better

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English[edit]

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Alternative forms[edit]

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 *bhAd-(good). Cognate with Sanskrit भद्र(bhadrá, blessed, fortunate, happy, good). For Germanic cognates: see Proto-Germanic *batizô. Verb is from Middle English beteren, from Old English beterian(to make better, improve). Related to best and battle(getting better, improving, fruitful, fertile). Compare also Icelandic batna(to improve), Icelandic bót(improvement). More at batten, boot.

Adjective[edit]

better

  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
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Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Adverb[edit]

better

  1. comparative form of well: more well
  2. More, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.
    ten miles and better
Derived terms[edit]
Related terms[edit]
Translations[edit]

Verb[edit]

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

  1. (transitive) To improve.
    • Wordsworth
      Love betters what is best.
    • Thackeray
      He thought to better his circumstances.
    • Macaulay
      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.
    • Hooker
      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.
    • Milton
      Weapons more violent, when next we meet, / May serve to better us and worse our foes.
  5. (slang) Had better.
    You better do that if you know what's good for you.
Derived terms[edit]
Synonyms[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.
    • Hooker
      Their betters would hardly be found.

Derived terms[edit]

Etymology 2[edit]

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

Noun[edit]

better ‎(plural betters)

  1. Alternative spelling of bettor

Statistics[edit]

Most common English words before 1923: going · knew · seen · #207: better · name · among · done

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
    Mösse es e better Krock.
    To be obliged is a bitter herb. (A proverb.)

Scots[edit]

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]

Etymology[edit]

From Old Frisian betera, from Proto-Germanic *batizô. Compare English better, Low German beter, Dutch beter, German besser, Danish bedre.

Adjective[edit]

better

  1. better