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improve

[im-proov] /ɪmˈpruv/
verb (used with object), improved, improving.
1.
to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition:
He took vitamins to improve his health.
2.
to make (land) more useful, profitable, or valuable by enclosure, cultivation, etc.
3.
to increase the value of (real property) by betterments, as the construction of buildings and sewers.
4.
to make good use of; turn to account:
He improved the stopover by seeing a client with offices there.
verb (used without object), improved, improving.
5.
to increase in value, excellence, etc.; become better:
The military situation is improving.
6.
to make improvements, as by revision, addition, or change:
None of the younger violinists have been able to improve on his interpretation of that work.
Origin
late Middle English
1425-1475
1425-75; late Middle English improuen, emprouen < Anglo-French emprouer to turn (something) into profit, derivative of phrase en prou into profit, equivalent to en (see en-1) + prou, Old French prou, preu < Late Latin prōde (est), by reanalysis of Latin prōdest (it) is beneficial, of use, with prōde taken as a neuter noun (cf. proud); v by association with prove, approve
Related forms
improvable, adjective
improvability, improvableness, noun
improvably, adverb
improvingly, adverb
preimprove, verb (used with object), preimproved, preimproving.
quasi-improved, adjective
superimproved, adjective
well-improved, adjective
Synonyms
1. amend, emend. Improve, ameliorate, better imply bringing to a more desirable state. Improve usually implies remedying a lack or a felt need: to improve a process, oneself (as by gaining more knowledge ). Ameliorate, a formal word, implies improving oppressive, unjust, or difficult conditions: to ameliorate working conditions. To better is to improve conditions which, though not bad, are unsatisfying: to better an attempt, oneself (gain a higher salary ).
Antonyms
1, 5. worsen.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples for improve
  • Others recommend putting salt in the coffee grounds, rather than the final product, to improve the brew's flavor.
  • Humans are deeply social creatures, after all, so it seems logical that good social relations should improve our lives.
  • When it arrived there were many expectations that it would improve education and everything else.
  • After the paragraph has been written, it should be examined to see whether subdivision will not improve it.
  • His health did not improve although his work had never been more brilliant.
  • Both must change, or neither can improve to any great extent.
  • And in study after study, they concluded that caffeine actually does improve performance.
  • But their chances improve if they were already engaged when they began living together.
  • The government is gingerly taking steps to improve things.
  • The question is rather whether or not restricting the growth of cities will improve quality of life.
British Dictionary definitions for improve

improve

/ɪmˈpruːv/
verb
1.
to make or become better in quality; ameliorate
2.
(transitive) to make (buildings, land, etc) more valuable by additions or betterment
3.
(intransitive; usually foll by on or upon) to achieve a better standard or quality in comparison (with) to improve on last year's crop
noun
4.
(Austral, informal) on the improve, improving
Derived Forms
improvable, adjective
improvability, improvableness, noun
improvably, adverb
improver, noun
improvingly, adverb
Word Origin
C16: from Anglo-French emprouer to turn to profit, from en prou into profit, from prou profit, from Late Latin prōde beneficial, from Latin prōdesse to be advantageous, from pro-1 + esse to be
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for improve
v.

late 15c., "to use to one's profit, to increase (income)," from Anglo-French emprouwer "to turn to profit" (late 13c.), from Old French en-, causative prefix, + prou "profit," from Latin prode "advantageous" (see proud). Spelling with -v- was rare before 17c. Meaning "to raise to a better quality or condition" first recorded 1610s. Phrase improve the occasion retains the etymological sense. Meaning "to turn land to profit" (by clearing it, erecting buildings, etc.) was in Anglo-French (13c.) and was retained in the American colonies.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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