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better (root: well)


Noun, Verb (usu participle), Verb (transitive), Adjective, Adverb


Noun better has 4 senses

Adverbial better has 2 senses

Adjective better has 4 senses

Verb better has 3 senses


bettera. [OE. betere, bettre, and as adv. bet, AS. betera, adj., and bet, adv.; akin to Icel. betri, adj., betr, adv., Goth. batiza, adj., OHG. bezziro, adj., baz, adv., G. besser, adj. and adv., bass, adv., E. boot, and prob. to Skr. bhadra excellent. See Boot advantage, and cf. Best, Batful.].
  •  Having good qualities in a greater degree than another; as, a better man; a better physician; a better house; a better air.  [1913 Webster]
    "Could make the worse appear
    The better reason.
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  Preferable in regard to rank, value, use, fitness, acceptableness, safety, or in any other respect.  [1913 Webster]
    "To obey is better than sacrifice."  [1913 Webster]
    "It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes."  [1913 Webster]
  •  Greater in amount; larger; more.  [1913 Webster]
  •  Improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better.  [1913 Webster]
  •  More advanced; more perfect; as, upon better acquaintance; a better knowledge of the subject.  [1913 Webster]
    "The phrase had better, followed by an infinitive without to, is idiomatic. The earliest form of construction was “were better” with a dative; as, “Him were better go beside.” (Gower.) i. e., It would be better for him, etc. At length the nominative (I, he, they, etc.) supplanted the dative and had took the place of were. Thus we have the construction now used."  [1913 Webster]
    "My dear, my better half (said he),
    I find I must now leave thee.
    "  [1913 Webster]
    "By all that's holy, he had better starve
    Than but once think this place becomes thee not.
    "  [1913 Webster]
  •  Advantage, superiority, or victory; -- usually with of; as, to get the better of an enemy.  [1913 Webster]
  •  One who has a claim to precedence; a superior, as in merit, social standing, etc.; -- usually in the plural.  [1913 Webster]
    "Their betters would hardly be found."  [1913 Webster]
For the better, in the way of improvement; so as to produce improvement. “If I have altered him anywhere for the better.” Dryden.
  •  In a superior or more excellent manner; with more skill and wisdom, courage, virtue, advantage, or success; as, Henry writes better than John; veterans fight better than recruits.  [1913 Webster]
    "I could have better spared a better man."  [1913 Webster]
  •  More correctly or thoroughly.  [1913 Webster]
    "The better to understand the extent of our knowledge."  [1913 Webster]
  •  In a higher or greater degree; more; as, to love one better than another.  [1913 Webster]
    "Never was monarch better feared, and loved."  [1913 Webster]
  •  More, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.; as, ten miles and better.  [1913 Webster]
To think better of (any one), to have a more favorable opinion of any one. -- To think better of (an opinion, resolution, etc.), to reconsider and alter one's decision.
betterv. t. [AS. beterian, betrian, fr. betera better. See Better, a.].
  •  To improve or ameliorate; to increase the good qualities of.  [1913 Webster]
    "Love betters what is best."  [1913 Webster]
    "He thought to better his circumstances."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To improve the condition of, morally, physically, financially, socially, or otherwise.  [1913 Webster]
    "The constant effort of every man to better himself."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To surpass in excellence; to exceed; to excel.  [1913 Webster]
    "The works of nature do always aim at that which can not be bettered."  [1913 Webster]
  •  To give advantage to; to support; to advance the interest of.  [1913 Webster]
    "Weapons more violent, when next we meet,
    May serve to better us and worse our foes.
    "  [1913 Webster]
Syn. -- To improve; meliorate; ameliorate; mend; amend; correct; emend; reform; advance; promote.
betterv. i. 
     To become better; to improve.  Carlyle.  [1913 Webster]
     One who bets or lays a wager.  [1913 Webster]


better, adj., adv., n., & v.
--adj. (compar. of GOOD).
1 of a more excellent or outstanding or desirable kind (a better product; it would be better to go home).
2 partly or fully recovered from illness (feeling better).
--adv. (compar. of WELL(1)).
1 in a better manner (she sings better).
2 to a greater degree (like it better).
3 more usefully or advantageously (is better forgotten).
1 that which is better (the better of the two).
2 (usu. in pl.; prec. by my etc.) one's superior in ability or rank (take notice of your betters).
1 tr. improve on; surpass (I can better his offer).
2 tr. make better; improve.
3 refl. improve one's position etc.
4 intr. become better; improve.

better feelings one's conscience. better half colloq. one's wife or husband. better off in a better (esp. financial) position. the better part of most of. for better or for worse on terms accepting all results; whatever the outcome. get the better of defeat, outwit; win an advantage over. go one better
1 outbid etc. by one.
2 outdo another person. had better would find it wiser to.
better, n. (also bettor) a person who bets.



