What does better mean?

Definitions for better
ˈbɛt ərbet·ter

Here are all the possible meanings and translations of the word better.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. betternoun

    something superior in quality or condition or effect

    "a change for the better"

  2. bettor, better, wagerer, punternoun

    someone who bets

  3. betternoun

    a superior person having claim to precedence

    "the common man has been kept in his place by his betters"

  4. betteradjective

    the superior one of two alternatives

    "chose the better of the two"

  5. betteradjective

    (comparative of `good') superior to another (of the same class or set or kind) in excellence or quality or desirability or suitability; more highly skilled than another

    "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din"; "a better coat"; "a better type of car"; "a suit with a better fit"; "a better chance of success"; "produced a better mousetrap"; "she's better in math than in history"

  6. betteradjective

    (comparative of `good') changed for the better in health or fitness

    "her health is better now"; "I feel better"

  7. better(p), best(p)adjective

    (comparative and superlative of `well') wiser or more advantageous and hence advisable

    "it would be better to speak to him"; "the White House thought it best not to respond"

  8. betterverb

    more than half

    "argued for the better part of an hour"

  9. better, breakverb

    surpass in excellence

    "She bettered her own record"; "break a record"

  10. better, improve, amend, ameliorate, meliorateverb

    to make better

    "The editor improved the manuscript with his changes"

  11. better, improve, ameliorate, meliorateadverb

    get better

    "The weather improved toward evening"

  12. betteradverb

    comparative of `well'; in a better or more excellent manner or more advantageously or attractively or to a greater degree etc.

    "She had never sung better"; "a deed better left undone"; "better suited to the job"

  13. better, bestadverb

    from a position of superiority or authority

    "father knows best"; "I know better."

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. Betteradjective

    The comparative of good. Having good qualities in a greater degree than something else. See GOOD.

    Etymology: bet , good, betera , better, Sax.

    He has a horse better than the Neapolitan’s; a better bad habit of frowning than the count Palatine. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    I have seen better faces in my time,
    Than stand on any shoulders that I see
    Before me at this instant. William Shakespeare, King Lear.

    Having a desire to depart, and be with Christ; which is far better. Phil. i. 23.

  2. Betteradverb

    comparative of well. Well, in a greater degree.

    Then it was better with me than now. Hos. vii.

    Better a mechanick rule were stretched or broken, than a great beauty were omitted. John Dryden, Virg. Dedication.

    The better to understand the extent of our knowledge, one thing is to be observed. John Locke.

    He that would know the idea of infinity, cannot do better, than by considering to what infinity is attributed. John Locke.

  3. Betternoun

    Superiour in goodness.

    Etymology: from the adjective.

    Their betters would be hardly found, if they did not live among men, but in a wilderness by themselves. Richard Hooker, b. i.

    The courtesy of nations allows you my better, in that you are the first-born. William Shakespeare, As you like it.

    That ye thus hospitably live,
    Is mighty grateful to your betters,
    And makes e’en gods themselves your debtors. Matthew Prior.

    I have some gold and silver by me, and shall be able to make a shift, when many of my betters are starving. Jonathan Swift.

  4. To Betterverb

    Etymology: from the noun

    The very cause of his taking upon him our nature, was to better the quality, and to advance the condition thereof. Richard Hooker, b. viii. § 54.

    He is furnished with my opinion, which is bettered with his own learning. William Shakespeare, Merchant of Venice.

    Heir to all his lands and goods,
    Which I have better’d, rather than decreas’d. William Shakespeare, Taming of the Shrew.

    But Jonathan, to whom both hearts were known,
    With well-tim’d zeal, and with an artful care,
    Restor’d, and better’d soon, the nice affair. Abraham Cowley, David.

    The church of England, the purest and best reformed church in the world; so well reformed, that it will be found easier to alter than to better its constitution. South.

    The Romans took pains to hew out a passage for these lakes, to discharge themselves, for the bettering of the air. Addison.

    The works of nature do always aim at that which cannot be bettered. Richard Hooker, b. i. § 5.

    He hath born himself beyond the promise of his age; he hath, indeed, better bettered expectation, than you must expect of me to tell you. William Shakespeare, Much ado about Nothing.

    What you do
    Still betters what is done; when you speak sweet,
    I’d have you do it ever. William Shakespeare, Winter’s Tale.

    The king thought his honour would suffer, during a treaty, to better a party. Francis Bacon, Henry VII.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Betteradjective

    having good qualities in a greater degree than another; as, a better man; a better physician; a better house; a better air

  2. Betteradjective

    preferable in regard to rank, value, use, fitness, acceptableness, safety, or in any other respect

  3. Betteradjective

    greater in amount; larger; more

  4. Betteradjective

    improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better

  5. Betteradjective

    more advanced; more perfect; as, upon better acquaintance; a better knowledge of the subject

  6. Betternoun

    advantage, superiority, or victory; -- usually with of; as, to get the better of an enemy

  7. Betternoun

    one who has a claim to precedence; a superior, as in merit, social standing, etc.; -- usually in the plural

  8. Better

    in a superior or more excellent manner; with more skill and wisdom, courage, virtue, advantage, or success; as, Henry writes better than John; veterans fight better than recruits

