1. to improve or make better
better the lives/situation/circumstances
The adjective 'better; is a comparative of 'good'. If you 'better' someone or something, you are comparing favourably to it or them. 'Better' can also be used as a verb. 'To better something' can mean to improve or to make more tolerable. "We have implemented a number of changes to better the work environment for our employees." 'To better' can also mean 'to make more complete. "I am looking forward to bettering my knowledge of your work." When something surpasses something else in excellence or quality you can also use 'to better'. "Maria bettered her sales record by over 22% this year." As an intransitive verb, it means 'to become better'. "The situation is bettering but there is still a way to go." Most of these uses are more popular in formal or written English.