had better


1 [bet-er]
adjective compar. of good with best as superl.
of superior quality or excellence: a better coat; a better speech.
morally superior; more virtuous: They are no better than thieves.
of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.; preferable: a better time for action.
larger; greater: the better part of a lifetime.
improved in health; healthier than before.
completely recovered in health.
adverb compar. of well with best as superl.
in a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner: to behave better.
to a greater degree; more completely or thoroughly: He knows the way better than we do. I probably know him better than anyone else.
more: I walked better than a mile to town.
verb (used with object)
to increase the good qualities of; make better; improve: to better the lot of the suburban commuter.
to improve upon; surpass; exceed: We have bettered last year's production record.
Cards. to raise (a previous bid).
that which has greater excellence or is preferable or wiser: the better of two choices.
Usually, betters. those superior to one in wisdom, wealth, etc.
better off,
in better circumstances.
more fortunate; happier: Because of his asthma, he would be better off in a different climate.
better oneself, to improve one's social standing, financial position, or education: He is going to night school because he wants to better himself.
for the better, in a way that is an improvement: His health changed for the better.
get/have the better of,
to get an advantage over.
to prevail against.
go (someone) one better, to exceed the effort of; be superior to: The neighbors went us one better by buying two new cars.
had better, would be wiser or more well-advised to; ought to: We had better stay indoors today.
no better than one should be, Disparaging. morally inferior; immoral or amoral.
think better of,
to reconsider and decide more favorably or wisely regarding: I was tempted to make a sarcastic retort, but thought better of it.
to form a higher opinion of.

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

unbettered, adjective

10. amend; advance, promote; reform, correct, rectify. See improve.
Dictionary.com Unabridged


[hav; unstressed huhv, uhv; for 26 usually haf]
verb (used with object), present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle having.
to possess; own; hold for use; contain: He has property. The work has an index.
to hold, possess, or accept in some relation, as of kindred or relative position: He wanted to marry her, but she wouldn't have him.
to get, receive, or take: to have a part in a play; to have news.
to experience, undergo, or endure, as joy or pain: Have a good time. He had a heart attack last year.
to hold in mind, sight, etc.: to have doubts.
to cause to, as by command or invitation: Have him come here at five.
to be related to or be in a certain relation to: She has three cousins. He has a kind boss.
to show or exhibit in action or words: She had the crust to refuse my invitation.
to be identified or distinguished by; possess the characteristic of: He has a mole on his left cheek. This wood has a silky texture.
to engage in or carry on: to have a talk; to have a fight.
to partake of; eat or drink: He had cake and coffee for dessert.
to permit or allow: I will not have any talking during the concert.
to assert, maintain, or represent as being: Rumor has it that she's going to be married.
to know, understand, or be skilled in: to have neither Latin nor Greek.
to beget or give birth to: to have a baby.
to hold an advantage over: He has you there.
to outwit, deceive, or cheat: We realized we'd been had by an expert con artist.
to control or possess through bribery; bribe.
to gain possession of: There is none to be had at that price.
to hold or put in a certain position or situation: The problem had me stumped. They had him where they wanted him.
to exercise, display, or make use of: Have pity on him.
to invite or cause to be present as a companion or guest: We had Evelyn and Everett over for dinner. He has his bodyguard with him at all times.
to engage in sexual intercourse with.
verb (used without object), present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle having.
to be in possession of money or wealth: There are some who have and some who have not.
auxiliary verb, present singular 1st person have, 2nd have or (Archaic) hast, 3rd has or (Archaic) hath, present plural have; past singular 1st person had, 2nd had or (Archaic) hadst or haddest, 3rd had, past plural had; past participle had; present participle having.
(used with a past participle to form perfect tenses): She has gone. It would have been an enjoyable party if he hadn't felt downcast.
to be required, compelled, or under obligation (followed by infinitival to, with or without a main verb): I have to leave now. I didn't want to study, but I had to.
Usually, haves. an individual or group that has wealth, social position, or other material benefits (contrasted with have-not ).
Verb phrases
have at, to go at vigorously; attack: First he decided to have at his correspondence.
had better/best, ought to: You'd better go now, it's late.
had rather. rather ( def 7 ).
have done, to cease; finish: It seemed that they would never have done with their struggle.
have had it,
to become weary of or disgusted with whatever one has been doing: I've been working like a fool, but now I've had it.
to suffer defeat; fail: He was a great pitcher, but after this season he'll have had it.
to have missed a last opportunity: He refused to take any more excuses and told them all that they'd had it.
to become unpopular or passé: Quiz shows have had it.
have it coming, to merit or deserve: When they lost their fortune, everyone said that they had it coming.
have it in for, to plan or wish to do something unpleasant to; hold a grudge against: She has it in for intelligent students who fail to use their abilities.
have it out, to come to an understanding or decision through discussion or combat: We've been in disagreement about this for a long time, and I think we should have it out, once and for all.
have on,
to be clothed in; be wearing: She had on a new dress.
to have arranged or planned: What do you have on for Christmas?
to tease (a person); make the butt of a joke. Compare put ( def 35 ).
have to do with,
to be connected or associated with: Your lack of confidence probably had a lot to do with your not getting the job.
to deal with; be concerned with: I will have nothing to do with their personal squabbles.
to have and to hold, to possess legally; have permanent possession of: The house, with the mortgage finally paid, was at last their own to have and to hold.