  9. Better

    more correctly or thoroughly

  10. Better

    in a higher or greater degree; more; as, to love one better than another

  11. Better

    more, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.; as, ten miles and better

  12. Betteradjective

    to improve or ameliorate; to increase the good qualities of

  13. Betteradjective

    to improve the condition of, morally, physically, financially, socially, or otherwise

  14. Betteradjective

    to surpass in excellence; to exceed; to excel

  15. Betteradjective

    to give advantage to; to support; to advance the interest of

  16. Betterverb

    to become better; to improve

  17. Betternoun

    one who bets or lays a wager


  1. Better

    "Better" is the debut single by Brooke Fraser from her multi-platinum and award-winning album What to Do with Daylight.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Better

    bet′ėr, adj. (serves as comp. of Good) good in a greater degree: preferable: improved: more suitable: larger: kinder: stronger in health.—adv. (comp. of Well) well in a greater degree: more fully or completely: over or more than: with greater advantage: (pl.) superiors.—v.t. to make better (also reflexively, to better one's self), to improve: to benefit: also with intransitive sense, to grow better.—p.adjs. Bet′tered, improved, amended; Bet′tering, improving.—ns. Bet′tering, Bet′terment, Bet′terness.—adj. Bet′termost.—Better half, a jocose term for a wife, once applied seriously to either wife or husband, and even the soul as opposed to the body.—I had better = I should hold it better to—the original construction having been a dative pronoun.—To be better off, to be in superior circumstances; To be better than one's self, to do more than one had promised; To get the better of, to gain the advantage over. [A.S. bet (adv.), betera, better; Goth. batiza, Ger. besser. Prob. cog. with Boot.]

Editors Contribution

  1. better

    To make positive improvement.

    The team did choose to change their training ground for the better.

    Submitted by MaryC on May 29, 2020  

Matched Categories

British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'better' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #469

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'better' in Written Corpus Frequency: #317

  3. Adverbs Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'better' in Adverbs Frequency: #81

How to pronounce better?

How to say better in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of better in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of better in Pythagorean Numerology is: 7

Examples of better in a Sentence

  1. A. J. Liebling:

    I can write better than anybody who can write faster, and I can write faster than anybody who can write better.

  2. Neil Young:

    It's better to burn out than to fade away.

  3. Jiang Yuan:

    Industrial production is on the whole getting better, but there are still quite a few difficulties and uncertainties.

  4. Oprah Winfrey:

    I am who I am today because of the experience of learning to read at an early age. Reading opened up a whole world for me beyond the red dirt road and my grandmother's porch in Mississippi, i want to do that for everybody. And the opportunity to do this with Apple, to speak to people all over the world about the pleasures, the excitement, the tension, the drama that a good book can bring you... I don't know what's better than that.

  5. Pete Buttigieg:

    Turning to someone like Mayor Bloomberg who thinks he can buy this election is no better a way to succeed than turning to somebody like Senator Sanders who wants to burn the house down.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for better

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

Get even more translations for better »


Find a translation for the better definition in other languages:

Select another language:

  • - Select -
  • 简体中文 (Chinese - Simplified)
  • 繁體中文 (Chinese - Traditional)
  • Español (Spanish)
  • Esperanto (Esperanto)
  • 日本語 (Japanese)
  • Português (Portuguese)
  • Deutsch (German)
  • العربية (Arabic)
  • Français (French)
  • Русский (Russian)
  • ಕನ್ನಡ (Kannada)
  • 한국어 (Korean)
  • עברית (Hebrew)
  • Gaeilge (Irish)
  • Українська (Ukrainian)
  • اردو (Urdu)
  • Magyar (Hungarian)
  • मानक हिन्दी (Hindi)
  • Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Italiano (Italian)
  • தமிழ் (Tamil)
  • Türkçe (Turkish)
  • తెలుగు (Telugu)
  • ภาษาไทย (Thai)
  • Tiếng Việt (Vietnamese)
  • Čeština (Czech)
  • Polski (Polish)
  • Bahasa Indonesia (Indonesian)
  • Românește (Romanian)
  • Nederlands (Dutch)
  • Ελληνικά (Greek)
  • Latinum (Latin)
  • Svenska (Swedish)
  • Dansk (Danish)
  • Suomi (Finnish)
  • فارسی (Persian)
  • ייִדיש (Yiddish)
  • հայերեն (Armenian)
  • Norsk (Norwegian)
  • English (English)

Word of the Day

Would you like us to send you a FREE new word definition delivered to your inbox daily?

Please enter your email address:

Discuss these better definitions with the community:



    Use the citation below to add this definition to your bibliography:


    "better." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 1 Feb. 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/better>.

    Are we missing a good definition for better? Don't keep it to yourself...

    Browse Definitions.net

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Chrome

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!

    Free, no signup required:

    Add to Firefox

    Get instant definitions for any word that hits you anywhere on the web!


    Are you a words master?

    a meter that shows mileage traversed
    • A. intelligence
    • B. odometer
    • C. witness
    • D. accommodation

    Nearby & related entries:

    Alternative searches for better: