English Language & Usage Stack Exchange is a question and answer site for linguists, etymologists, and serious English language enthusiasts. Join them; it only takes a minute:

Sign up
Here's how it works:
  1. Anybody can ask a question
  2. Anybody can answer
  3. The best answers are voted up and rise to the top

As my title, can I use "better" as a verb? I have read and known that the word "better" can be used as a verb. For example, to better your business productivity, you should use ABC technology.

I've also searched in Google and found out some examples regarding the word "better" can be used as a verb.

Can someone explain this to me?

share|improve this question

closed as general reference by Hugo, Mehper C. Palavuzlar, Matt E. Эллен, Unreason, Robusto Dec 13 '11 at 14:27

This question is too basic; it can be definitively and permanently answered by a single link to a standard internet reference source designed specifically to find that type of information.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

2  
The first dictionary I found via Google gives adjective, adverb, noun and verb definitions along with examples. All good dictionaries will tell it can be used as a verb. – Hugo Dec 13 '11 at 13:01
3  
Notwithstanding the encouraging answers, I don't think you should normally speak of "bettering your productivity". Most modern usages of better as a verb have the sense of outdo, rather than improve. A common construction being to better something [else], by surpassing it with your own "something". I think to better yourself is an exception to the general tendency. – FumbleFingers Dec 13 '11 at 13:03
1  
Don't know why my question is voted down. People may think it's a studpid question because simply they have never seen the case in which "better" is used as a verb. – Thuan Mar 5 '13 at 3:24
up vote 4 down vote accepted

Yes, you can.

A common phrase is "trying to better yourself".

share|improve this answer

Shakespeare, Milton, Keats, Ruskin and Wordsworth did, so I don’t see why you can’t.

share|improve this answer
    
+1: but there is a point where concision becomes unhelpful. Specifically, though many writers used better, I don't recall a Shakespearean better your productivity. – TimLymington Dec 13 '11 at 14:12
3  
What if they're wrong? – Mitch Dec 13 '11 at 14:40

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.