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

Other Words from improve

improvability \ (ˌ)im-​ˌprü-​və-​ˈbi-​lə-​tē How to pronounce improve (audio) \ noun
improvable \ (ˌ)im-​ˈprü-​və-​bəl How to pronounce improve (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.
Recent Examples on the Web Tourism funding, which comes from parking fees, hotel taxes and the city convention center, is expected to improve to 85% of pre-pandemic levels in fiscal year 2023. Emily Opilo, Baltimore Sun, 23 June 2022 StubHub’s platform underwent an upgrade June 6 in what was expected to improve its capabilities. Meghan Montemurro, Chicago Tribune, 17 June 2022 In regards to modern consumer demand, industry-leading banks have used R&D to improve mobile banking apps in an effort to speed up transactions and bolster customer service. Mara Garcia, Forbes, 17 June 2022 The committee's hearing is set to focus on how to improve infrastructure in the unincorporated colonias. Tyler Olson, Fox News, 17 June 2022 Last year, carmakers built 10 million fewer vehicles because of the chip shortage, according to LMC Automotive, but supplies were expected to improve in the second half of this year. Anna Cooban And Uliana Pavlova, CNN, 17 June 2022 India launched a national program to improve air quality in 2019, with the aim of reducing pollution levels by 20 to 30 percent from 2017 levels by 2024. Claire Parker, Washington Post, 15 June 2022 Masavi Perea, from a local climate justice advocacy group called Chispa AZ, said the city could convert its buses to electric to improve air quality in south Phoenix. Taylor Seely, The Arizona Republic, 14 June 2022 The Chargers have struggled on the defensive side of the ball during Herbert’s tenure, but that’s expected to improve in 2022. oregonlive, 14 June 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of improve was in 1509

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improved cylinder

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Last Updated

28 Jun 2022

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 2 Jul. 2022.

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More Definitions for improve


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on improve

Nglish: Translation of improve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of improve for Arabic Speakers


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