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Betsy Griscom Ross
Betsy Ross
Betta pugnax
Bette Davis
Better Business Bureau
better half
better off
better safe than sorry
better self

Better definitions

Webster's 1828 Dictionary

BET'TER, a comp. of bet. See Best.]
1. Having good qualities in a greater degree than another; applied to physical, acquired or moral qualities; as a better soil, a better man, a better physician, a better house, a better air, a better harvest.
2. More advantageous.
Were it not better for us to return to Egypt: Exodus 14.
3. More acceptable.
To obey is better than sacrifice. 2 Samuel 15.
4. More safe.
It is better to trust in the Lord, than to put confidence in man. Psalms 118.
5. Improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better.
6. To be better off, to be in a better condition. Beddoes,Hygeia. This is a very common phrase; but ought not off, to be of? It is not elegant.
7. To have the better, is to have the advantage or superiority, followed by of before him or that over which the advantage is enjoyed; as, the English had the better of the Spaniards.
8. To get or gain the better, is to obtain the advantage, superiority or victory; as, to get the better of an enemy.
9. For the better, is for the advantage or improvement.
BET'TER, adv. In a more excellent manner; with more skill and wisdom, virtue, advantage or success; as, to perform work better; to plan a scheme better; land better cultivated; laws better executed; government better administered.
1. More correctly, or fully; as, to understand a subject better than another.
2. With superior excellence; as, to write or speak better than another.
3. With more affection; in a higher degree; as, to love one better than another.
It is not easy to specify and exemplify the various applications of better. In general,it implies what is more excellent, advantageous, useful, or virtuous, than something else.
BET'TER, v.t.
1. To improve; to meliorate; to increase the good qualities of; as, manure betters land; discipline may better the morals.
2. To surpass; to exceed.
The works of nature do always aim at that which cannot be bettered.
Qu.is not the sense, made better:
3. To advance; to support; to give advantage to; as, to better a party; to better a cause.
BET'TER, n. A superior; one who has a claim to precedence on account of his rank, age, or office; as, give place to your betters. It is generally or always used in the plural.

WordNet (r) 3.0 (2005)

1: (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" [ant: worse]
2: (comparative of `good') changed for the better in health or fitness; "her health is better now"; "I feel better" [ant: worse, worsened]
3: (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" [syn: better, best]
4: more than half; "argued for the better part of an hour" n
1: something superior in quality or condition or effect; "a change for the better"
2: someone who bets [syn: bettor, better, wagerer, punter]
3: a superior person having claim to precedence; "the common man has been kept in his place by his betters"
4: the superior one of two alternatives; "chose the better of the two" v
1: surpass in excellence; "She bettered her own record"; "break a record" [syn: better, break]
2: to make better; "The editor improved the manuscript with his changes" [syn: better, improve, amend, ameliorate, meliorate] [ant: aggravate, exacerbate, exasperate, worsen]
3: get better; "The weather improved toward evening" [syn: better, improve, ameliorate, meliorate] [ant: decline, worsen] adv
1: 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"
2: from a position of superiority or authority; "father knows best"; "I know better." [syn: better, best]

Merriam Webster's

I. adjective, comparative of good Etymology: Middle English bettre, from Old English betera; akin to Old English b?t remedy, Sanskrit bhadra fortunate Date: before 12th century 1. greater than half <for the better part of an hour> 2. improved in health or mental attitude <feeling better> 3. more attractive, favorable, or commendable <in better circumstances> 4. more advantageous or effective <a better solution> 5. improved in accuracy or performance <building a better engine> II. verb Date: before 12th century transitive verb 1. to make better: as a. to make more tolerable or acceptable <trying to better the lot of slum dwellers> b. to make more complete or perfect <looked forward to bettering her acquaintance with the new neighbors> 2. to surpass in excellence ; excel intransitive verb to become better Synonyms: see improve III. adverb, comparative of well Date: 12th century 1. a. in a more excellent manner <sings better than I do> b. to greater advantage ; preferably <some things are better left unsaid> 2. a. to a higher or greater degree <he knows the story better than you do> b. more <it is better than nine miles to the next town> IV. noun Date: 12th century 1. a. something better <I expected better from them> b. a superior especially in merit or rank <was respectful of his betters> 2. advantage, victory <get the better of her> V. verbal auxiliary Date: 1831 had better <you better hurry>

