Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English homepage

Date: 1500-1600
Origin: emprowe 'to improve' (15-16 centuries), from Anglo-French emprouer 'to make a profit', from Old French prou 'advantage, profit'; probably influenced by approve

improve

verb
     
im‧prove S2 W1
[intransitive and transitive] to make something better, or to become better:
a course for students wishing to improve their English
The doctors say she is improving (=after being ill).
You could use the money for improving your home.
Many wines improve with age (=get better as they get older).

improve on/upon something

phrasal verb
to do something better than before or make something better than before:
Bertorelli has scored 165 points, and I don't think anyone will improve on that.

Dictionary pictures of the day
Do you know what each of these is called?
What is the word for picture 1? What is the word for picture 2? What is the word for picture 3? What is the word for picture 4?
Click on any of the pictures above to find out what it is called.

Explore our topic dictionary