From King Dictionary of Contemporary English
Related topics: Illness & disability
betterbet‧ter1 /ˈbetə $ -ər/ ●●● S1 W1 adjective 1 [comparative of good]BETTER more useful, interesting, satisfactory, effective, suitable etc OPP worse Your stereo is better than mine. There must be a better way to do this. a better-quality carmuch/a lot/far better We now have a much better understanding of the disease.better still/even better It was even better than last year.Better is a comparative form. Don’t say ‘more better’.2 [comparative of well] a) BETTERmore healthy or less ill or painful than before OPP worse She is a little better today, the doctor says. I’m feeling much better, thank you. b) MIHEALTHYcompletely well again after an illness When you’re better we can see about planning a trip. I hope he gets better (=recovers from an illness) soon.see thesaurus at healthy3 it is better/it would be better4 get better5 no better6 nothing better7 that’s better8 better late than never your better half/other half at half2(8), → the best/better part of something at part1(9), → against your better judgment at judgment(1), → somebody’s better nature at nature(2), → better luck next time at luck1(14), → better the devil you know at devil(11), → have seen better days at see1(29)THESAURUSbetter the comparative of goodShe wants a better job.The sales figures were far better than expected.Lucy’s better at French than I am.superior better, especially in qualityGerman cars are far superior. a superior productHe thinks men are superior to women.preferable formal more suitable or useful – used when saying which one you preferCash would be preferable.Anything would be preferable to the system we have now. be an improvement on something to be better than something that existed beforeThe engine is a huge improvement on previous diesel engines.have the edge to be slightly better than another person or thing – used especially when saying which one will win in a game or competitionFederer is likely to have the edge in Sunday’s game.For me, this film has the edge over the miles ahead (of somebody/something) (also be streets ahead (of somebody/something) British English) informal to be very much better than someone or something that you are competing againstThe company is streets ahead of its rivals.there’s no comparison spoken used to emphasize that one person or thing is clearly much better than someone or something elseThere’s no comparison between the two teams.‘Which apartment do you prefer?’ ‘Well, there’s no comparison. The first one we saw is bigger, quieter, and has much nicer furniture.’
Examples from the Corpus
betterAngie spent last week painting her bedroom -- it looks much better.We could either go to Florida or California -- which do you think is better?Your Spanish is definitely getting better.I don't think you should go swimming until you're better.Lucy's better at mathematics than I am.She bought a better car.You'll get a better deal from a mail-order company.He turned down what any of his peers would have called a much better deal today.Still, he is impressive as the surly, enigmatic intellectual who offers Jane a glimmer of hope for a better life.Women are little better, only weaker in carrying out their ill intentions.Caffeine received no better press in the twentieth century.Consumers are demanding lower prices, better quality, and a larger selection of goods.My sister is a better student than me.His latest novel is far better than anything he's written before.Your job is better than mine.Tell the students that you are going to conduct an activity to find out if two ears are better than one.She's a little better than she was yesterday.The sales figures were better than we expected.People's general health is a lot better these days than it used to be.Here, this one is better - try it.much/a lot/far betterWe certainly felt a lot better.I feel a lot better about things.Planted in the garden and potted with cactuses, they have found a far better home their second time around.But otherwise it really helped the child focus and do a lot better in school.There-I feel a lot better now.I do go for designer clothes most of the time, because they last longer and are a far better quality.But frankly when people marry it's often a far better thing if they don't love each other.Magnus has a far better time than I do.feeling ... betterHe offered to stop some one, but I was feeling a bit better.She stalked off to her trailer, but he could see by her walk that she was feeling better.You leave the theater feeling better about everything.We had a very happy, relaxed time, and came home feeling much better for the rest and change.When you've faced a serious illness, feeling better is the best feeling there is in the world.
betterbetter2 ●●● S1 W1 adverb [comparative of well] 1 BETTERto a higher standard or quality OPP worse He can speak French a lot better than I can. Your bike will run better if you oil it. fare better at fare22 BETTERto a higher degree SYN more She knows this town better than you do. I think I like the red one better. Potter is better known for his TV work.3 had better4 do better5 the sooner the better/the bigger the better etc6 go one better (than somebody) better off
Examples from the Corpus
betterI liked his last movie better.This country's people are wealthier, healthier, and better educated than ever before.Hospitals are much better equipped now.You can see much better from up here.I thought we played much better in the third period.Vidal is better known as a novelist.Apparently the networks-feeling that minorities were better served elsewhere-decided they themselves had no obligation to show minority faces.The car is running much better since I put in new spark plugs.Ralph would be able to explain this a lot better than I can.Relief agencies are hoping to cope better with the famine than they did in 1990.better knownThe little-known cast is unlikely to become better known.Some of these statutes were brought forward, like the better known acts of state, by the Crown.Gutierrez, better known as Alberto Korda, is delighted his photograph has inspired socialist revolutionaries for more than three decades.His manner is both warm and friendly, with not a hint of the pretentiousness of some of his better known colleagues.But La Paca was better known for her claim to a higher, unearthly power.Cochran is by far the better known of the two.No believer in so-called reportorial objectivity, he has also become far better known than most of his subjects.
betterbetter3 ●●○ noun 1 the better2 get the better of somebody3 for the better4 so much the better5 be all the better for something6 for better or (for) worse7 your betters worse3, → elders and betters at elder2(2)
Examples from the Corpus
betterBored in the isolation of his taxi, curiosity and perhaps hunger got the better of him.On many other issues where he and Mr Bush differ we similarly believe Mr Gore has the better of the argument.
betterbetter4 verb [transitive] 1 BETTERto be higher in quality, amount etc than someone or something else His total of five gold medals is unlikely to be bettered.2 better yourself3 formalIMPROVE to improve something bettering the lot of the working classes→ See Verb table
Examples from the Corpus
betterIn my view nothing betters a good ferret box.Rockefeller believed society could be bettered by public spending and public laws aimed at bettering economic conditionsI think you can always better programs.
Origin better1 Old English betera