EnglishEdit

 
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PronunciationEdit

Etymology 1Edit

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.

AdjectiveEdit

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.”
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

AdverbEdit

better

  1. comparative form of well: more well
    The engine runs better now that I've given it some oil.
  2. Greater or lesser (whichever is seen as more advantageous), in reference to value, distance, time, etc.
    The top electric vehicles have a range of 300 kilometres or better. (better = greater)
    Only one swimmer finished the race with a time better than two minutes. (better = lesser)
  3. (Can we clean up(+) this sense?) (colloquial shortening) Had better.
    You better do that if you know what's good for you.
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

NounEdit

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.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

Shortening of had better ('d better)

VerbEdit

better

  1. (modal, auxiliary verb, colloquial) Had better.
    It's getting late. You better get on home.
Usage notesEdit
  • Better in this sense has often been considered an adverb. But it is virtually synonymous with should in We better be going. and with ought to in We better go. Should and ought are auxiliary verbs.

See alsoEdit

Etymology 3Edit

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).

VerbEdit

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

  1. (transitive) To improve.
  2. (intransitive) To become better; to improve.
    This government will better this society
  3. (transitive) To surpass in excellence; to exceed; to excel.
  4. (transitive) To give advantage to; to support; to advance the interest of.
SynonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

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

NounEdit

better (plural betters)

  1. Alternative spelling of bettor

ReferencesEdit

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

Central FranconianEdit

Alternative formsEdit

EtymologyEdit

From Old High German bittar

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

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 EnglishEdit

Etymology 1Edit

From Old English betere.

AdjectiveEdit

better

  1. Alternative form of bettre

AdverbEdit

better

  1. Alternative form of bettre

NounEdit

better

  1. Alternative form of bettre

Etymology 2Edit

From Old English beterian.

VerbEdit

better

  1. Alternative form of beteren

ScotsEdit

EtymologyEdit

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

PronunciationEdit

AdjectiveEdit

better

  1. comparative degree of guid

Derived termsEdit

AdverbEdit

better (comparative mair better, superlative maist better)

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

NounEdit

better (uncountable)

  1. that which is better, something better or superior

VerbEdit

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

  1. to better, improve

West FrisianEdit

AdjectiveEdit

better

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