AskDefine | Define better

Dictionary Definition

well adj
1 in good health especially after having suffered illness or injury; "appears to be entirely well"; "the wound is nearly well"; "a well man"; "I think I'm well; at least I feel well" [ant: ill]
2 resulting favorably; "its a good thing that I wasn't there"; "it is good that you stayed"; "it is well that no one saw you"; "all's well that ends well" [syn: good, well(p)]
3 wise or advantageous and hence advisable; "it would be well to start early" [syn: well(p)]


1 a deep hole or shaft dug or drilled to obtain water or oil or gas or brine
2 a cavity or vessel used to contain liquid
3 an abundant source; "she was a well of information" [syn: wellspring, fountainhead]
4 an open shaft through the floors of a building (as for a stairway)
5 an enclosed compartment in a ship or plane for holding something as e.g. fish or a plane's landing gear or for protecting something as e.g. a ship's pumps adv
1 (often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well'); "the children behaved well"; "a task well done"; "the party went well"; "he slept well"; "a well-argued thesis"; "a well-planned party"; "the baby can walk pretty good" [syn: good] [ant: ill]
2 thoroughly or completely; fully; often used as a combining form; "The problem is well understood"; "she was well informed"; "shake well before using"; "in order to avoid food poisoning be sure the meat is well cooked"; "well-done beef", "well-satisfied customers"; "well-educated"
3 indicating high probability; in all likelihood; "I might well do it"; "a mistake that could easily have ended in disaster"; "you may well need your umbrella"; "he could equally well be trying to deceive us" [syn: easily]
4 (used for emphasis or as an intensifier) entirely or fully; "a book well worth reading"; "was well aware of the difficulties ahead"; "suspected only too well what might be going on"
5 to a suitable or appropriate extent or degree; "the project was well underway"; "the fetus has well developed organs"; "his father was well pleased with his grades"
6 favorably; with approval; "their neighbors spoke well of them"; "he thought well of the book" [ant: ill]
7 to a great extent or degree; "I'm afraid the film was well over budget"; "painting the room white made it seem considerably (or substantially) larger"; "the house has fallen considerably in value"; "the price went up substantially" [syn: considerably, substantially]
8 with great or especially intimate knowledge; "we knew them well" [syn: intimately]
9 with prudence or propriety; "You would do well to say nothing more"; "could not well refuse"
10 with skill or in a pleasing manner; "she dances well"; "he writes well" [ant: badly]
11 in a manner affording benefit or advantage; "she married well"; "The children were settled advantageously in Seattle" [syn: advantageously] [ant: badly, badly]
12 in financial comfort; "They live well"; "she has been able to live comfortably since her husband died" [syn: comfortably]
13 without unusual distress or resentment; with good humor; "took the joke well"; "took the tragic news well" [ant: badly] v : come up; "Tears well in her eyes" [syn: swell] [also: better, best]better See wellbetter adj
1 (comparative of `good') superior to another (of the same class or set or kind) in excellence or quality or desirability or suitability; more highly skilled than another; "You're a better man than I am, Gunga Din"; "a better coat"; "a better type of car"; "a suit with a better fit"; "a better chance of success"; "produced a better mousetrap"; "she's better in math than in history" [ant: worse]
2 (comparative of `good') changed for the better in health or fitness; "her health is better now"; "I feel better" [ant: worse]
3 (comparative and superlative of `well') wiser or more advantageous and hence advisable; "it would be better to speak to him"; "the White House thought it best not to respond" [syn: better(p), best(p)]
4 more than half; "argued for the better part of an hour"


1 one having claim to precedence; a superior; "the common man has been kept in his place by his betters"
2 someone who bets [syn: bettor, wagerer, punter]
3 the superior one of two alternatives; "chose the better of the two" adv
1 comparative of `well'; in a better or more excellent manner or more advantageously or attractively or to a greater degree etc.; "She had never sung better"; "a deed better left undone"; "better suited to the job"
2 from a position of superiority or authority; "father knows best"; "I know better." [syn: best]


