Definition of improve in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpruːv/


1Make or become better: [with object]: efforts to improve relations between the countries (as adjective improved) an improved design [no object]: communications improved during the 18th century
More example sentences
  • What should be done is use the money from the resulting fines to improve road safety conditions in these areas.
  • For a short time his condition seemed to be improving but later on in the week he contracted pneumonia and one of his lungs collapsed.
  • Book cover design has improved drastically since the middle of the last decade.
make better, better, ameliorate, upgrade, refine, enhance, boost, build on, help, raise, revamp, brush up, polish up, perk up, tweak
informal give a facelift to
rare meliorate
get better, become better, advance, progress, develop;
make headway, come along, make progress, take steps forward, pick up, rally, perk up, make strides
informal look up
1.1 [with object] Develop or increase in mental capacity by education or experience: I subscribed to two magazines to improve my mind
More example sentences
  • Curtin remained committed towards improving himself and the lives of the underprivileged in Australian society.
  • It doesn't matter how brainy you are or how much education you've had - you can still improve and expand your mind.
1.2 [no object] (improve on/upon) Achieve or produce something better than: they are trying to improve on the tired old style
More example sentences
  • If they succeed, they will at least have improved on the standing they achieved in this competition two years ago.
  • A lot of work has been done and what the country needs is to improve on what has been achieved.
  • I find little to dispute in much of what he writes about strengthening the NHS and fighting child poverty and improving on the best of what the government has achieved.
surpass, better, do better than, outdo, exceed, beat, top, trump, cap, outstrip, overshadow, go one better than


on the improve

Australian /NZ informal Showing signs of improvement: the young squad is on the improve
More example sentences
  • Coaches agreed the Warriors will be on the improve at next year's carnival.
  • The quality of election night "expert" commentaries is not on the improve.
  • Weather conditions and travel are on the improve, and we were able to return to more normal circumstances today.



Pronunciation: /ɪmˌpruːvəˈbɪləti/
Example sentences
  • Successful health services in the 21st century must aim not merely for change, improvement, and response, but for changeability, improvability, and responsiveness.
  • Almost all of Jonathan Demme's major films, from Citizens Band to Beloved, express a belief in the unpredictability and improvability of human nature.


Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpruːvəb(ə)l/
Example sentences
  • At the heart of player development however, is a unique new system featuring a class specialization tree and many different individual skills that are potentially available, and once obtained, improvable.
  • Teaching is closer to an art than it is to a craft or technique, and, though it certainly involves mysterious transactions, it is nevertheless a public activity that is improvable through practice and criticism.
  • Instead, I'm pretty sure, you're going to have to do a lot of work and build a measurable, predictable, improvable system that keeps getting better over time.


Pronunciation: /ɪmˈpruːvə/
Example sentences
  • The beginners and improvers group have two one hour sessions on Sunday morning 9-10 and 10-11 am and good progress is being made at all ages.
  • Beginners lessons are from 7-8.30 pm and improvers are from 8.30-10 pm.
  • Adult swimming lessons will commence on September 5th for beginners and improvers every Monday and Wednesday nights at 9.30 pm.


Early 16th century (as emprowe or improwe): from Anglo-Norman French emprower (based on Old French prou 'profit', ultimately from Latin prodest 'is of advantage'); -owe was changed to -ove under the influence of prove. The original sense was 'make a profit, increase the value of'; subsequently 'make greater in amount or degree'.

Words that rhyme with improve

approve, groove, move, prove, you've

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: im|prove

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