American English

Definition of better noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[singular, uncountable] something that is better the better of the two books I expected better of him (= I thought he would have behaved better).
  2. 2your betters [plural] (old-fashioned) people who are more intelligent or more important than you
  3. 3[countable] = bettor
  4. Idioms
    a change for the better/worse
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    a person, thing, situation, etc. that is better/worse than the previous or present one Voters see the new leader as a change for the better.
    for better or (for) worse
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    used to say that something cannot be changed, whether the result is good or bad
    get the better of somebody/something
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    to defeat someone or something or gain an advantage No one can get the better of her in an argument. She always gets the better of an argument. His curiosity got the better of him (= he didn't intend to ask questions, but he wanted to know so badly that he did).
    so much the better/worse
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    used to say that something is even better/worse We don't actually need it on Tuesday, but if it arrives by then, so much the better.
    think (the) better of somebody
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    to have a higher opinion of someone She has behaved appallingly—I must say I thought better of her.
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: better