betáter [btt?r] (past and past participle betátered, present participle betáteráing, 3rd person present singular betáters) CORE MEANING: indicating that somebody, something, or an action is superior in some way to something or somebody else or is an improvement upon a situation adjective Concentrated laundry detergent is better because it requires a smaller box or bottle. adjective She is gradually getting better, albeit slowly. adjective That’s hardly going to make things any better. adverb Treatment programs may get the job done better.1. adjective more acceptable: more pleasing or acceptable than something else That hairstyle is far better than the one you had before. 2. adjective of greater quality: of greater quality, usefulness, or suitability than something else Economic security helps ensure a better future for our children. It is better to light a candle than to curse the darkness. 3. adjective improved in health: in an improved state of health, after not being well I’m feeling much better today, thank you. 4. adverb to higher standard: in a more acceptable, appropriate, or effective way He plays tennis much better than I do. I liked her much better after I got to know her. 5. adverb preferably: in a way that is preferable or more advantageous Such things are better left unsaid. 6. transitive verb surpass something: to improve on something She hopes to better the record that she set at last year’s championships. He summed the whole thing up in a way that I couldn’t possibly better. 7. transitive verb improve self or thing: to improve yourself or something (formal) They tried to better themselves by attaining a good education. attempts to better the lot of the refugees 8. noun superior person: a person who is superior to another in some way (often used in the plural) They think themselves our betters. [ Old English bettra < comparative of Germanic, "advantageous"] better safe than sorry it is better to be overcautious than to take unnecessary risks I think I locked the door, but I'll just go back and check - better safe than sorry! for better or worse whatever the outcome may be for the better in a way that improves a situation a change for the better get the better of somebody 1. to defeat or be too strong for somebody 2. to be too strong for somebody to control go one better to do something that has been done before but in a superior or preferable way had better do something ought to or must do something You'd better tell them soon.