a cut above, above, accommodate, acculturate, adapt, adjust, advance, advantage, ahead, alter, altered, ameliorate, amend, ascendant, beat, best, better for, better off, bettor, bigger, boost, brass hat, break up, bring forward, cap, capping, change, changeable, changed, choice, chosen, civilize, control, convert, converted, cured, deform, degenerate, denature, desirable, deviant, distinguished, divergent, diversify, eclipsing, edify, educate, elder, elevate, emend, eminent, enhance, enlighten, enrich, exceed, exceeding, excel, excellent, excelling, exceptional, fatten, favor, favored, favoring, finer, fit, forward, foster, gambler, gamester, go one better, go straight, greater, happier, help, higher, higher-up, improve, improve on, improve upon, improved, in ascendancy, in the ascendant, lard, larger, lift, major, make an improvement, marked, mastery, meliorate, mend, metamorphosed, metastasized, mitigate, modified, modify, modulate, more, more desirable, most, mutant, mutate, nurture, of choice, one up on, outdo, outshine, outstanding, outstrip, outweigh, over, overbalance, overbear, overcome, overpass, overthrow, overtop, perfect, predominate, preferable, preferably, preferential, preferred, preferring, preponderate, prevail, promote, punter, qualified, qualify, raise, rare, re-create, realign, rebuild, rebuilt, reconsider, reconstruct, recovered, redesign, refine upon, refit, reform, reformed, remake, renew, renewed, reshape, restructure, revamp, revive, revived, revolutionary, richer, ring the changes, rivaling, senior, shift the scene, shuffle the cards, socialize, speculator, sport, straighten out, subversive, subvert, success, super, superior, superiority, superiors, surpass, surpassing, think better of, think twice, to be preferred, top, topping, tower above, tower over, transcend, transcendent, transcendental, transcending, transfigure, transform, transformed, translated, transmuted, triumph, trump, turn the scale, turn the tables, turn the tide, turn upside down, unmitigated, upgrade, uplift, upper, vary, wagerer, wealthier, well-advised, win, wiser, work a change, worse, worsen




N goodness, excellence, merit, virtue, value, worth, price, super-excellence, supereminence, superiority, perfection, coup de maitre, masterpiece, chef d'ouvre, prime, flower, cream, elite, pick, A, nonesuch, nonpareil, creme de la creme, flower of the flock, cock of the roost, salt of the earth, champion, prodigy, tidbit, gem, gem of the first water, bijou, precious stone, jewel, pearl, diamond, ruby, brilliant, treasure, good thing, rara avis, one in a thousand, beneficence, good man, harmless, hurtless, unobnoxious, innocuous, innocent, inoffensive, beneficial, valuable, of value, serviceable, advantageous, edifying, profitable, salutary, favorable, propitious fair, good, good as gold, excellent, better, superior, above par, nice, fine, genuine, best, choice, select, picked, elect, recherche, rare, priceless, unparagoned, unparalleled, superlatively, good, bully, crackajack, giltedged, superfine, superexcellent, of the first water, first-rate, first-class, high- wrought, exquisite, very best, crack, prime, tiptop, capital, cardinal, standard, inimitable, admirable, estimable, praiseworthy, pleasing, couleur de rose, precious, of great price, costly, worth its weight in gold, worth a Jew's eye, priceless, invaluable, inestimable, precious as the apple of the eye, tolerable, up to the mark, unexceptionable, unobjectionable, satisfactory, tidy, in good condition, in fair condition, fresh, sound, beneficially, well, Jewels five words long, long may such goodness live!, the luxury of doing good.


VB improve, be better, become better, get better, mend, amend, advance, ascend, increase, fructify, ripen, mature, pick up, come about, rally, take a favorable turn, turn over a new leaf, turn the corner, raise one's head, sow one's wild oats, recover, be better, be improved by, turn to right account, turn to good account, turn to best account, profit by, reap the benefit of, make good use of, make capital out of, place to good account, render better, improve, mend, amend, better, ameliorate, meliorate, correct, decrassify, improve upon, refine upon, rectify, enrich, mellow, elaborate, fatten, promote, cultivate, advance, forward, enhance, bring forward, bring on, foster, invigorate, touch up, rub up, brush up, furbish up, bolster up, vamp up, brighten up, warm up, polish, cook, make the most of, set off to advantage, prune, repair, put in order, review, revise, make corrections, make improvements, doctor, purify, relieve, refresh, infuse new blood into, recruit, reform, remodel, reorganize, new model, view in a new light, think better of, appeal from Philip drunk to Philip sober, palliate, mitigate, lessen an evil.

N improvement, amelioration, melioration, betterment, mend, amendment, emendation, mending, advancement, advance, ascent, promotion, preferment, elevation, increase, cultivation, civilization, culture, march of intellect, menticulture, race-culture, eugenics, reform, reformation, revision, radical reform, second thoughts, correction, limoe labor, refinement, elaboration, purification, oxidation, repair, recovery, revise, new edition, reformer, radical, improving, progressive, improved, better, better off, better for, all the better for, better advised, reformatory, emendatory, reparatory, remedial, corrigible, improvable, accultural, on consideration, on reconsideration, on second thoughts, on better advice, ad melius inquirendum, urbent latericiam invenit marmoream reliquit.

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