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 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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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 Through that mechanism, ETFs can actually improve price efficiency and quality in the underlying asset market. Patrick Augustin, Fortune, "If the SEC doesn’t regulate crypto assets, a new shadow finance industry could emerge," 8 May 2021 The Shamrocks improve to 21-1 while Oldham County falls to 12-5. Dominique Yates, The Courier-Journal, "No. 1 Trinity baseball uses strong pitching to move past No. 18 Oldham County," 8 May 2021 Perhaps the next model year will improve on this aspect. Kyle Edward, Forbes, "2021 KIA K5 GT Review: Power And Poise, But Needs Precision," 8 May 2021 Exercise can improve your outlook in July and August, when high spirits may need an appropriate outlet. Tribune Content Agency, oregonlive, "Horoscope for May 7, 2021: Leo, faith in others is restored; Virgo, a tough job may be almost done," 7 May 2021 These chews will improve mobility and ease discomfort while packing your dog with vitamins and minerals. Chris Hachey, BGR, "Best Hip and Joint Supplement for Senior Dogs," 7 May 2021 That bill would improve disclosure rules for online political ads and require platforms to maintain a public database of political ads shown to their users. Ann M. Ravel For Cnn Business Perspectives, CNN, "Trump is banned for now, but Facebook still needs to change its policies," 7 May 2021 Events like Buddies & Bobbers also improve young people’s social skills, self-esteem and perceptions of older adults., "Community News For The Farmington Valley Edition," 7 May 2021 Reliable vaccine access could improve even further next week when the W.H.O. considers another Chinese shot, made by a company called Sinovac. New York Times, "China’s Vaccine Diplomacy Just Got a Big Win. But Can the Country Deliver?," 7 May 2021

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

11 May 2021

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 17 May. 2021.

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More Definitions for improve



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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