1 surpass in excellence; "She bettered her own record"; "break a record" [syn: break]
2 to make better; "The editor improved the manuscript with his changes" [syn: improve, amend, ameliorate, meliorate] [ant: worsen]
3 get better; "The weather improved toward evening" [syn: improve, ameliorate, meliorate] [ant: worsen]better (See good)
1 having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified; "good news from the hospital"; "a good report card"; "when she was good she was very very good"; "a good knife is one good for cutting"; "this stump will make a good picnic table"; "a good check"; "a good joke"; "a good exterior paint"; "a good secretary"; "a good dress for the office" [ant: bad]
2 having the normally expected amount; "gives full measure"; "gives good measure"; "a good mile from here" [syn: full]
3 morally admirable [ant: evil]
4 deserving of esteem and respect; "all respectable companies give guarantees"; "ruined the family's good name" [syn: estimable, honorable, respectable]
5 promoting or enhancing well-being; "an arms limitation agreement beneficial to all countries"; "the beneficial effects of a temperate climate"; "the experience was good for her" [syn: beneficial]
6 superior to the average; "in fine spirits"; "a fine student"; "made good grades"; "morale was good"; "had good weather for the parade" [syn: fine]
7 agreeable or pleasing; "we all had a good time"; "good manners"
8 of moral excellence; "a genuinely good person"; "a just cause"; "an upright and respectable man"; "the life of the nation is secure only while the nation is honest, truthful, and virtuous"- Frederick Douglass [syn: just, upright, virtuous]
9 having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude; "adept in handicrafts"; "an adept juggler"; "an expert job"; "a good mechanic"; "a practiced marksman"; "a proficient engineer"; "a lesser-known but no less skillful composer"; "the effect was achieved by skillful retouching" [syn: adept, expert, practiced, proficient, skillful, skilful]
10 thorough; "had a good workout"; "gave the house a good cleaning"
11 with or in a close or intimate relationship; "a good friend"; "my sisters and brothers are near and dear" [syn: dear, near]
12 having or showing or arising from a desire to promote the welfare or happiness of others; "his benevolent smile"; "a benevolent nature" [syn: benevolent] [ant: malevolent]
13 financially sound; "a good investment"; "a secure investment" [syn: dependable, safe, secure]
14 most suitable or right for a particular purpose; "a good time to plant tomatoes"; "the right time to act"; "the time is ripe for great sociological changes" [syn: right, ripe]
15 resulting favorably; "its a good thing that I wasn't there"; "it is good that you stayed"; "it is well that no one saw you"; "all's well that ends well" [syn: well(p)]
16 exerting force or influence; "the law is effective immediately"; "a warranty good for two years"; "the law is already in effect (or in force)" [syn: effective, in effect(p), in force(p)]
17 feeling healthy and free of aches and pains; "I feel good" [syn: good(p)]
18 capable of pleasing; "good looks"
19 appealing to the mind; "good music"; "a serious book" [syn: serious]
20 in excellent physical condition; "good teeth"; "I still have one good leg"; "a sound mind in a sound body" [syn: sound]
21 tending to promote physical well-being; beneficial to health; "beneficial effects of a balanced diet"; "a good night's sleep"; "the salutary influence of pure air" [syn: beneficial, salutary]
22 not forged; "a good dollar bill"
23 not left to spoil; "the meat is still good" [syn: unspoiled, unspoilt]
24 generally admired; "good taste"


1 benefit; "for your own good"; "what's the good of worrying?"
2 moral excellence or admirableness; "there is much good to be found in people" [syn: goodness] [ant: evil, evil]
3 that which is good or valuable or useful; "weigh the good against the bad"; "among the highest goods of all are happiness and self-realization" [syn: goodness] [ant: bad, bad] adv
1 (often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well'); "the children behaved well"; "a task well done"; "the party went well"; "he slept well"; "a well-argued thesis"; "a well-planned party"; "the baby can walk pretty good" [syn: well] [ant: ill]
2 in a complete and thorough manner (`good' is sometimes used informally for `thoroughly'); "he was soundly defeated"; "we beat him good" [syn: thoroughly, soundly] [also: better, best]

User Contributed Dictionary



  • a RP /ˈbɛt.ə/, /"bEt.@/
  • a AusE /ˈbet.ə/, /"bet.@/
  • a GenAm /ˈbɛt.ɚ/, /"bEt.@`/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛtə(r)
  • Hyphenation: bet·ter

Etymology 1



Related terms
comparative of the adjectives good or well


comparative form of the adverb well
  • Dutch: beter
  • French: mieux
  • Hindi: (behtar)
  • Icelandic: betur
  • Interlingua: melio
  • Russian: лучше
  • Slovene: bolje
  • Swedish: bättre


  1. To improve.
to improve
  • Swedish: förbättra

Etymology 2

Alternate pronunciation of bettor or modern fomation from the the verb to bet.


  1. alternative spelling of bettor
  2. An entity, usually animate, deemed superior to or better than another.
    He quickly found Ali his better in the ring.

West Frisian


  1. better

Extensive Definition

Better is the comparative form of the adjective good.
Better may also refer to:

See also

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

a cut above, above, accommodate, acculturate, adapt, adjust, advance, advantage, ahead, alter, altered, ameliorate, amend, ascendant, beat, best, better for, better off, bettor, bigger, boost, brass hat, break up, bring forward, cap, capping, change, changeable, changed, choice, chosen, civilize, control, convert, converted, cured, deform, degenerate, denature, desirable, deviant, distinguished, divergent, diversify, eclipsing, edify, educate, elder, elevate, emend, eminent, enhance, enlighten, enrich, exceed, exceeding, excel, excellent, excelling, exceptional, fatten, favor, favored, favoring, finer, fit, forward, foster, gambler, gamester, go one better, go straight, greater, happier, help, higher, higher-up, improve, improve on, improve upon, improved, in ascendancy, in the ascendant, lard, larger, lift, major, make an improvement, marked, mastery, meliorate, mend, metamorphosed, metastasized, mitigate, modified, modify, modulate, more, more desirable, most, mutant, mutate, nurture, of choice, one up on, outdo, outshine, outstanding, outstrip, outweigh, over, overbalance, overbear, overcome, overpass, overthrow, overtop, perfect, predominate, preferable, preferably, preferential, preferred, preferring, preponderate, prevail, promote, punter, qualified, qualify, raise, rare, re-create, realign, rebuild, rebuilt, reconsider, reconstruct, recovered, redesign, refine upon, refit, reform, reformed, remake, renew, renewed, reshape, restructure, revamp, revive, revived, revolutionary, richer, ring the changes, rivaling, senior, shift the scene, shuffle the cards, socialize, speculator, sport, straighten out, subversive, subvert, success, super, superior, superiority, superiors, surpass, surpassing, think better of, think twice, to be preferred, top, topping, tower above, tower over, transcend, transcendent, transcendental, transcending, transfigure, transform, transformed, translated, transmuted, triumph, trump, turn the scale, turn the tables, turn the tide, turn upside down, unmitigated, upgrade, uplift, upper, vary, wagerer, wealthier, well-advised, win, wiser, work a change, worse, worsen
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