- to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition: He took vitamins to improve his health.
- to make (land) more useful, profitable, or valuable by enclosure, cultivation, etc.
- to increase the value of (real property) by betterments, as the construction of buildings and sewers.
- to make good use of; turn to account: He improved the stopover by seeing a client with offices there.
- to increase in value, excellence, etc.; become better: The military situation is improving.
- 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 of improve
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for improving
States were encouraged and allowed to lower standards to make it appear they were improving.The ‘No Child’ Rewrite Threatens Your Kids’ Future
January 3, 2015
Improving an economy is a lot harder with only half the population working.The Women Battling an Islamist Strongman
December 22, 2014
Being reminded that economic and social conditions are not improving at the pace one expected can be a powerful motivator.Dear GOP: Fix the Damn Justice System!
December 7, 2014
The first potential scientific secret to improving your bedroom experience: surround yourself with men.Was 2014 the Year Science Discovered The Female Orgasm?
December 6, 2014
He helped set up an institute in Mexico aimed at improving wheat and corn production.Growth Stocks
The Daily Beast
October 17, 2014
He felt vaguely that his reluctance did him credit, and that he was improving.In the Midst of Alarms
In 1859 a movement was made for improving its shores as a public park.The Works of Whittier, Volume IV (of VII)
John Greenleaf Whittier
We're not thwarting Lieutenant Ferry's plan, we're only improving upon it.The Cavalier
George Washington Cable
The ever improving brain will give us an ever broadening creed.The Stark Munro Letters
J. Stark Munro
Reaching Abydos, he set about improving his naval and military position.Hellenica
- to make or become better in quality; ameliorate
- (tr) to make (buildings, land, etc) more valuable by additions or betterment
- (intr; usually foll by on or upon) to achieve a better standard or quality in comparison (with)to improve on last year's crop
- on the improve Australian informal improving
Word Origin and History for improving
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.