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American Dictionary of the English Language

Webster's Dictionary 1828

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Improve


IMPROVE, verb transitive improov'. [Latin in and probo, to prove, or the adjective probus.]

1. To make better; to advance in value or good qualities. We amend a bad, but improve a good thing.

A good education improves the mind and the manners. A judicious rotation of crops tends to improve land.

2. To use or employ to good purpose; to make productive; to turn to profitable account; to use for advantage; to employ for advancing interest, reputation or happiness.

Many opportunities occur of improving money, which, if a man misses, he may not afterwards recover.

Melissus was a man of parts, capable or enjoying and improving life.

True policy as well as good faith, in my opinion, binds us to improve the occasion.

This success was not improved.

Those who enjoy the advantage of better instruction, should improve their privileges.

They were aware of the advantages of their position, and improved them with equal skill and diligence.

Those moments were diligently improved.

The candidate improved his advantages.

A hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved.

Whatever interest we have at the throne of grace, should be improved in behalf of others.

The court seldom fails to improve the opportunity.

My lords, no time should be lost, which may promise to improve this disposition in America.

If we neglect to improve our knowledge to the ends for which it was given--

It is the fault of persons not improving that light.

The shorter the time--the more eager were they to improve it.

A young minister wishing to improve the occasion--

3. To apply to practical purposes; as, to improve a discourse, or the doctrines stated and proved in a sermon.

4. To advance or increase by use; in a bad sense.

I fear we have not a little improved the wretched inheritance of our ancestors.

5. To use; to employ; as, to improve a witness of a deposition.

Let even the coach, the inns, or the ships be improved as openings for useful instruction.

6. To use; to occupy; to cultivate. The house or the farm is now improved by an industrious tenant.

This application is perhaps peculiar to some parts of the U. States. It however deviates little from that in some of the forgoing definitions.

IMPROVE, verb intransitive improov'. To grow better or wiser; to advance in goodness, knowledge, wisdom or other excellence. We are pleased to see our children improve in knowledge and virtue. A farm improves under judicious management. The artisan improves by experience. It is the duty, as it is the desire of a good man, to improve in grace and piety.

We take care to improve in our frugality and diligence.

1. To advance in bad qualities; to grow worse.

Domitian improved in cruelty toward the end of his reign.

[I regret to see this word thus used, or rather perverted.]

2. To increase; to be enhanced; to rise.

The price of cotton improves, or is improved.

[A mercantile and modern use of the word.]

To improve on, to make useful additions or amendments to; to bring nearer to perfection; as, to improve on the mode of tillage usually practiced.