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Question 1 of 7
transliterate

Idioms for better

Origin of better

1
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

OTHER WORDS FROM better

un·bet·tered, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH better

better bettor

Definition for better (2 of 6)

better2
[ bet-er ]
/ ˈbɛt ər /

noun

Origin of better

2

Definition for better (3 of 6)

Origin of good

before 900; Middle English (adj., adv., and noun); Old English gōd (adj.); cognate with Dutch goed, German gut, Old Norse gōthr, Gothic goths

synonym study for good

47. See property.

usage note for good

Good is common as an adverb in informal speech, especially after forms of do: He did good on the test. She sees good with her new glasses. This use does not occur in formal speech or edited writing, where the adverb well is used instead: He did well on the test. She sees well with her new glasses.
The adjective good is standard after linking verbs like taste, smell, look, feel, be, and seem: Everything tastes good. The biscuits smell good. You're looking good today. When used after look or feel, good may refer to spirits as well as health: I'm feeling pretty good this morning, ready to take on the world. Well is both an adjective and an adverb. As an adjective used after look, feel, or other linking verbs, it often refers to good health: You're looking well; we missed you while you were in the hospital. See also bad.

OTHER WORDS FROM good

qua·si-good, adjective

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH good

good well (see usage note at the current entry)

Definition for better (4 of 6)

Origin of well

1
before 900; Middle English, Old English wel(l) (adj. and adv.); cognate with Dutch wel, German wohl, Old Norse vel, Gothic waila

grammar notes for well

Sometimes an adverb like well is so often placed in front of and combined with a certain past participle in order to modify it that the resulting adjectival combination achieves the status of a common word and is listed in dictionaries. In Dictionary.com you will find, for example, entries for well-advised and well-mannered; for ill-advised, ill-bred, and ill-conceived; and for half-baked and half-cocked. Some of these terms are given full definitions, while others are considered such obvious combinations that you can figure out for yourself what they must mean. It is important to note, however, that compound adjectives like these are hyphenated for use before the noun they modify together. Thus we say that someone is “a well-loved professor,” but there would be no hyphen between well and loved in a sentence like “My English professor is well loved and deserves the award.”
In a similar manner, adjectival compounds formed with better, best, little, lesser, least, etc., are also hyphenated when placed before the noun ( a little-understood theory ), but the hyphen is dropped when the adjectival combination follows the noun ( his films are best known in England ) or is itself modified by an adverb ( a too little understood theory ).
There are exceptions to this pattern. For example, when the combining adverb ends in –ly, no hyphen is required, whether the resulting adjectival combination appears before or after the noun: a highly regarded surgeon; a surgeon who is highly regarded.
Don’t let the hyphens fool you. Punctuation can be tricky!

usage note for well

See good.

Definition for better (5 of 6)

Origin of well

2
before 900; (noun) Middle English well(e), Old English wylle, wella, welle; cognate with German Welle wave; (v.) Middle English wellen, Old English wellan (cognate with Dutch wellen, Old Norse vella); both noun and v. ultimately akin to weallan to boil

Definition for better (6 of 6)

bettor

or bet·ter

[ bet-er ]
/ ˈbɛt ər /

noun

a person who bet.

Origin of bettor

First recorded in 1600–10; bet1 + -or2

WORDS THAT MAY BE CONFUSED WITH bettor

better bettor
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2020

Example sentences from the Web for better

British Dictionary definitions for better (1 of 5)

Word Origin for better

Old English betera; related to Old Norse betri, Gothic batiza, Old High German beziro

British Dictionary definitions for better (2 of 5)

better2

esp US bettor

/ (ˈbɛtə) /

noun

a person who bets

British Dictionary definitions for better (3 of 5)

good
/ (ɡʊd) /

adjective better or best

interjection

an exclamation of approval, agreement, pleasure, etc

noun

See also goods

Derived forms of good

goodish, adjective

Word Origin for good

Old English gōd; related to Old Norse gōthr, Old High German guot good

British Dictionary definitions for better (4 of 5)

Word Origin for well

Old English wel; related to Old High German wala, wola (German wohl), Old Norse val, Gothic waila

British Dictionary definitions for better (5 of 5)

well2
/ (wɛl) /

noun

verb

to flow or cause to flow upwards or outwardstears welled from her eyes

Word Origin for well

Old English wella; related to Old High German wella (German Welle wave), Old Norse vella boiling heat
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

Scientific definitions for better

well
[ wĕl ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Idioms and Phrases with better (1 of 3)

better

Idioms and Phrases with better (2 of 3)

good

Idioms and Phrases with better (3 of 3)

well

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.