improve

verb
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

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

These methods will improve circulation to the area and the ice will help the skin heal faster by forcing blood vessels to constrict. Jasmine Gomez, Seventeen, "Do Hickeys Hurt?," 3 May 2019 High bone density, a hemoglobin that boosts malaria resistance, and a third retinal cone that improves color vision are some human examples. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "Could Shark DNA Help Fight Cancer in Humans?," 22 Feb. 2019 The government has been investing in infrastructure that will improve the visitor experience, and a number of luxury hotels opened in Shanghai this year, from the Bulgari to the Middle House. Ella Riley-adams, Vogue, "Vogue’s Top 5 Travel Stories of 2018," 24 Dec. 2018 This, in turn, impedes the widespread establishment of schools, hospitals, and other societal structures that could improve the health and overall well-being of the inhabitants. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "New study gives some handy tips on how to survive on Game of Thrones," 9 Dec. 2018 Lockheed Martin, which makes both systems, says the PDAS improves missile warning capability for pilots. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Thanks to F-35 Tech, V-280 Tiltrotor Pilots Will Soon See in All Directions," 18 Apr. 2019 Dortmund was producing a spectacle of attacking football but Mainz improved late in the first half when Karim Onisiwo struck the post. Ciaran Fahey, The Seattle Times, "Dortmund hangs on to beat Mainz 2-1, reclaim Bundesliga lead," 13 Apr. 2019 Some critics said the new proposals may not necessarily improve the standard of audits. Nina Trentmann, WSJ, "U.K. Lawmakers Propose ‘Structural Break-Up’ of Big Four Accounting Firms," 2 Apr. 2019 The state had fought before to require larger cages, but the past law had enough loopholes that conditions didn’t really improve. Kelsey Piper, Vox, "2018’s big wins — and big losses — for animals," 24 Dec. 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.

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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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Statistics for improve

Last Updated

15 May 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 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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