- 1 of a higher standard or less poor quality; not as bad as something else We're hoping for better weather tomorrow. Her work is getting better and better. He is in a much better mood than usual. The meal couldn't have been better. There's nothing better than a long soak in a hot bath. If you can only exercise once a week, that's better than nothing (= better than taking no exercise at all).
- 2 more able or skilled She's far better at science than her brother.
- 3 more suitable or appropriate Can you think of a better word than ‘nice’? It would be better for him to talk to his parents about his problems. You'd be better going by bus.
- 4 less ill/sick or unhappy She's a lot better today. His leg was getting better. You'll feel all the better for a good night's sleep. See related entries: Recovering from illness
- 5fully recovered after an illness; in good health again Don't go back to work until you are better. see also well Word Origin Old English betera (adjective), of Germanic origin; related to Dutch beter and German besser, also to best.Extra examples Charles VII was a bad king, and Charles VIII was no better. Did you hurt yourself? Come here and let me kiss it better. Don’t worry. The doctor will soon make you better. His latest book is a darned sight better than the one before. I hope you get better soon. I thought it better to tackle him outside of business hours. The new situation is no better than the old. There’s nothing better than a nice juicy peach! We must make our inner cities better to live and work in. He was in a much better mood than usual. Her new movie is much better than her last one. Her work is getting better and better. I might not be a brilliant cook, but that meal’s a darn sight better than anything you could do. I think he’s a hundred times better as a teacher than Mr. White If you only exercise once a week, that’s better than nothing. The weather should get better towards the end of the week. There’s nothing better than a long soak in a hot bath. Your work is getting better all the time.Idioms Most idioms containing better are at the entries for the nouns and verbs in the idioms, for example better luck next time is at luck. most of something, especially a period of time; more than half of something He drank the best part of a bottle of Scotch waiting for her to get home. The journey took her the better part of an hour. used to say that something should be as big, small, etc. as possible I love giving parties, the bigger the better. (saying) you should avoid danger and not take unnecessary risks almost or just the same as; almost or just as bad as The path was no better than a sheep track.
- 1used to give support to somebody who has been upset and is trying to become calmer Dry your eyes now. That's better.
- 2used to praise somebody who has made an effort to improve That's much better—you played the right notes this time.
(saying) it is better to stop something bad from happening rather than try to deal with the problems after it has happened