Oxford Reference Dictionary

1. adj., adv., n., & v. --adj. (compar. of GOOD). 1 of a more excellent or outstanding or desirable kind (a better product; it would be better to go home). 2 partly or fully recovered from illness (feeling better). --adv. (compar. of WELL(1)). 1 in a better manner (she sings better). 2 to a greater degree (like it better). 3 more usefully or advantageously (is better forgotten). --n. 1 that which is better (the better of the two). 2 (usu. in pl.; prec. by my etc.) one's superior in ability or rank (take notice of your betters). --v. 1 tr. improve on; surpass (I can better his offer). 2 tr. make better; improve. 3 refl. improve one's position etc. 4 intr. become better; improve. Phrases and idioms: better feelings one's conscience. better half colloq. one's wife or husband. better off in a better (esp. financial) position. the better part of most of. for better or for worse on terms accepting all results; whatever the outcome. get the better of defeat, outwit; win an advantage over. go one better 1 outbid etc. by one. 2 outdo another person. had better would find it wiser to. Etymology: OE betera f. Gmc 2. n. (also bettor) a person who bets.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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. to Skr. bhadra excellent. See Boot advantage, and cf. Best, Batful.] 1. Having good qualities in a greater degree than another; as, a better man; a better physician; a better house; a better air. Could make the worse appear The better reason. --Milton. 2. Preferable in regard to rank, value, use, fitness, acceptableness, safety, or in any other respect. To obey is better than sacrifice. --1 Sam. xv. 22. It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. --Ps. cxviii. 9. 3. Greater in amount; larger; more. 4. Improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better. 5. More advanced; more perfect; as, upon better acquaintance; a better knowledge of the subject. All the better. See under All, adv. Better half, an expression used to designate one's wife. My dear, my better half (said he), I find I must now leave thee. --Sir P. Sidney. To be better off, to be in a better condition. Had better. (See under Had). Note: The phrase had better, followed by an infinitive without to, is idiomatic. The earliest form of construction was ``were better'' with a dative; as, ``Him were better go beside.'' (--Gower.) i. e., It would be better for him, etc. At length the nominative (I, he, they, etc.) supplanted the dative and had took the place of were. Thus we have the construction now used. By all that's holy, he had better starve Than but once think this place becomes thee not. --Shak.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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. Love betters what is best. --Wordsworth. He thought to better his circumstances. --Thackeray. 2. To improve the condition of, morally, physically, financially, socially, or otherwise. The constant effort of every man to better himself. --Macaulay. 3. To surpass in excellence; to exceed; to excel. The works of nature do always aim at that which can not be bettered. --Hooker. 4. To give advantage to; to support; to advance the interest of. [Obs.] Weapons more violent, when next we meet, May serve to better us and worse our foes. --Milton. Syn: To improve; meliorate; ameliorate; mend; amend; correct; emend; reform; advance; promote.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Better Bet"ter, n. 1. Advantage, superiority, or victory; -- usually with of; as, to get the better of an enemy. 2. One who has a claim to precedence; a superior, as in merit, social standing, etc.; -- usually in the plural. Their betters would hardly be found. --Hooker. For the better, in the way of improvement; so as to produce improvement. ``If I have altered him anywhere for the better.'' --Dryden.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

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. I could have better spared a better man. --Shak. 2. More correctly or thoroughly. The better to understand the extent of our knowledge. --Locke. 3. In a higher or greater degree; more; as, to love one better than another. Never was monarch better feared, and loved. --Shak. 4. More, in reference to value, distance, time, etc.; as, ten miles and better. [Colloq.] To think better of (any one), to have a more favorable opinion of any one. To think better of (an opinion, resolution, etc.), to reconsider and alter one's decision.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Better Bet"ter, v. i. To become better; to improve. --Carlyle.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Better Bet"ter, n. One who bets or lays a wager.

