bet|ter1 W1S1 [ˈbetə US -ər] adj
[: Old English; Origin: betera]
1.) [comparative of good]
more useful, interesting, satisfactory, effective, suitable etc
≠ ↑worse
Your stereo is better than mine.
a better job with a better salary
There must be a better way to do this.
a better-quality car
much/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.
2.) [comparative of well]
a) more healthy or less ill or painful than before
≠ ↑worse
She is a little better today, the doctor says.
I'm feeling much better , thank you.
b) completely 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.
3.) it is better/it would be better
used to give your opinion or make a suggestion about what you think should be done or happen
it is better to do sth
It's much better to get a proper written agreement.
it is better/it would be better if
It might be better if you stayed here.
4.) get better
to improve
Her English isn't really getting any better.
Things can only get better.
5.) no better
a) not better than something else or something before
The following day the weather was no better.
John's no better; he never does any washing up either.
b) used to say that something is the best
there is no better way/example/place etc
There's no better way of exploring the region.
6.) nothing better
a) used to say that you really like something or think that something is very good
like/love/enjoy nothing better (than)
She likes nothing better than a nice long walk along the beach.
There's nothing better than beating someone who's playing well.
b) used to say that a thing or situation is not very good, but is the only thing possible or available
have nothing better to do
Have you got nothing better to do than sit there playing that silly game?
I only picked it up because there was nothing better to read.
7.) that's better
spoken used to say that something has improved, that you are happier or more comfortable, or to encourage someone
Ah, that's better. I needed to sit down.
Move it left a bit. Yes, that's better.
'Can you turn it down a bit?' 'Is that better?'
8.) better late than never
spoken used to say that even if something happens late or someone arrives late, this is better than it not happening or their not arriving at all
your better half/other half athalf2 (8)
the best/better part of sth atpart1 (9)
against your better judgment atjudgment
sb's better nature atnature
better luck next time atluck1 (14)
better the devil you know atdevil
have seen better days atsee1 (30)
HINT sense 1
Better is a comparative form. Do not say 'more better'.
better 2
better2 W1S1 adv [comparative of well]
1.) to a higher standard or quality
≠ ↑worse
He can speak French a lot better than I can.
Your bike will run better if you oil it.
fare better atfare2
2.) to a higher degree
= ↑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 better
a) used to give advice about what someone should do or to say what you should do or need to do
I'd better go and get ready.
I think you'd better ask Jo first.
Better just check she's okay.
You had better not tell Oliver (=it is not a good idea) .
b) used to threaten someone
You'd better keep your mouth shut about this.
4.) do better
to perform better or reach a higher standard
We did better than all the other schools.
You can do better than that!
5.) the sooner the better/the bigger the better etc
used to emphasize that you would prefer something to happen as soon as possible, want something to be as big as possible etc
School finishes at the end of the week, and the sooner the better as far as I'm concerned.
The younger you start learning a language, the better you'll speak it.
6.) go one better (than sb) informal to do something more successfully than someone else
The following year Lewis went one better by winning the gold medal.
Of course, they had to go one better and have the whole garden redesigned.
HINT sense 3
In speech, people usually shorten had to 'd, and may not pronounce it at all. But do not leave out had or 'd in writing: You'd better come here (NOT You better)!
better 3
better3 n
1.) the better
the one that is higher in quality, more suitable etc when you are comparing two similar people or things
It's hard to decide which one's the better.
2.) get the better of sb
a) if your feelings or wishes get the better of you, they make you behave in a way you would not normally behave
My curiosity finally got the better of me and I opened the letter.
I think her nerves got the better of her.
b) to defeat someone or deal successfully with a problem
3.) for the better
in a way that improves the situation
a definite change for the better
The President's fortunes seem, at last, to have taken a turn for the better (=started to improve) .
4.) so much the better
used to say that something would be even better or bring even more advantages
If they can do them both at the same time, then so much the better.
5.) be all the better for sth
to be improved by a particular action, change etc
I think it's all the better for that extra ten minutes' cooking.
6.) for better or (for) worse
used to say that something must be accepted, whether it is good or bad, because it cannot be changed
Work is, for better or worse, becoming more flexible nowadays.
7.) your betters
old-fashioned people who are more important than you or deserve more respect
elders and betters atelder2 (2)
better 4
better4 v [T]
1.) to be higher in quality, amount etc than someone or something else
His total of five gold medals is unlikely to be bettered.
2.) better yourself
to improve your position in society by getting a better education or earning more money
3.) formal to improve something
bettering the lot of the working classes

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.

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  • 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 …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Better — is the comparative form of the adjective good .Better may also refer to: * to better as a verb means that someone or something has undergone betterment *better, an alternate spelling of bettor, as a noun, is someone who bets (gambles) *Better, a… …   Wikipedia

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  • 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. [1913 Webster] Love betters what is best.… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Better — Bet ter, n. 1. Advantage, superiority, or victory; usually with of; as, to get the better of an enemy. [1913 Webster] 2. One who has a claim to precedence; a superior, as in merit, social standing, etc.; usually in the plural. [1913 Webster]… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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  • Better — Bet ter, v. i. To become better; to improve. Carlyle. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

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