adjective, comparative of good, with best as superlative.
adverb, comparative of well, with best as superlative.
verb (used with object)
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Idioms for better
- in better circumstances.
- more fortunate; happier: Because of his asthma, he would be better off in a different climate.
- to get an advantage over.
- to prevail against.
- 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: I think better of him now that he's gone back to college.
Origin of better1
OTHER WORDS FROM betterun·bet·tered, adjective
WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH betterbetter , bettor
Words nearby better
Definition for better (2 of 2)
What is a basic definition of better?
Better is an adjective that describes something as being superior or is an adverb that means something is done to a higher degree or more completely. As a verb, better means to improve. The word better has more specific senses as an adjective, adverb, and a verb.
As an adjective, the word better is a comparative of the word good, with the superlative being best. This means that if something is better, it is “more good” than something else but might be “less good” than something that is best. For example, in the Olympic Games a bronze medal is good, a silver medal is better, and a gold medal is the best you can get. Because better is a comparative, you must be comparing two things or conditions when using it.
- Real-life examples: An A is a better grade than a B on a test. Most people would agree that a spoonful of cinnamon has a better taste than a spoonful of cough medicine. A racer who finishes first is a better driver than all of the other racers.
- Used in a sentence: I think a puppy is a better pet for a kid than a snake.
Sometimes, only one of the things being compared is mentioned, while the other is implied. This is most commonly done when the word better is used to mean improved health.
- Used in a sentence: I was throwing up all morning, but I am better now.
Better is also used as an adverb as a comparative of the word well, with best as the superlative. It often describes how something is done. For example, I can play soccer well, a college soccer player plays better, and an Olympic soccer player plays best out of the three of us.
- Real-life examples: A chess master will play chess better than someone who has never played at all. Some students learn better than others. You read articles like this one to learn how to use words better.
- Used in a sentence: He can draw well, but I know that I can draw better (than he can).
As a verb, better means to improve something.
- Used in a sentence: Laurel took the time to better herself as a business owner.
Where does better come from?
The first records of better come from before the 900s. It comes from the Old English betera and is related to similar words from other languages, such as the Old Norse betr, the Gothic batiza, and the Old High German bezziro.
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What are some other forms related to better?
- unbettered (adjective)
What are some synonyms for better?
What are some words that share a root or word element with better?
What are some words that often get used in discussing better?
What are some words better may be commonly confused with?
How is better used in real life?
Better is a very common word that means something is superior or something is done in a superior way.
Next goal is to buy a better camera.
— send me music links ‼️ (@PoetQTV) January 4, 2021
We will never forget the everyday heroes and first responders who gave their lives on 9/11, and those working to build a better world after.
— Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (@AOC) September 11, 2017
Running seems like a great idea until you're 30 seconds in and decide pizza sounds better.
— Sean Lowe (@SeanLowe09) August 11, 2016
Try using better!
Is better used correctly in the following sentence?
I played well and scored 17 points, but she played better and scored 20 points to beat me.
WHEN TO USE
What are other ways to say better?
To better something is to increase its good qualities. When should you use this verb over improve or ameliorate? Find out on Thesaurus.com.
Example sentences from the Web for better
Then pair it with regulatory changes to help the housing market work better for more people.Joe Biden’s surprisingly visionary housing plan, explained|Matthew Yglesias|July 9, 2020|Vox
As the actors do it more and more, they get better and better.
With such training, police departments will be better positioned to collect and evaluate data on their own.There’s little evidence showing which police reforms work|Sujata Gupta|July 9, 2020|Science News
Researchers are hopeful about using machine learning techniques to analyze medical data like patient records, which could help doctors better treat patients by knowing how they’ll likely respond to certain therapies.Why messy data is a big problem in the fight against COVID-19|jonathanvanian2015|July 8, 2020|Fortune
Non-Black allies of color are also taking steps to support food justice — providing meals to a Black Lives Matter chapter, championing Black chefs, and better fostering workplace diversity.How Black Communities Are Bridging the Food Access Gap|Nadra Nittle|July 8, 2020|Eater
We need to recover and grow the idea that the proper answer to bad speech is more and better speech.
Yes, we do typically do better than Europe (and Canada, too, which is frequently awful on this score).
The cartoonist, better known as Charb, was shot dead Wednesday.
He also wants to “replace every existing organism with a better one.”
For someone with anorexia, self-starvation makes them feel better.How Skinny Is Too Skinny? Israel Bans ‘Underweight’ Models|Carrie Arnold|January 8, 2015|DAILY BEAST
Of course, considerations of weight have to be taken into account, but the more mould round the roots the better.How to Know the Ferns|S. Leonard Bastin
"Better so," was the Senora's sole reply; and she fell again into still deeper, more perplexed thought about the hidden treasure.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
Arches more graceful in form, or better fitted to defy the assaults of time, I have never seen.Glances at Europe|Horace Greeley
This is one of the most striking manifestations of the better side of child-nature and deserves a chapter to itself.Children's Ways|James Sully
For it is better that thy children should ask of thee, than that thou look toward the hands of thy children.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
British Dictionary definitions for better (1 of 2)
- to change one's course of action after reconsideration
- to rate (a person) more highly
Word Origin for better
British Dictionary definitions for better (2 of 2)
esp US bettor
Idioms and Phrases with better
In addition to the idioms beginning with better
- better half
- better late than never
- better off
- better part of
- better safe than sorry
- better than
- against one's better judgment
- all better
- all the better
- discretion is the better part of valor
- for better or for worse
- get better
- get the better (best) of
- go one better
- had better (best)
- know better
- seen better days
- so much the better
- sooner the better
- take a turn for the better
- think better of
- you'd better believe it
Also see underbest.