jan. 2019 Eating lots of fiber in general can help improve digestion, lower cholesterol and blood sugar levels, and promote a healthy weight. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Fact: Cabbage Packs the Same Nutritional Benefits as Kale," 7 Jan. 2019 Other cities have adopted similar laws Seattle’s law is being challenged as more and more cities adopt similar, proactive programs to help improve rental inspections. Patrick Sisson, Curbed, "Seattle’s mandatory rental inspection law challenged in lawsuit," 6 Dec. 2018 Studies show that filling your plate with veggies and nuts helps improve chronic inflammation and insulin sensitivity. Karen Asp, Woman's Day, "3 Ways to Lower Your Odds of Diabetes, According to Experts," 15 Nov. 2018 On Thursday, North Korea accused the U.S. in a state-media commentary of failing to change its hostile policy toward Pyongyang and of thwarting efforts by North and South Korea to improve cross-border relations. Andrew Jeong, WSJ, "North Korean Diplomat in Rome Disappears," 3 Jan. 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

6 Feb 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 \
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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