Webster's 1913 Dictionary

Good Good, a. [Compar. Better; superl. Best. These words, though used as the comparative and superlative of good, are from a different root.] [AS. G[=o]d, akin to D. goed, OS. g[=o]d, OHG. guot, G. gut, Icel. g[=o][eth]r, Sw. & Dan. god, Goth. g[=o]ds; prob. orig., fitting, belonging together, and akin to E. gather. [root]29 Cf. Gather.] 1. Possessing desirable qualities; adapted to answer the end designed; promoting success, welfare, or happiness; serviceable; useful; fit; excellent; admirable; commendable; not bad, corrupt, evil, noxious, offensive, or troublesome, etc. And God saw everything that he had made, and behold, it was very good. --Gen. i. 31. Good company, good wine, good welcome. --Shak. 2. Possessing moral excellence or virtue; virtuous; pious; religious; -- said of persons or actions. In all things showing thyself a pattern of good works. --Tit. ii. 7. 3. Kind; benevolent; humane; merciful; gracious; polite; propitious; friendly; well-disposed; -- often followed by to or toward, also formerly by unto. The men were very good unto us. --1 Sam. xxv. 15. 4. Serviceable; suited; adapted; suitable; of use; to be relied upon; -- followed especially by for. All quality that is good for anything is founded originally in merit. --Collier. 5. Clever; skillful; dexterous; ready; handy; -- followed especially by at. He . . . is a good workman; a very good tailor. --Shak. Those are generally good at flattering who are good for nothing else. --South. 6. Adequate; sufficient; competent; sound; not fallacious; valid; in a commercial sense, to be depended on for the discharge of obligations incurred; having pecuniary ability; of unimpaired credit. My reasons are both good and weighty. --Shak. My meaning in saying he is a good man is . . . that he is sufficient . . . I think I may take his bond. --Shak. 7. Real; actual; serious; as in the phrases in good earnest; in good sooth. Love no man in good earnest. --Shak. 8. Not small, insignificant, or of no account; considerable; esp., in the phrases a good deal, a good way, a good degree, a good share or part, etc. 9. Not lacking or deficient; full; complete. Good measure, pressed down, and shaken together, and running over. --Luke vi. 38. 10. Not blemished or impeached; fair; honorable; unsullied; as in the phrases a good name, a good report, good repute, etc. A good name is better than precious ointment. --Eccl. vii. 1. As good as. See under As. For good, or For good and all, completely and finally; fully; truly. The good woman never died after this, till she came to die for good and all. --L'Estrange. Good breeding, polite or polished manners, formed by education; a polite education. Distinguished by good humor and good breeding. --Macaulay. Good cheap, literally, good bargain; reasonably cheap. Good consideration (Law). (a) A consideration of blood or of natural love and affection. --Blackstone. (b) A valuable consideration, or one which will sustain a contract. Good fellow, a person of companionable qualities. [Familiar] Good folk, or Good people, fairies; brownies; pixies, etc. [Colloq. Eng. & Scot.] Good for nothing. (a) Of no value; useless; worthless. (b) Used substantively, an idle, worthless person. My father always said I was born to be a good for nothing. --Ld. Lytton. Good Friday, the Friday of Holy Week, kept in some churches as a fast, in memoory of our Savior's passion or suffering; the anniversary of the crucifixion. Good humor, or Good-humor, a cheerful or pleasant temper or state of mind. Good nature, or Good-nature, habitual kindness or mildness of temper or disposition; amiability; state of being in good humor. The good nature and generosity which belonged to his character. --Macaulay. The young count's good nature and easy persuadability were among his best characteristics. --Hawthorne. Good people. See Good folk (above). Good speed, good luck; good success; godspeed; -- an old form of wishing success. See Speed. Good turn, an act of kidness; a favor. Good will. (a) Benevolence; well wishing; kindly feeling. (b) (Law) The custom of any trade or business; the tendency or inclination of persons, old customers and others, to resort to an established place of business; the advantage accruing from tendency or inclination. The good will of a trade is nothing more than the probability that the old customers will resort to the old place. --Lord Eldon. In good time. (a) Promptly; punctually; opportunely; not too soon nor too late. (b) (Mus.) Correctly; in proper time. To hold good, to remain true or valid; to be operative; to remain in force or effect; as, his promise holds good; the condition still holds good. To make good, to fulfill; to establish; to maintain; to supply (a defect or deficiency); to indemmify; to prove or verify (an accusation); to prove to be blameless; to clear; to vindicate. Each word made good and true. --Shak. Of no power to make his wishes good. --Shak. I . . . would by combat make her good. --Shak. Convenient numbers to make good the city. --Shak. To think good, to approve; to be pleased or satisfied with; to consider expedient or proper. If ye think good, give me my price; and if not, forbear. --Zech. xi. 12. Note: Good, in the sense of wishing well, is much used in greeting and leave-taking; as, good day, good night, good evening, good morning, etc.

