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English definition of “better”

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better

adjective uk   /ˈbet.ər/ us    /ˈbet̬.ɚ/
A1 comparative of good : of a higher standard, or more suitable, pleasing, or effective than other things or people: He stood near the front to get a better view. Relations between the two countries have never been better. It's much better to have a small, cosy room than a big, cold one. The book was better than I expected. She is much better at tennis than I am. It is far (= much) better to save some of your money than to spend it all at once. Fresh vegetables are better for you (= more beneficial to you) than canned ones. The longer you keep this wine, the better it tastes (= it has a better flavour if you keep it for a long time). The bed was hard, but it was better than nothing (= than not having a bed).A1 If you are or get better after an illness or injury, you are healthy again: I hope you get better soon.get better to improve: After the ceasefire, the situation in the capital got better. She's getting much better at pronouncing English words.
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better

adverb uk   /ˈbet.ər/ us    /ˈbet̬.ɚ/
A2 in a more suitable, pleasing, or satisfactory way, or to a greater degree: The next time he took the test, he was better prepared. They did much better (= were more successful) in the second half of the game. I like this jacket much better than (= I prefer it to) the other one. She knows her way around the college better than I do. to a greater degree, when used as the comparative of adjectives beginning with "good" or "well": She is better-looking (= more attractive) than her brother. He is much better known for his poetry than his songwriting.better still ( also even better) used to say that a particular choice would be more satisfactory: Why don't you give her a call or, better still, go and see her?sb had better do sth A2 used to give advice or to make a threat: You'd better (= you should) go home now before the rain starts. He'd better pay me back that money he owes me soon, or else.sb would do better UK it would be wiser: You would do better to bring the plants inside when the weather gets colder.
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better

noun uk   /ˈbet.ər/ us    /ˈbet̬.ɚ/
[U] something that is of a higher standard than something else: He ran the 100 metres in 9.91 seconds, and I have not seen better (= a faster result) this year. [U] behaviour, work, or treatment that is more suitable, pleasing, or satisfactory: You shouldn't be so mean to your mother - she deserves better. I didn't think he would go out without telling me - I expected better of him.betters [plural] old-fashioned people of a higher rank or social position than you: As children, we were taught not to argue with our elders and betters.

better

verb [T] uk   /ˈbet.ər/ us    /ˈbet̬.ɚ/
to improve a situation: The organization was established to better conditions for the disabled.better yourself to improve your social position, often by getting a better job or education: He tried to better himself by taking evening classes.
(Definition of better from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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