for the better


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bet·ter 1

(bĕt′ər)
adj. Comparative of good.
1. Greater in excellence or higher in quality: Which of the twins is the better skater?
2. More useful, suitable, or desirable: found a better way to go; a suit with a better fit than that one.
3. More highly skilled or adept: I am better at math than English.
4. Greater or larger: argued for the better part of an hour.
5. More advantageous or favorable; improved: a better chance of success.
6. Healthier, more fit, or in less discomfort than before: The patient is better today.
adv. Comparative of well2.
1. In a more excellent way: He sings better than his father.
2.
a. To a greater extent or degree: better suited to the job; likes it better without sauce.
b. To greater advantage; preferably: a deed better left undone. See Usage Notes at best, have, rather.
3. More: It took me better than a year to recover.
n.
1. One that is greater in excellence or higher in quality.
2. often betters A superior, as in standing, competence, or intelligence: to learn from one's betters.
v. bet·tered, bet·ter·ing, bet·ters
v. tr.
1. To make better; improve: trying to better conditions in the prison; bettered myself by changing jobs.
2. To surpass or exceed: practiced so he could better his rival.
v. intr.
To become better: Conditions bettered with time.
Idioms:
better off
In a better or more prosperous condition: would be better off taking the train instead of driving; felt better off after the rise in stock prices.
for the better
Resulting in or aiming at an improvement: Her condition took a turn for the better.
get (or have) the better of
To outdo or outwit; defeat.
think better of
To change one's mind about (a course of action) after reconsideration: I almost bought an expensive watch, but then I thought better of it.

[Middle English, from Old English betera; see bhad- in the Appendix of Indo-European roots.]

bet·ter 2

 (bĕt′ər)
n.
Variant of bettor.
References in classic literature ?
It had been agreed, if no change for the better showed itself by the morning, that the London physician whom Mrs.
He confirmed the doctors' interpretation of the law in general terms only; expressed his intention of waiting at the cottage in the hope that a change for the better might yet enable Mrs.
Sir Thomas found it expedient to go to Antigua himself, for the better arrangement of his affairs, and he took his eldest son with him, in the hope of detaching him from some bad connexions at home.