before 900; Middle English haven, habben, Old English habban; cognate with German haben, Old Norse hafa, Gothic haban to have; perhaps akin to heave

halve, have.

1. Have, hold, occupy, own, possess mean to be, in varying degrees, in possession of something. Have being the most general word, admits of the widest range of application: to have money, rights, discretion, a disease, a glimpse, an idea; to have a friend's umbrella. To hold is to have in one's grasp or one's control, but not necessarily as one's own: to hold stakes. To occupy is to hold and use, but not necessarily by any right of ownership: to occupy a chair, a house, a position. To own is to have the full rights of property in a thing, which, however, another may be holding or enjoying: to own a house that is rented to tenants. Possess is a more formal equivalent for own and suggests control, and often occupation, of large holdings: to possess vast territories. 3. obtain, gain, secure, procure.

1. lack.

See of2.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
better1 (ˈbɛtə)
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
9.  the comparative of well
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 tr) 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
 a.  to change one's course of action after reconsideration
 b.  to rate (a person) more highly
16.  the better something that is the more excellent, useful, etc, of two such things
17.  (usually plural) 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
24.  to make or become better
25.  (tr) to improve upon; surpass
[Old English betera; related to Old Norse betri, Gothic batiza, Old High German beziro]

better or esp (US) bettor2 (ˈbɛtə)
a person who bets
bettor or esp (US) bettor2

have (hæv)
vb , has, having, had
1.  to be in material possession of; own: he has two cars
2.  to possess as a characteristic quality or attribute: he has dark hair
3.  to receive, take, or obtain: she had a present from him; have a look
4.  to hold or entertain in the mind: to have an idea
5.  to possess a knowledge or understanding of: I have no German
6.  to experience or undergo: to have a shock
7.  to be infected with or suffer from: to have a cold
8.  to gain control of or advantage over: you have me on that point
9.  slang (usually passive) to cheat or outwit: he was had by that dishonest salesman
10.  (foll by on) to exhibit (mercy, compassion, etc, towards): have mercy on us, Lord
11.  to engage or take part in: to have a conversation
12.  to arrange, carry out, or hold: to have a party
13.  to cause, compel, or require to (be, do, or be done): have my shoes mended
14.  (takes an infinitive with to) used as an auxiliary to express compulsion or necessity: I had to run quickly to escape him
15.  to eat, drink, or partake of: to have a good meal
16.  slang to have sexual intercourse with: he had her on the sofa
17.  (used with a negative) to tolerate or allow: I won't have all this noise
18.  to declare, state, or assert: rumour has it that they will marry
19.  to put or place: I'll have the sofa in this room
20.  to receive as a guest: to have three people to stay
21.  to beget or bear (offspring): she had three children
22.  (takes a past participle) used as an auxiliary to form compound tenses expressing completed action: I have gone; I shall have gone; I would have gone; I had gone
23.  had better, had best ought to: used to express compulsion, obligation, etc: you had better go
24.  had rather, had sooner to consider or find preferable that: I had rather you left at once
25.  have done See done
26.  informal have had it
 a.  to be exhausted, defeated, or killed
