better ( betters plural & 3rd person present) ( bettering present participle) ( bettered past tense & past participle )
1 Better is the comparative of good.
2 Better is the comparative of well.
3 adv If you like one thing betterthan another, you like it more.
ADV after v
I like your interpretation better than the one I was taught..., They liked it better when it rained.
4 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 phrase 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...
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.
Our long-suffering mining communities deserve better than this.
7 verb 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... V n
8 verb If you better your situation, you improve your social status or the quality of your life. If you betteryourself, you improve your social status.
He had dedicated his life to bettering the lot of the oppressed people of South Africa... V n
Our parents chose to come here with the hope of bettering themselves. 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.
be better doing sth/it is better doing sth phrase V inflects, PHR -ing, PHR -ed
Wouldn't it be better putting a time-limit on the task?..., Subjects like this are better left alone.
11 If something changes for the better, it improves.
for the better phrase PHR after v
He dreams of changing the world for the better.
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.
to get the better of sb phrase V inflects, PHR n
She didn't allow her emotions to get the better of her.
13 If you get the better of someone, you defeat them in a contest, fight, or argument.
to get the better of sb phrase V inflects, PHR n
He is used to tough defenders, and he usually gets the better of them.
14 If someone knows betterthan to do something, they are old enough or experienced enough to know it is the wrong thing to do.
to know better phrase V inflects, oft PHR than to-inf
She knew better than to argue with Adeline...
15 If you know betterthan someone, you have more information, knowledge, or experience than them.
to know better phrase V inflects, oft PHR than n
He thought he knew better than I did, though he was much less experienced...
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.
be better off phrase PHR -ing/prep/adv
If you've got bags you're better off taking a taxi...
17 If you go one better, you do something better than it has been done before or obtain something better than someone else has.
go one better phrase V inflects, oft PHR than n
Now General Electric have gone one better than nature and made a diamond purer than the best quality natural diamonds.
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.
that's better convention
`I came to ask your advice<endash>no, to ask for your help.'—`That's better. And how can I help you?'
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.
all/so much the better phrase
Use strong white flour, and if you can get hold of durum wheat flour, then so much the better...
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 bigger/sooner/smaller etc the better phrase
The Irish love a party, the bigger the better...
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.
to think better of it phrase V inflects
Alberg opened his mouth, as if to protest. But he thought better of it.
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.
for better or (for) worse phrase PHR after v, PHR with cl
I married you for better or worse, knowing all about these problems.
against your better judgment
to be better than nothing
the better part