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Alternative forms[edit]


From Anglo-Norman emprouwement; synchronically improve +‎ -ment.



improvement (countable and uncountable, plural improvements)

  1. The act of improving; advancement or growth; a bettering
    • (Can we date this quote by Robert South?)
      I look upon your city as the best place of improvement.
    • (Can we date this quote by Hugh Blair?)
      Exercise is the chief source of improvement in all our faculties.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 19, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      Nothing was too small to receive attention, if a supervising eye could suggest improvements likely to conduce to the common welfare. Mr. Gordon Burnage, for instance, personally visited dust-bins and back premises, accompanied by a sort of village bailiff, going his round like a commanding officer doing billets.
    • 2013 June 22, “Engineers of a different kind”, in The Economist, volume 407, number 8841, page 70:
      Private-equity nabobs bristle at being dubbed mere financiers. [] Much of their pleading is public-relations bluster. Clever financial ploys are what have made billionaires of the industry’s veterans. “Operational improvement” in a portfolio company has often meant little more than promising colossal bonuses to sitting chief executives if they meet ambitious growth targets. That model is still prevalent today.
  2. The act of making profitable use or application of anything, or the state of being profitably employed; practical application, for example of a doctrine, principle, or theory, stated in a discourse.
    • (Can we date this quote by Samuel Clarke?)
      A good improvement of his reason.
    • (Can we date this quote by John Tillotson?)
      I shall make some improvement of this doctrine.
  3. The state of being improved; betterment; advance
  4. Something which is improved
    the new edition is an improvement on the old.
    • (Can we date this quote by Joseph Addison?)
      The parts of Sinon, Camilla, and some few others, are improvements on the Greek poet.
  5. Increase; growth; progress; advance.
    • (Can we date this quote by Joseph Addison?)
      There is a design of publishing the history of architecture, with its several improvements and decays.
    • (Can we date this quote by Robert South?)
      Those vices which more particularly receive improvement by prosperity.
  6. (in the plural) Valuable additions or betterments, for example buildings, clearings, drains, fences, etc., on premises.
  7. (Patent Laws): A useful addition to, or modification of, a machine, manufacture, or composition.




Derived terms[edit]



improvement in Webster’s Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913.