verb (used with object), im·proved, im·prov·ing.
- to bring into a more desirable or excellent condition: He took vitamins to improve his health.
- to make (land) more useful, profitable, or valuable by enclosure, cultivation, etc.
- to increase the value of (real property) by betterments, as the construction of buildings and sewers.
- to make good use of; turn to account: He improved the stopover by seeing a client with offices there.
verb (used without object), im·proved, im·prov·ing.
- to increase in value, excellence, etc.; become better: The military situation is improving.
- to make improvements, as by revision, addition, or change: None of the younger violinists have been able to improve on his interpretation of that work.
- to make or become better in quality; ameliorate
- (tr) to make (buildings, land, etc) more valuable by additions or betterment
- (intr; usually foll by on or upon) to achieve a better standard or quality in comparison (with)to improve on last year’s crop
- on the improve Australian informal improving
late 15c., “to use to one’s profit, to increase (income),” from Anglo-French emprouwer “to turn to profit” (late 13c.), from Old French en-, causative prefix, + prou “profit,” from Latin prode “advantageous” (see proud). Spelling with -v- was rare before 17c. Meaning “to raise to a better quality or condition” first recorded 1610s. Phrase improve the occasion retains the etymological sense. Meaning “to turn land to profit” (by clearing it, erecting buildings, etc.) was in Anglo-French (13c.) and was retained in the American colonies.