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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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 There were a lot of efforts by central banks to try to make changes that can improve resilience. Gregory Barber, Wired, "A Mathematician’s Guide to How Contagion Spreads," 7 July 2020 Put your heads together and make wise joint decisions that improve your lifestyle. oregonlive, "Horoscope for July 4, 2020: Gemini, take pride in patriotic events; Aquarius, expect unexpected visitors," 4 July 2020 The two leaders also emphasized the importance of preserving existing arms control agreements and the need to improve trust and predictability in the military sphere, the Kremlin said. Washington Post, "Putin, Macron discuss closer cooperation in video call," 26 June 2020 Try flaxseeds and chia seeds for foods that improve memory, suggests Mirkin. Nicole Clancy, Better Homes & Gardens, "7 of the Best Brain Foods to Improve Your Memory and Concentration," 25 June 2020 The map upgrade will also include more detailed looks at bike lanes, giving people better directions for bike rides, which could also improve the safety of their rides. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, "Apple Just Announced New Features For Your iPhone — Here’s What We Love in iOS14," 23 June 2020 Policy changes -- including Medicaid expansion -- could improve matters, said Gilbert Darrington, chief executive of Health Services Inc., the Montgomery operator of the Hayneville clinic and others that offer care on a sliding scale. Margaret Newkirk,, "Rural Alabama County Fights Virus Outbreak With Just One Doctor," 23 June 2020 Lucidity Institute psychophysiologist Stephen LaBerge, who has spent decades researching the science behind awakening in your dreams, points to studies where the visual imagery produced during lucid dreaming could improve physical and mental health. Carly Mallenbaum, USA TODAY, "Does lucid dreaming work? How I tried to fix bad dreams brought on by the coronavirus age," 19 June 2020 The Dead Sea is located at the lowest sea level of any body of water on earth, and is full of minerals that supposedly improve your skin. Popular Science, "Clay masks to improve skin clarity and make you feel fancy," 19 June 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

2 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Aug. 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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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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