Meaning of IMPROVE in English

I. ə̇mˈprüv transitive verb

Etymology: Middle English improven, from Middle French improver, from Latin improbare to disapprove, blame, reject — more at improbation


a. obsolete : to show to be wrong : confute

b. Scots law : to prove false or forged : disprove , invalidate

2. obsolete : reprove , censure

II. verb

Etymology: alteration (influenced by approve ) of earlier emprou, emprow, from Anglo-French emprouer to invest profitably, to cultivate profitably, from Old French en- en- (I) + prou profit — more at prow

transitive verb


a. : to make greater in amount or degree : increase , augment , enlarge , intensify

improved the chance that the committee could reach agreement

b. obsolete : to raise the price of

c. obsolete : to make (an evil) worse


a. : to enhance in value or quality : make more profitable, excellent, or desirable

improve the appearance of a display

improve one's health by exercise

exhibited an improved optical viewfinder — Americana Annual

b. archaic : to speak on in order to make more generally profitable or turn to better spiritual account

c. : to increase the value of (land or property) by bringing under cultivation, reclaiming for agriculture or stock raising, erecting buildings or other structures, laying out streets, or installing utilities (as sewers)

improved farmland

d. Scots law : to grant (a lease) for a long term to encourage a tenant in good husbandry

e. : to grade and drain (a road) and apply surfacing material (as gravel, crushed rock, or oil) other than pavement

3. archaic

a. : to avail oneself of : employ , use

b. : occupy


a. : to turn to profit or to good account : employ to good purpose : use to advantage

improve an opportunity to make friends

improve one's time by studying

b. archaic : to cause (money or capital) to yield a profit by investment


a. : to turn or convert by improving

improve a nag into a racehorse

b. : to spend, remove, or dissipate by improvements

a tribe improved out of existence

intransitive verb


a. : increase , augment

the price of cotton is improving

the demand for more commodities improved

b. : to rise in value : enhance in price

stocks are improving

2. : to advance or make progress in what is desirable : grow better

the invalid's health improved daily


improve , better , ameliorate , and help mean to correct, make more acceptable, or bring nearer to a higher standard of goodness in part or in some degree. improve and better are general and interchangeable and are often used of things that are originally bad or unacceptable

famed for his quick wit and his ability to improve a script during a performance — G.S.Perry

increase his powers of field observation and notation while he improves his knowledge of the area — J.F.Hart & Eugene Mather

bettering the general conditions of tenant farmers — Current Biography

has invariably bettered the tunes and often transformed a doggerel text into excellent poetry — American Guide Series: Tennessee

ameliorate is applied chiefly to things that are unacceptable, especially conditions difficult to endure or causing suffering, and implies partial relief or alterations that make the conditions more tolerable

ameliorate the lot of thousands of victimized human beings — Arnold Bennett

abolish feudalism or ameliorate its vices — W.O.Douglas

his care in ameliorating personality conflicts — Harold Koontz & Cyril O'Donnell

help implies a bettering that still leaves room for improvement

help farmers meet the fertilizer shortage

exercises to help overcome a speech defect

- improve on

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.