Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • transitive v. To raise to a more desirable or more excellent quality or condition; make better.
  • transitive v. To increase the productivity or value of (land or property).
  • transitive v. To put to good use; use profitably.
  • intransitive v. To become better.
  • intransitive v. To make beneficial additions or changes: improve on the translation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • v. to make (something) better; to increase the value or productivity (of something)
  • v. to become better

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • transitive v. To disprove or make void; to refute.
  • transitive v. To disapprove; to find fault with; to reprove; to censure.
  • transitive v. To make better; to increase the value or good qualities of; to ameliorate by care or cultivation.
  • transitive v. To use or employ to good purpose; to make productive; to turn to profitable account; to utilize
  • transitive v. To advance or increase by use; to augment or add to; -- said with reference to what is bad.
  • intransitive v. To grow better; to advance or make progress in what is desirable; to make or show improvement.
  • intransitive v. To advance or progress in bad qualities; to grow worse.
  • intransitive v. To increase; to be enhanced; to rise in value.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To make better; ameliorate the condition of; increase in value, excellence, capability, estimation, or the like; bring into a better, higher, more desirable, or more profitable state: as, to improve the mind by study; to improve the breeds of animals; to improve land by careful tillage.
  • To turn to advantage or account; use profitably; make use of: as, to improve an opportunity; to improve the occasion.
  • To increase in force or amount; intensify in any respect.
  • To grow better in any way; become more excellent or more favorable; advance in goodness, knowledge, wisdom, amount, value, etc.: as, his health is improving; the price of cotton improves daily.
  • To increase; grow.
  • To approve; prove; test.
  • To disapprove; censure; blame.
  • To disprove; prove false; refute.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • v. get better
  • v. to make better

Etymologies

Middle English improwen, to enclose land for cultivation, from Anglo-Norman emprouwer, to turn to profit : Old French en-, causative pref. (from Latin in-; see in-2) + Old French prou, profit (from Late Latin prōde, advantageous; see proud).
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

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