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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?

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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.

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
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
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

2 Answers 2

up vote 3 down vote accepted

Yes, you can.

A common phrase is "trying to better yourself".

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

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+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
What if they're wrong? – Mitch Dec 13 '11 at 14:40

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