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

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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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.
Recent Examples on the Web These devices gently stream a saline solution through your nasal passages to reduce congestion, improve breathing and can relieve sinus pressure. Marc Saltzman, USA TODAY, 30 July 2022 In her most recent role there as SEO Editor, Lauren also led efforts to improve and expand seasonal holiday content, writing about hosting, entertaining, and gifting in relation to all major holidays. Lauren Phillips, Better Homes & Gardens, 30 July 2022 Caring for plants can reduce stress and anxiety, improve mood and concentration, and boosts confidence. Erica Sweeney, Good Housekeeping, 29 July 2022 This is whole-plant extract that helps reduce anxiety, improve sleep, and relieve inflammatory pain. Chris Hachey, BGR, 28 July 2022 The celebration is designed to inform Lake Erie lovers what the organization is doing to improve and enhance Lake Erie. D'arcy Egan, cleveland, 28 July 2022 With another prospect on this list, Hodge, slinging Ruffin the rock this fall, expect for the receiver to improve upon his sophomore year stats and draw attention from more college coaches in the months to come. The Courier-Journal, 28 July 2022 Mexico doubled down on this idea at the end of the 18th century, taking over largely indigenous neighborhoods on the outskirts of Mexico City and implementing a gridded street system to improve and modernize them. Whitney Eulich, The Christian Science Monitor, 26 July 2022 The money could be used to fight invasive species, complete restoration projects, improve water quality, and protect against flood damage. Caitlin Looby, Journal Sentinel, 25 July 2022 See More

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.

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

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The first known use of improve was in 1509

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improved cylinder

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Last Updated

3 Aug 2022

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 11 Aug. 2022.

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More Definitions for improve


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.

More from Merriam-Webster on improve

Nglish: Translation of improve for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of improve for Arabic Speakers


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