better

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English[edit]

English Wikipedia has articles on:
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Pronunciation[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English better, bettre, betre, from Old English betera (better), from Proto-Germanic *batizô (better), from Proto-Indo-European *bʰed-rós, from *bʰed- (good). Cognate with Sanskrit भद्र (bhadrá, blessed, fortunate, happy, good). For Germanic cognates: see Proto-Germanic *batizô. Related to best and battle (getting better, improving, fruitful, fertile). Compare also Icelandic batna (to improve), bót (improvement), German besser. More at batten, boot.

Adjective[edit]

better (positive good, adverb well, comparative (humorous) betterer, superlative (humorous) betterest, or (standard) best)

  1. comparative form of good: more good
    • 2002 November 1, “Shindig”, in Firefly, episode 4:
      Badger: You think you're better than other people.
      Mal: Just the ones I'm better than.
  2. comparative form of well: more well
  3. Greater in amount or quantity
    • 1972, Harvey Andrews, Hey Sandy
      “The air was still with the lonely thrill of 'now the hour is near' / And the smell of sweat was better yet than the awful stench of fear.”
Alternative forms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

better

  1. comparative form of well: more well
    The engine runs better now that I've given it some oil.
  2. More, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.
    ten miles and better
  3. (colloquial shortening) Had better.(Can we clean up(+) this sense?)
    You better do that if you know what's good for you.
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

better (plural betters)

  1. An entity, usually animate, deemed superior to another; one who has a claim to precedence; a superior.
    He quickly found Ali his better in the ring.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hooker and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Their betters would hardly be found.
Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

From Middle English beteren, from Old English beterian, betrian, from Proto-Germanic *batizōną. Cognate with West Frisian betterje (to better), Dutch beteren (to better), German bessern (to better), Danish bedre (to better), Swedish bättra (to better).

Verb[edit]

better (third-person singular simple present betters, present participle bettering, simple past and past participle bettered)

  1. (transitive) To improve.
    • (Can we date this quote by Wordsworth and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      Love betters what is best.
    • (Can we date this quote by Thackeray and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      He thought to better his circumstances.
    • 1848, Thomas Babington Macaulay, chapter 3, in The History of England from the Accession of James II:
      the constant effort of every man to better himself
  2. (intransitive) To become better; to improve.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Carlyle to this entry?)
  3. (transitive) To surpass in excellence; to exceed; to excel.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hooker and provide title, author's full name, and other details?)
      The works of nature do always aim at that which can not be bettered.
  4. (transitive) To give advantage to; to support; to advance the interest of.
    • 1667, John Milton, “Book 6”, in Paradise Lost. A Poem Written in Ten Books, London: Printed [by Samuel Simmons], and are to be sold by Peter Parker [] [a]nd by Robert Boulter [] [a]nd Matthias Walker, [], OCLC 228722708; republished as Paradise Lost in Ten Books: The Text Exactly Reproduced from the First Edition of 1667: [], London: Basil Montagu Pickering [], 1873, OCLC 230729554:
      Weapons more violent, when next we meet, / May serve to better us and worse our foes.
Synonyms[edit]
Derived terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Etymology 3[edit]

Alternate pronunciation of bettor or modern formation from the verb to bet.

Noun[edit]

better (plural betters)

  1. Alternative spelling of bettor

References[edit]

  • better at OneLook Dictionary Search
  • better in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911

Central Franconian[edit]

Alternative forms[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Old High German bittar

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

better (masculine bettere, feminine better, comparative betterer, superlative et betterste)

  1. (most dialects) bitter
    Proverb:
    Mösse es e better Krock.To be obliged is a bitter herb.

Middle English[edit]

Etymology 1[edit]

From Old English betere.

Adjective[edit]

better

  1. Alternative form of bettre

Adverb[edit]

better

  1. Alternative form of bettre

Noun[edit]

better

  1. Alternative form of bettre

Etymology 2[edit]

From Old English beterian.

Verb[edit]

better

  1. Alternative form of beteren

Scots[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Middle English bettre, from Old English betera, from Proto-Germanic *batizô.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

better

  1. comparative degree of guid

Derived terms[edit]

Adverb[edit]

better (comparative mair better, superlative maist better)

  1. better
  2. quite recovered from illness
  3. more than

Noun[edit]

better (uncountable)

  1. that which is better, something better or superior

Verb[edit]

better (third-person singular present betters, present participle betterin, past bettert, past participle bettert)

  1. to better, improve

West Frisian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

better

  1. inflection of goed:
    1. predicative comparative degree
    2. indefinite neuter singular comparative degree