Collin's Cobuild Dictionary

(betters, bettering, bettered) Frequency: The word is one of the 700 most common words in English. 1. Better is the comparative of good. 2. Better is the comparative of well. 3. If you like one thing better than another, you like it more. I like your interpretation better than the one I was taught... They liked it better when it rained. ADV: ADV after v 4. 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. ADJ: v-link ADJ 5. 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... PHRASE • 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. 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. Our long-suffering mining communities deserve better than this. PRON 7. If someone betters a high achievement or standard, they achieve something higher. He recorded a time of 4 minutes 23, bettering the old record of 4-24... VERB: V n 8. 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. He had dedicated his life to bettering the lot of the oppressed people of South Africa... Our parents chose to come here with the hope of bettering themselves. VERB: V n, V pron-refl 9. 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.' 10. 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. Wouldn't it be better putting a time-limit on the task?... Subjects like this are better left alone. PHRASE: V inflects, PHR -ing, PHR -ed 11. If something changes for the better, it improves. He dreams of changing the world for the better. PHRASE: PHR after v 12. 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. PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n 13. 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. PHRASE: V inflects, PHR n 14. 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... PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR than to-inf 15. 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... PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR than n 16. 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... PHRASE: PHR -ing/prep/adv 17. 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. PHRASE: V inflects, oft PHR than n 18. 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?' CONVENTION 19. 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. Use strong white flour, and if you can get hold of durum wheat flour, then so much the better... PHRASE 20. 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... PHRASE 21. 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. PHRASE: V inflects 22. 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. PHRASE: PHR after v, PHR with cl 23. against your better judgment: see judgment to be better than nothing: see nothing the better part: see part

Soule's Dictionary of English Synonyms

I. a. 1. More good, more excellent, good in a higher degree. 2. More useful, more valuable. 3. Preferable, more desirable, more acceptable. 4. More fit, more appropriate, more suitable. 5. Improved in health, less ill. 6. More familiar, more intimate. See various meanings of Good. II. n. 1. Superiority, advantage, victory, upper hand. 2. Improvement, greater good. 3. Superior. 4. Bettor, wagerer, taker of odds. III. ad. 1. In a superior manner, in a more excellent way, more fully, more completely. 2. With greater advantage, more usefully or profitably. 3. More, in a higher degree. IV. v. a. Improve, amend, emend, meliorate, ameliorate, reform, correct, rectify, advance, promote, make or render better. V. v. n. Grow, get, or become better, improve, advance, mend, come up.

Moby Thesaurus

a cut above, above, accommodate, acculturate, adapt, adjust, advance, advantage, ahead, alter, altered, ameliorate, amend, ascendant, beat, best, better for, better off, bettor, bigger, boost, brass hat, break up, bring forward, cap, capping, change, changeable, changed, choice, chosen, civilize, control, convert, converted, cured, deform, degenerate, denature, desirable, deviant, distinguished, divergent, diversify, eclipsing, edify, educate, elder, elevate, emend, eminent, enhance, enlighten, enrich, exceed, exceeding, excel, excellent, excelling, exceptional, fatten, favor, favored, favoring, finer, fit, forward, foster, gambler, gamester, go one better, go straight, greater, happier, help, higher, higher-up, improve, improve on, improve upon, improved, in ascendancy, in the ascendant, lard, larger, lift, major, make an improvement, marked, mastery, meliorate, mend, metamorphosed, metastasized, mitigate, modified, modify, modulate, more, more desirable, most, mutant, mutate, nurture, of choice, one up on, outdo, outshine, outstanding, outstrip, outweigh, over, overbalance, overbear, overcome, overpass, overthrow, overtop, perfect, predominate, preferable, preferably, preferential, preferred, preferring, preponderate, prevail, promote, punter, qualified, qualify, raise, rare, re-create, realign, rebuild, rebuilt, reconsider, reconstruct, recovered, redesign, refine upon, refit, reform, reformed, remake, renew, renewed, reshape, restructure, revamp, revive, revived, revolutionary, richer, ring the changes, rivaling, senior, shift the scene, shuffle the cards, socialize, speculator, sport, straighten out, subversive, subvert, success, super, superior, superiority, superiors, surpass, surpassing, think better of, think twice, to be preferred, top, topping, tower above, tower over, transcend, transcendent, transcendental, transcending, transfigure, transform, transformed, translated, transmuted, triumph, trump, turn the scale, turn the tables, turn the tide, turn upside down, unmitigated, upgrade, uplift, upper, vary, wagerer, wealthier, well-advised, win, wiser, work a change, worse, worsen


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