im·​prove·​ment | \ im-ˈprüv-mənt How to pronounce improvement (audio) \

Definition of improvement

1 : the act or process of improving
2a : the state of being improved especially : enhanced value or excellence
b : an instance of such improvement : something that enhances value or excellence

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Synonyms & Antonyms for improvement


advance, advancement, breakthrough, enhancement, refinement



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Examples of improvement in a Sentence

Doctors were amazed by the sudden improvement in her medical condition. I've noticed a significant improvement in your work since the spring. The editor made some improvements to the article before it was printed. They spent the money on new kitchen cabinets and other home improvements.
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Recent Examples on the Web

After a sharp improvement in late 2017 and 2018, air quality in northern China has deteriorated again this winter. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "China Still Needs Your Coal, Australia," 22 Feb. 2019 Attanasio has never shied away from spending when his team is in a position to make a significant improvement. Andrew Wagner, The Seattle Times, "Moustakas has unfinished business in Milwaukee," 20 Feb. 2019 From Opening Ceremony to Versace to Vivienne Westwood, brands around the world have become a more welcoming place for models of all ethnic backgrounds, sizes, and gender identifications—but there is still plenty of improvement to be made. Steff Yotka, Vogue, "11 Reasons to Be Excited About The Year in Fashion," 4 Jan. 2019 Together with automating segment construction, this should offer a 15-fold improvement in drilling speed, Musk said. Megan Geuss, Ars Technica, "Ars takes a first tour of the length of The Boring Company’s test tunnel," 19 Dec. 2018 Yet despite the shocking results, the survey marked an improvement over last year, when 57 percent of Americans couldn’t name a single Supreme Court justice. Lukas Mikelionis, Fox News, "Name a Supreme Court justice? More than half of Americans can't, survey says," 30 Aug. 2018 That policy change has been hailed by the trans community as a major improvement in the process of obtaining corrected identity documents during a transition that includes gender marker changes (not all do). Lucy Diavolo, Teen Vogue, "Transgender People Share Their Passport Application Difficulties," 1 Aug. 2018 That machine fueled a 24-win improvement from the previous season, capped by the first playoff appearance since 2012. Marcus Hayes,, "Sixers top doctor Daniel Medina says his first year keeping Joel Embiid, Ben Simmons on the court was a success | Marcus Hayes," 9 July 2018 But others said the extra vetting and fingerprinting are meant to ensure that the adults who are given responsibility for the children have clean records — a necessary improvement in vetting those caring for the children. Liz Goodwin,, "Government begins returning migrant children to their parents," 6 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'improvement.' 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 improvement

circa 1550, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

7 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for improvement

The first known use of improvement was circa 1550

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More Definitions for improvement



English Language Learners Definition of improvement

: the act of improving something : the act or process of making something better
: the quality of being better than before
: an addition or change that makes something better or more valuable


im·​prove·​ment | \ im-ˈprüv-mənt How to pronounce improvement (audio) \

Kids Definition of improvement

1 : the act or process of making something better His cooking needs improvement.
2 : increased value or excellence I've noticed improvement in your work.
3 : an addition or change that makes something better or more valuable We made improvements to our house.



Legal Definition of improvement

: a usually permanent addition to or modification of real property that enhances its capital value and is distinguished from an ordinary repair in being designed to make the property more useful or valuable

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Comments on improvement

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