improve


improve
improve 1 Improve, better, help, ameliorate are comparable when denoting to mend or correct in part or in some de-gree.
Improve, the general term, and better, more vigorous and homely, apply both to objects and to states or conditions that are not of necessity bad
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the faculties of the mind are improved by exercise— Locke

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striving to better, oft we mar what's well— Shak.

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With a reflexive pronoun improve implies a change for the better within oneself, better a change for the better in one's social or financial status
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had from her youth improved herself by reading— Fordyce

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girls marry merely to "better themselves," to borrow a significant vulgar phrase— Woilstonecraft

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To help is to improve while still leaving something to be desired
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a coat of paint would help that house

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Ameliorate is used chiefly in reference to conditions that are hard to bear or that cause suffering and implies partial relief or changes that make them tolerable
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there is no hope whatever of ameliorating his condition— Peacock

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

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Analogous words: *benefit, profit: amend, *correct, rectify, reform, revise: enhance, heighten (see INTENSIFY)
Antonyms: impair: worsen
Contrasted words: corrupt, pervert, vitiate, *debase, deprave: injure, harm, damage, mar
2 Improve, recover, recuperate, convalesce, gain are comparable as intransitive verbs with the meaning to grow or become better (as in health or well-being).
Improve, although often employed in respect to health, is also applicable to situations or conditions and indirectly to persons
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business is improving

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the prospects for peace improved that year

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he improves on acquaintance

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the general principle that as the mental equipment of the human race improves, its physical qualities . . . deteriorate— Rose Macaulay

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In reference to health improve implies nothing more than a getting better; it connotes hope but no certainty of continued progress or of final achievement of full health
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her health improves slowly

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he will not improve until the crisis is past

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this acute condition usually persists for from 5 to 15 minutes and then gradually improvesArmstrong

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Recover usually implies a return to or the regaining of some former or normal state (as of health); the word may, especially with reference to health, imply certainty and not merely hope
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will he recover

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when she recovered from her faint

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the market quickly recovered from the sell-off

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King Paul was stricken with typhoid fever . . . but recovered shortly afterward— Current Biog.

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many of the older partisans had been Bryanites, and had not recovered from it— Paxson

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Recuperate comes very close to recover in its implication of getting back what has been lost and is perhaps more common in reference to losses of money or energy
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sleep gives us an opportunity to recuperate from the fatigues of the day

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give the business a chance and it will recuperate

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In respect to health it especially implies restoration through such influences as climate and rest
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she will recuperate in a warm climate

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one may recuperate quickly from a mild attack of influenza

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the animals . . . would not recuperate until they got water— Cather

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Convalesce fundamentally implies a growing stronger; the term usually applies to the period between the subsidence of a confining illness and full recovery, when the patient, more or less gradually, gathers strength and regains the use of powers lost or depleted through serious illness, a serious operation, or a serious wound
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convalesce after a long illness

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he is so busy that he will not take the time he needs to convalesce after his operation

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a man convalescing from a great grief— Thoreau

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was advised by his doctor to remain in the West where he had gone to convalesceMartin Gardner

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Gain simply means to make progress especially, but not always, in health. The term is used typically in periodic reports of condition and like improve carries no implication of whether or not progress will continue or result in permanent recovery
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the doctor thinks he is gaining

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he gains very slowly

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New Dictionary of Synonyms. 2014.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • improve — im‧prove [ɪmˈpruːv] verb 1. [intransitive, transitive] FINANCE if shares, prices etc improve by a particular amount, they rise by that amount: • Jaguar improved 21p, closing at 665p. improve by • Hungary s dollar current account improved by a… …   Financial and business terms

  • Improve — Im*prove , v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Improved}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Improving}.] [Pref. in in + prove, in approve. See {Approve}, {Prove.}] 1. To make better; to increase the value or good qualities of; to ameliorate by care or cultivation; as, to… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Improve — Im*prove , v. i. 1. To grow better; to advance or make progress in what is desirable; to make or show improvement; as, to improve in health. [1913 Webster] We take care to improve in our frugality and diligence. Atterbury. [1913 Webster] 2. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • improve — [im pro͞ov′] vt. improved, improving [earlier improw < Anglo Fr emprower < en , in + prou, gain, advantage < LL prode, advantage (back form. < L prodesse, to be of advantage): see PRO 2 & IS1] 1. Now Rare to use profitably or to good… …   English World dictionary

  • Improve — Im*prove , v. t. [Pref. im not + prove: cf. L. improbare, F. improuver.] 1. To disprove or make void; to refute. [Obs.] [1913 Webster] Neither can any of them make so strong a reason which another can not improve. Tyndale. [1913 Webster] 2. To… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • improve\ on — • improve (up)on v To make or get one that is better than (another). Dick made good marks the first year, but he thought he could improve on them. Charles built a new model racer for the derby race, because he knew he could improve upon his old… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • improve — I verb advance, ameliorate, amend, appreciate, beautify, correct, cultivate, cure, develop, doctor, edify, edit, elaborate, elevate, embellish, emend, enhance, ennoble, enrich, fix, flourish, gain, gain strength, heighten, help, increase,… …   Law dictionary

  • improve — (v.) late 15c., to use to one s profit, to increase (income), from Anglo Fr. emprouwer to turn to profit (late 13c.), from O.Fr. en , causative prefix, + prou profit, from L. prode advantageous (see PROUD (Cf. proud)). Spelling with v was rare… …   Etymology dictionary

  • improve — ► VERB 1) make or become better. 2) (improve on/upon) achieve or produce something better than. 3) (improving) giving moral or intellectual benefit. DERIVATIVES improvability noun improvable adjective improver …   English terms dictionary

  • Improve — means to make something better. It may also refer to:Improver* Bread improver * Improver Corporation: Improver v Remington, a 1990 United Kingdom patent infringement law court caseImproved* Improved clinch knot, a knot * Most Improved Player, a… …   Wikipedia


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