Synonym Chooser

How is the word improve distinct from other similar verbs?

Some common synonyms of improve are ameliorate, better, and help. While all these words 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

When is it sensible to use ameliorate instead of improve?

Although the words ameliorate and improve have much in common, ameliorate implies making more tolerable or acceptable conditions that are hard to endure.

tried to ameliorate the lives of people in the tenements

When would help be a good substitute for improve?

While the synonyms help and improve are close in meaning, help implies a bettering that still leaves room for improvement.

a coat of paint would help that house

Thesaurus Entries Near improve

Cite this Entry

“Improve.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 10 Jun. 2023.

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