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  1. an act of improving or the state of being improved.
  2. a change or addition by which a thing is improved.
  3. a person or thing that represents an advance on another in excellence or achievement: The new landlord is a great improvement over his greedy predecessor.
  4. a bringing into a more valuable or desirable condition, as of land or real property; betterment.
  5. something done or added to real property that increases its value.
  6. profitable use, as of a period of time.
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Origin of improvement

1400–50; late Middle English improuement < Anglo-French emprouement something profitable (especially exploitation of land). See improve, -ment
Related formsnon·im·prove·ment, nounpre·im·prove·ment, noun


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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British Dictionary definitions for improvement


  1. the act of improving or the state of being improved
  2. something that improves, esp an addition or alteration
  3. alteration of the structure, fixtures, fittings, or decor of a building without changing its functionCompare conversion (def. 9)
  4. (usually plural) Australian and NZ a building or other works on a piece of land, adding to its value
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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

Word Origin and History for improvement


mid-15c., enprowment "management of something for profit," from Anglo-French emprowement, from emprouwer "turn to profit" (see improve). Meaning "betterment; amelioration" is from 1640s. Meaning "buildings, etc. on a piece of property" is from 1773. Related: Improvements.

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper