better

[[t]be̱tə(r)[/t]]
betters, bettering, bettered
1) Better is the comparative of good.
2) Better is the comparative of well.
3) ADV-COMPAR: ADV after v If you like one thing better than another, you like it more.

I like your interpretation better than the one I was taught...

I'd like nothing better than to join you girls...

They liked it better when it rained.

4) ADJ-GRADED: v-link ADJ If you are better after an illness or injury, you have recovered from it. If you feel better, you no longer feel so ill.

He is much better now, he's fine...

The doctors were saying there wasn't much hope of me getting better.

5) PHR-MODAL You use had better or 'd better when you are advising, warning, or threatening someone, or expressing an opinion about what should happen.

It's half past two. I think we had better go home...

You'd better run if you're going to get your ticket...

He'd better not try to fool me.

In spoken English, people sometimes use better without `had' or `be' before it. It has the same meaning.

Better not say too much aloud.

6) PRON If you say that you expect or deserve better, you mean that you expect or deserve a higher standard of achievement, behaviour, or treatment from people than they have shown you.

We expect better of you in the future...

Our long-suffering mining communities deserve better than this.

7) N-PLURAL: poss N Your betters are people who have a higher status or rank than you do. [HUMOROUS, OLD-FASHIONED]

Sit down and be quiet in front of your elders and betters.

8) VERB If someone betters a high achievement or standard, they achieve something higher.

[V n] He recorded a time of 4 minutes 23, bettering the old record of 4-24...

[V n] As an account of adolescence it could hardly be bettered.

9) VERB If you better your situation, you improve your social status or the quality of your life. If you better yourself, you improve your social status.

[V n] He had dedicated his life to bettering the lot of the oppressed people of South Africa...

[V pron-refl] Our parents chose to come here with the hope of bettering themselves.

10) Better is used to form the comparative of compound adjectives beginning with `good' and `well.' For example, the comparative of `well-off' is `better-off.'
11) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR -ing, PHR -ed You can say that someone is better doing one thing than another, or it is better doing one thing than another to advise someone about what they should do.

You are better eating just a small snack than hurrying a main meal...

Wouldn't it be better putting a time-limit on the task?...

Subjects like this are better left alone.

12) PHRASE: PHR after v If something changes for the better, it improves.

He dreams of changing the world for the better.

13) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If a feeling such as jealousy, curiosity, or anger gets the better of you, it becomes too strong for you to hide or control.

She didn't allow her emotions to get the better of her.

14) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n If you get the better of someone, you defeat them in a contest, fight, or argument.

He is used to tough defenders, and he usually gets the better of them.

15) PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR than to-inf If someone knows better than to do something, they are old enough or experienced enough to know it is the wrong thing to do.

She knew better than to argue with Adeline...

It's bad enough to have anyone joke about such a serious matter but a member of the police force should know better.

16) PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR than n If you know better than someone, you have more information, knowledge, or experience than them.

He thought he knew better than I did, though he was much less experienced...

My sister still claims she cheated on us at cards, but I know better.

17) PHRASE: PHR -ing/prep/adv If you say that someone would be better off doing something, you are advising them to do it or expressing the opinion that it would benefit them to do it.

If you've got bags you're better off taking a taxi...

Their stance seems to be that a baby or child is better off in its country of birth.

18) PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR than n If you go one better, you do something better than it has been done before or obtain something better than someone else has.

Now General Electric have gone one better than nature and made a diamond purer than the best quality natural diamonds.

19) CONVENTION You say `That's better' in order to express your approval of what someone has said or done, or to praise or encourage them.

`I came to ask your advice - no, to ask for your help.' - `That's better. And how can I help you?'

20) PHRASE You can say `so much the better' or `all the better' to indicate that it is desirable that a particular thing is used, done, or available.

Make sure that you use strong white flour, and if you can get hold of durum wheat flour, then so much the better...

If there's good skiing, breathtaking scenery and you don't need to catch a plane, all the better!

21) PHRASE You can use expressions like `The bigger the better' or `The sooner the better' to say that you would prefer it if something is big or happens soon.

The Irish love a party, the bigger the better...

The fewer things in the room the better.

22) PHRASE: PHR to-inf If you do something the better to do something else, you do the first thing in order to be able to do the second thing more effectively. [mainly WRITTEN]

She came on every ride herself, the better to instruct her eager pupils.

23) PHRASE: V inflects If you intend to do something and then think better of it, you decide not to do it because you realize it would not be sensible.

Alberg opened his mouth, as if to protest. But he thought better of it.

24) PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR with cl If you say that something has happened or been done for better or worse, you mean that you are not sure whether the consequences will be good or bad, but they will have to be accepted because the action cannot be changed.

I married you for better or worse, knowing all about these problems.

25) better the devil you knowsee devil
discretion is the better part of valoursee discretion
your better halfsee half
against your better judgementsee judgement
be better than nothingsee nothing
the better partsee part

English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Better — Bet ter, a.; compar. of Good. [OE. betere, bettre, and as adv. bet, AS. betera, adj., and bet, adv.; akin to Icel. betri, adj., betr, adv., Goth. batiza, adj., OHG. bezziro, adj., baz, adv., G. besser, adj. and adv., bass, adv., E. boot, and prob …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Better — is the comparative form of the adjective good .Better may also refer to: * to better as a verb means that someone or something has undergone betterment *better, an alternate spelling of bettor, as a noun, is someone who bets (gambles) *Better, a… …   Wikipedia

  • better — better1 [bet′ər] adj. [ME bettere, betere < OE betera: see BEST] 1. compar. of GOOD 2. of a more excellent sort; surpassing another or others 3. more suitable, more desirable, more favorable, more profitable, etc. 4. being more than half;… …   English World dictionary

  • better — adj Better, superior, preferable mean more worthy or more pleasing than another or others. Better, which often serves as the comparative of good, in this sense implies a quality or character in a person or thing that surpasses or exceeds that in… …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Better — Bet ter, adv.; compar. of {Well}. 1. 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. [1913 Webster] I could have… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • better — 1. had better. This common idiom is used in the form We had better go home or We d better go home; the negative form is We d better not go home and the interrogative Hadn t we better go home?. Informally (but not in more formal contexts), the… …   Modern English usage

  • Better — Bet ter, v. t. [imp. & p. p. {Bettered}; p. pr. & vb. n. {Bettering}.] [AS. beterian, betrian, fr. betera better. See {Better}, a.] 1. To improve or ameliorate; to increase the good qualities of. [1913 Webster] Love betters what is best.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • better — [adj1] excelling, more excellent bigger, choice, exceeding, exceptional, finer, fitter, greater, higher quality, improved, larger, more appropriate, more desirable, more fitting, more select, more suitable, more useful, more valuable, preferable …   New thesaurus

  • Better — Bet ter, n. 1. Advantage, superiority, or victory; usually with of; as, to get the better of an enemy. [1913 Webster] 2. One who has a claim to precedence; a superior, as in merit, social standing, etc.; usually in the plural. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Better — Saltar a navegación, búsqueda Better es una canción de la banda de hard rock estadounidense Guns N Roses, que aparece en su sexto disco de estudio Chinese Democracy , album del cuál también es el segundo sencillo que se ha lanzado hasta el… …   Wikipedia Español

  • Better — Bet ter, v. i. To become better; to improve. Carlyle. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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