- bet|ter1 [ `betər ] function word ***Better is the comparative form of good and well, and can be used in the following ways:as an adjective:a better method of teaching languagesThe weather is better today.as an adverb:Our opponents played better than we did.as a noun:There has been a change for the better.They should show more respect for their betters.1. ) more satisfactory, appropriate, pleasant, effective, or of higher quality, etc.:He went to Los Angeles hoping to find a better job.better than: The results were better than we had expected.get better (=improve): The situation is unlikely to get better in the foreseeable future.much/far/a lot better: I can think of far better ways of spending a million dollars.little/no better: There was a growing economic crisis in Asia, and things were no better in Europe.deserve/expect better (=deserve or expect something better): She was a good worker, and she deserved better than the treatment she got from her employers.a ) more skillful:Maggie's a better cook than I'll ever be.better at: Alec is a lot better at sports than I am.b ) in a way that is more satisfactory, appropriate, pleasant, effective, successful, etc.:The machine works better if you change the oil regularly.do better: Why was it that everyone else did better than me on the test?c ) better for someone if something is better for you, it is more likely to make you healthy:Fresh vegetables taste nicer and they're better for you.2. ) used for saying that someone has become completely healthy again after an illness:You shouldn't go back to school until you're completely better.I had a really bad cold, but I'm better now.get better (=become healthy again): If you want to get better, you have to take your medicine.a ) used for saying that someone is not as sick as they were before, or that something is not as painful as it was before:Is your headache any better?You'll feel better when you've had something to eat.She's a little better today, but I think she should stay in bed.3. ) used for saying that one person or thing is liked or known more than another:like someone/something better: I've always liked Susan better than her sister.better known: Rachmaninov's second piano concerto is better known than his first.like nothing better than (to do) something (=like something more than anything else): She likes nothing better than a walk in the park with her dog.a ) famous in one way or for one reason rather than another:Blake is better remembered as a poet than as a painter.better known for/as: a city that is better known for its crime record than for its cultural heritageb ) better known as used when someone has two names and you are introducing the more familiar one:Vladimir Ilyich Ulyanov, better known as Leninall the better MAINLY SPOKENused for saying that if something is true or possible, it will be even nicer:It'll be so nice to see Ruth again, and if she can bring the children along, all the better.be (all) the better for somethingto improve as a result of something:Their performance will be all the better for a little extra practice.be better than nothing SPOKENused for saying that something is not exactly what you wanted or needed but is more useful than having nothing at allbe no better thanto be as bad or as unimportant as a particular type of person or thing:People treated me as though I was no better than an animal.better luck next time SPOKENused for encouraging someone who has not been successful at somethingbetter off1. ) in a better situation:You'd be better off living on your own than quarreling all the time with your dad.2. ) having more money:As a result of the tax cuts the average family will be $300 a year better off.better yet/stillused when you are adding a new idea that you think is better than a good one already mentioned:Come visit us for a weekend or, better yet, why don't you come for a whole week?someone's betterspeople who have more important jobs or higher social status than someone:The poor did not envy their betters.for the betterif something changes for the better, it improves:Since she moved to the new school, her behavior has certainly changed for the better.─ opposite FOR THE WORSEfor better or (for) worseused for showing that you do not know whether an action, situation, or change will have good or bad results:He's the partner I chose, for better or for worse.For better or worse, Mexico's destiny is closely linked to that of the United States.get the better of someone1. ) if an emotion or feeling gets the better of you, it is too strong for you to control and it makes you do something that you did not intend to do:Smith's anger got the better of him once again, and he started to attack the referee.2. ) to defeat someone in a game, argument, etc.:Sampras finally got the better of Agassi in a hard-fought match.(had) better do something MAINLY SPOKENused for saying that someone should do something:You'd better take an umbrella it's going to rain.I'd better not waste any more of your time.so much the better MAINLY SPOKENused for saying that if something is true or possible, it will be even nicer:Al seems to be the most qualified, and if he's a friend of yours, well, so much the better.the sooner/bigger/quicker etc. the betterused for saying that you want something to be as soon/big/quick etc. as possible:I want you to get rid of those people, and the sooner the better.─ opposite WORSE=> BETTER HALF, DEVIL, GO1, LUCK1, DAYbetterbet|ter 2 [ `betər ] verb transitive1. ) to achieve a better result than someone or something:Bradman's average score of 96 has never been bettered.2. ) to improve something:an important step towards bettering relations between the two countriesbetter yourselfto improve your social status by educating yourself
Usage of the words and phrases in modern English. 2013.