 b.  to have lost one's last chance
 c.  to become unfashionable
27.  have it to win a victory
28.  slang (Brit) have it away, have it off to have sexual intercourse
29.  informal have it coming to be about to receive or to merit punishment or retribution
30.  informal have it in for to wish or intend harm towards
31.  have it so good to have so many benefits, esp material benefits
32.  have to do with
 a.  to have dealings or associate with: I have nothing to do with her
 b.  to be of relevance to: this has nothing to do with you
33.  informal I have it I know the answer
34.  slang let someone have it to launch or deliver an attack on, esp to discharge a firearm at someone
35.  informal (foll by of) not having any refusing to take part or be involved (in)
36.  (usually plural) a person or group of people in possession of wealth, security, etc: the haves and the have-nots
[Old English habban; related to Old Norse hafa, Old Saxon hebbian, Old High German habēn, Latin habēre]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

O.E. habban "to own, possess," from P.Gmc. *khaf- (cf. O.N. hafa, O.S. hebbjan, O.Fris. habba, Ger. haben, Goth. haban "to have"), from PIE *kap- "to grasp" (see capable). Not related to L. habere, despite similarity in form and sense; the L. cognate is capere "seize." O.E.
second person singular present hæfst, third person singular present hæfð became M.E. hast, hath, while O.E. -bb- became -v- in have. The pp. had developed from O.E. gehæfd. Sense of "possess, have at one's disposal" (I have a book) is a shift from older languages, where the thing possessed was made the subject and the possessor took the dative case (e.g. L. est mihi liber "I have a book," lit. "there is to me a book"). Used as an auxiliary in O.E., too (esp. to form present perfect tense); the word has taken on more functions over time; Mod.Eng. he had better would have been O.E. him (dat.) wære betere. To have to for "must" (1570s) is from sense of "possess as a duty or thing to be done" (O.E.). Have-not "poor person" first recorded 1836. Phrase have a nice day first attested 1971. You never had it so good (1946) was said to be the stock answer to any complaints about U.S. Army life. Phrase have (noun), will (verb) is from 1954, originally from comedian Bob Hope, in the form Have tux, will travel; Hope described it as typical of vaudevillians' ads in "Variety," indicating a willingness to perform anywhere, any time.

O.E. betera (see best), from P.Gmc. *batizo-, from PIE *bhad- "good." Comparative adj. of good in the older Gmc. languages (cf. O.N. betr, Dan. bedre, Ger. besser, Goth. batiza). Superseded bet in the adverbial sense by 1600. Better half "wife" is
first attested 1570s; to get the better of (someone) is from mid-15c.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Science Dictionary
well   (wěl)  Pronunciation Key 
A deep hole or shaft sunk into the Earth to tap a liquid or gaseous substance such as water, oil, gas, or brine. If the substance is not under sufficient pressure to flow freely from the well, it must be pumped or raised mechanically to the surface. Water or pressurized gas is sometimes pumped into a nonproducing oil well to push petroleum resources out of underground reservoirs. See also artesian well.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

had better

Also, had best. Ought to, should. For example, You had better finish this one before starting another, or We had best be going. [Mid-1400s] Also see you'd better believe it.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Idioms & Phrases
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