Definition of improve in English:



  • 1Make or become better.

    [with object] ‘we’ve used technology to improve relations with customers’
    ‘improved road and rail links’
    [no object] ‘his condition improved after glass was removed from his arm’
    • ‘Outcomes were significantly improved with combination therapy.’
    • ‘If the economy improves towards the end of this year, as expected, interest rates will start to rise.’
    • ‘Hotels, food, facilities, transport and entertainment have all improved beyond recognition.’
    • ‘In fact, verbal ability and other knowledge-based abilities seem to improve with age.’
    • ‘Book cover design has improved drastically since the middle of the last decade.’
    • ‘For a short time his condition seemed to be improving but later on in the week he contracted pneumonia and one of his lungs collapsed.’
    • ‘With Wednesday's win, his record improves to three wins in seven starts.’
    • ‘In developed countries over the past 30 years, better perinatal care has considerably improved these outcomes.’
    • ‘All aspects of sleep performance were significantly improved in the intervention group.’
    • ‘Many also said that their health markedly improved when they began volunteer work.’
    • ‘What should be done is use the money from the resulting fines to improve road safety conditions in these areas.’
    • ‘If the patient improves with the use of medication, no further evaluation may be necessary.’
    • ‘His condition gradually improved over the course of several weeks of inpatient treatment.’
    • ‘Treatment for the condition has improved significantly in recent years following the introduction of a number of new drugs.’
    • ‘Ultimately, the goal is to establish more accountability and improve teaching.’
    • ‘Sinusitis has been associated with asthma severity, and consistently, asthma symptoms frequently improve after sinusitis treatment.’
    • ‘All physical symptoms improved substantially in the first month of antidepressant use but plateaued during the course of the study.’
    • ‘She said Bali's living conditions have now improved due to the increase in the tourism industry.’
    • ‘While the march of technology continually improves our health, it creates new scenarios and novel questions.’
    • ‘On the face of it, our lives have improved beyond recognition.’
    get better, become better, advance, progress, develop
    make better, better, ameliorate, upgrade, refine, enhance, boost, build on, help, raise, revamp, brush up, polish up, perk up, tweak
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    1. 1.1[with object]Develop or increase in mental capacity by education or experience.
      ‘I subscribed to two magazines to improve my mind’
      • ‘It doesn't matter how brainy you are or how much education you've had - you can still improve and expand your mind.’
      • ‘Curtin remained committed towards improving himself and the lives of the underprivileged in Australian society.’
    2. 1.2[no object]Achieve or produce something better than.
      ‘they are trying to improve on the tired old style’
      • ‘If they succeed, they will at least have improved on the standing they achieved in this competition two years ago.’
      • ‘I find little to dispute in much of what he writes about strengthening the NHS and fighting child poverty and improving on the best of what the government has achieved.’
      • ‘Despite this, he went on to achieve a personal best in the shot and improved on his personal best in the high jump, achieving 1.55 metres.’
      • ‘A lot of work has been done and what the country needs is to improve on what has been achieved.’
      • ‘I think that's because I can usually see a potential for the story or idea that the original filmmaker didn't, which goes back to the original idea of improving upon as opposed to merely referencing.’
      • ‘The goal of each test is to improve on the last test until you achieve the results you need.’
      • ‘He predicted that if that co-operation continued and was improved upon, a greater success rate could be achieved.’
      • ‘But once a dialogue has been delivered on stage, the actor has no chance of improving upon it.’
      • ‘They all improved on their predicted exam grades with several students achieving their best grade in business studies.’
      • ‘The achievement of the Authorised Version was made possible by a team of translators working and improving upon previous translations.’
      surpass, better, do better than, outdo, exceed, beat, top, trump, cap, outstrip, overshadow, go one better than
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Early 16th century (as emprowe or improwe): from Anglo-Norman French emprower (based on Old French prou profit ultimately from Latin prodest is of advantage); -owe was changed to -ove under the influence of prove. The original sense was make a profit, increase the value of; subsequently make greater in amount or degree.