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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.”
Alternative formsEdit
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. More, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.
    ten miles and better
  3. (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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Hooker
      Their betters would hardly be found.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 2Edit

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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Wordsworth
      Love betters what is best.
    • (Can we date this quote?) Thackeray
      He thought to better his circumstances.
    • (Can we date this quote?) 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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) 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.
    • (Can we date this quote?) John Milton
      Weapons more violent, when next we meet, / May serve to better us and worse our foes.
SynonymsEdit
Derived termsEdit
TranslationsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

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, The Century Co., New York, 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
    Mösse es e better Krock.
    To be obliged is a bitter herb. (A proverb.)

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 present betters, present participle betterin, past bettert, past participle bettert)

  1. to better, improve

West FrisianEdit