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

Food-stamp cuts Spending on food stamps has also dropped dramatically, although that's partly due to an improving economy that's lifting household income. Aimee Picchi, CBS News, "Why the U.S. may soon spend more on its debt than on kids," 17 Sep. 2019 The family’s treatment shocked some members of the community, and a group of them tried to convince the Holders that the situation would improve, now that a light had been shined on it. oregonlive, "How Coos Bay’s ‘All-American girl’ became a daring skyjacker, then disappeared into 1970s underground," 16 Sep. 2019 On the workers’ side, an improving economy has made more traditional jobs more plentiful, and so those who prefer to have work with benefits and predictable pay can more easily find it. Neil Irwin, New York Times, "Maybe We’re Not All Going to Be Gig Economy Workers After All," 15 Sep. 2019 The problem is partly one by design; Ferdinand Piech specifically wanted Audi, Porsche, and Volkswagen to each develop software independently, the idea being that internal competition could improve the breed. Jonathan M. Gitlin, Ars Technica, "Volkswagen’s bold plan to create a new car operating system," 13 Sep. 2019 For example, a study published in July 2019 found that studying a foreign language in older adulthood improves overall cognitive functioning. Roger J. Kreuz, Quartz, "The one skill that doesn’t deteriorate with age," 13 Sep. 2019 Self-myofascial release releases tension in the muscles to improve mobility. Hayden Carpenter, Outside Online, "7 Exercises for Stronger Hamstrings," 13 Sep. 2019 Siemek is confident that Crosby can improve upon its 9-5 district record from last season. Elliott Lapin, Houston Chronicle, "Volleyball: Up next, district play for Crosby," 12 Sep. 2019 That'll improve once hardware catches up to the latest Bluetooth 5.1 spec, but for now, UWB is more accurate by orders of magnitude. Wired, "The Biggest iPhone News Is a Tiny New Chip Inside It," 12 Sep. 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 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

2 Oct 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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