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better1

[bet-er] /ˈbɛt ər/
adjective, compar. of good with best as superl.
1.
of superior quality or excellence:
a better coat; a better speech.
2.
morally superior; more virtuous:
They are no better than thieves.
3.
of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.; preferable:
a better time for action.
4.
larger; greater:
the better part of a lifetime.
5.
improved in health; healthier than before.
6.
completely recovered in health.
adverb, compar. of well with best as superl.
7.
in a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner:
to behave better.
8.
to a greater degree; more completely or thoroughly:
He knows the way better than we do. I probably know him better than anyone else.
9.
more:
I walked better than a mile to town.
verb (used with object)
10.
to increase the good qualities of; make better; improve:
to better the lot of the suburban commuter.
11.
to improve upon; surpass; exceed:
We have bettered last year's production record.
12.
Cards. to raise (a previous bid).
noun
13.
that which has greater excellence or is preferable or wiser:
the better of two choices.
14.
Usually, betters. those superior to one in wisdom, wealth, etc.
Idioms
15.
better off,
  1. in better circumstances.
  2. more fortunate; happier:
    Because of his asthma, he would be better off in a different climate.
16.
better oneself, to improve one's social standing, financial position, or education:
He is going to night school because he wants to better himself.
17.
for the better, in a way that is an improvement:
His health changed for the better.
18.
get / have the better of,
  1. to get an advantage over.
  2. to prevail against.
19.
go (someone) one better, to exceed the effort of; be superior to:
The neighbors went us one better by buying two new cars.
20.
had better, would be wiser or more well-advised to; ought to:
We had better stay indoors today.
21.
no better than one should be, Disparaging. morally inferior; immoral or amoral.
22.
think better of,
  1. to reconsider and decide more favorably or wisely regarding:
    I was tempted to make a sarcastic retort, but thought better of it.
  2. to form a higher opinion of.
Origin
900
before 900; Middle English bettre, Old English bet(t)(e)ra; cognate with Old High German bezziro (German besser), Dutch beter, Old Norse betr, Gothic batiza, equivalent to bat- (cognate with Old High German baz (adv.) better; akin to boot2) + -iza comparative suffix; suggested relation to Sanskrit bhadrá- “fortunate” is doubtful. See best
Related forms
unbettered, adjective
Synonyms
10. amend; advance, promote; reform, correct, rectify. See improve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for bettering
  • Whether biotech foods will deliver on their promise of eliminating world hunger and bettering the lives of all remains to be seen.
  • Garner the attention of influential decision makers in academe who are working toward bettering their campuses.
  • What is described here has nothing to do with bettering humanity, precisely the opposite.
  • Science is constantly in motion, always bettering itself.
  • Many nations are ruled by dictatorships and warlords who have no interest in bettering their state or peoples.
  • His effort and contribution towards bettering human life will make sure for him to be historically one of the great human beings.
  • The fact is brooding on historical injustices instead of bettering your own life is not going to do you any good.
  • There aren't enough jobs for the millions of great kids bettering themselves in our universities.
  • As a supporting effort to the school environment, school nutrition plays a significant role in bettering the health of students.
  • In my opinion, there is no better work than to spend your time and talents bettering your own community.
British Dictionary definitions for bettering

better1

/ˈbɛtə/
adjective
1.
the comparative of good
2.
more excellent than other members of a particular group, category, etc
3.
more suitable, advantageous, attractive, etc
4.
improved in health
5.
fully recovered in health
6.
in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
7.
better off, in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
8.
the better part of, a large part of: the better part of a day
adverb
9.
the comparative of well1
10.
in a more excellent manner; more advantageously, attractively, etc
11.
in or to a greater degree or extent; more: she is better loved than her sister
12.
(Brit intr; US transitive) go one better, to outdo (a person) or improve upon (someone else's effort)
13.
had better, would be wise, sensible, etc to: I had better be off
14.
know better than to, not to be so stupid as to
15.
think better of
  1. to change one's course of action after reconsideration
  2. to rate (a person) more highly
noun
16.
the better, something that is the more excellent, useful, etc, of two such things
17.
(usually pl) a person who is superior, esp in social standing or ability
18.
all the better for, improved as a result of
19.
all the better to, more suitable to
20.
for better for worse, whatever the subsequent events or changes may be
21.
for the better, by way of improvement: a change for the better
22.
get the better of, to defeat, outwit, or surpass
23.
(Irish) the better of, having recovered from: I'm not the better of it yet
verb
24.
to make or become better
25.
(transitive) to improve upon; surpass
Word Origin
Old English betera; related to Old Norse betri, Gothic batiza, Old High German beziro

better2

/ˈbɛtə/
noun
1.
a person who bets
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 bettering

better

adj.

Old English bettra, earlier betera, from Proto-Germanic *batizo-, from PIE *bhad- "good;" see best. Comparative adjective of good in the older Germanic languages (cf. Old Frisian betera, Old Saxon betiro, Old Norse betr, Danish bedre, Old High German bezziro, German besser, Gothic batiza). In English it superseded bet in the adverbial sense by 1600. Better half "wife" is first attested 1570s.

n.

late 12c., "that which is better," from better (adj.). Specific meaning "one's superior" is from early 14c. To get the better of (someone) is from 1650s, from better in a sense of "superiority, mastery," which is recorded from mid-15c.

v.

Old English *beterian "improve, amend, make better," from Proto-Germanic *batizojan (cf. Old Frisian beteria, Dutch beteren, Old Norse betra, Old High German baziron, German bessern), from *batiz- (see better (adj.)). Related: Bettered; bettering.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for bettering
The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with bettering
The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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