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IM-PROS'PER-OUS, a. [in and prosperous.]

Not prosperous; not successful; unfortunate; not yielding profit; not advancing interest; as, an improsperous undertaking or voyage. Dryden. [Unprosperous is the word most generally used in this sense.]


Unsuccessfully; unprosperously; unfortunately. Boyle.


Ill success; want of prosperity. Hammond.

IM-PROV-A-BIL'I-TY, n. [See Improvable.]

The state or quality of being capable of improvement; susceptibility of being made better.

IM-PROV'A-BLE, a. [See Improve.]

  1. Susceptible of improvement; capable of growing or being made better; that may be advanced in good qualities. We have stock enough, and that too of an improvable nature, that is capable of infinite advancement. Decay of Piety. Man is accommodated with moral principles, improvable by the exercise of his faculties. Hale. I have a fine spread of improvable lands. Addison.
  2. That may be used to advantage, or for the increase of any thing valuable. The essays of weaker heads afford improvable hints to better. Brown.
  3. Capable of tillage or cultivation. A scarcity of improvable lands began to be felt in these colonies. Ramsay, Hist. Carolina. B. Trumbull.


Susceptibility of improvement; capableness of being made better, or of being used to advantage.


In a manner that admits of improvement.

IM-PROVE', v.i. [improov'.]

  1. To grow better or wiser; to advance in goodness, knowledge, wisdom or other excellence. We are pleased to see our children improve in knowledge and virtue. A farm improves under judicious management. The artisan improves by experience. It is the duty, as it is the desire of a good man, to improve in grace and piety. We take care to improve in our frugality and diligence. Atterbury.
  2. To advance in bad qualities; to grow worse. Domitian improved in cruelty toward the end of his reign. Milner. [I regret to see this word thus used, or rather perverted.]
  3. To increase; to be enhanced; to rise. The price of cotton improves, or is improved. [A mercantile and modern use of the word.] To improve on, to make useful additions or amendments to; to bring nearer to perfection; as, to improve on the mode of tillage usually practiced.

IM-PROVE', v.t. [improov'; Norm. prover, to improve; improwment, improving. The French and Italians use the same compound in a different sense. It is from the Latin in and probo, to prove, or the adjective probus.]

  1. To make better; to advance in value or good qualities. We amend a bad, but improve a good thing. A good education improves the mind and the manners. A judicious rotation of crops tends to improve land. Johnson.
  2. To use or employ to good purpose; to make productive; to turn to profitable account; to use for advantage; to employ for advancing interest, reputation or happiness. Many opportunities occur of improving money, which, if a men misses, he may not afterwards recover. Rambler. Melissus was a man of parts, capable of enjoying and improving life. Ibm. True policy as well as good faith, in my opinion, binds us to improve the occasion. Washington. This success was not improved. Marshall. Those who enjoy the advantage of better instruction, should improve their privileges. Milner. We shall especially honor God by improving diligently the talents which God hath committed to us. Barrow. They were aware of the advantages of their position, and improved them with equal skill and diligence. Walsh, Rev. of Hamilton's Works. Those moments were diligently improved. Gibbon. The candidate improved his advantages. Gibbon. A hint that I do not remember to have seen opened and improved. Addison, Spect. iii. Whatever interest we have at the throne of grace, should be improved in behalf of others. Scott, Com. Ex. xxxiii. The court seldom fails to improve the opportunity. Blackstone. My lords, no time should be lost, which may promise to improve this disposition in America. Lord Chatham. If we neglect to improve our knowledge to the ends for which it was given. Locke. It is the fault of persons not improving that light. S. Clarke. The shorter the time – the more eager were they to improve it. Lardner. A young minister wishing to improve the occasion. C. Simeon.
  3. To apply to practical purposes; as, to improve a discourse, or the doctrines stated and proved in a sermon. Owen.
  4. To advance or increase by use; in a bad sense. I fear we have not a little improved the wretched inheritance of our ancestors. [Ill.] Porteus.
  5. To use; to employ; as, to improve a witness or a deposition. Let even the coach, the inns, or the ships, be improved as openings for useful instruction. T. Scott.
  6. To use; to occupy; to cultivate. The house or the farm is now improved by an industrious tenant. This application is perhaps peculiar to some parts of the United States. It however deviates little from that in some of the foregoing definitions.


  1. Made better, wiser or more excellent; advanced in moral worth, knowledge or manners.
  2. Made better; advanced in fertility or other good qualities,
  3. Used to profit or good purpose; as, opportunities of learning improved.
  4. Used; occupied; as, improved land.

IM-PROVE'MENT, n. [improov'ment.]

  1. Advancement in moral worth, learning, wisdom, skill or other excellence; as, the improvement of the mind or of the heart by cultivation; improvement in classical learning, science or mechanical skill; improvement in music; improvement in holiness.
  2. Melioration; a making or growing better, or more valuable; as, the improvement of barren or exhausted land; the improvement of the roads; the improvement of the breed of horses or cattle.
  3. A valuable addition; excellence added, or a change for the better; sometimes with on. The parts of Sinon, Camilla, and some few others, are improvements on the Greek poet. Addison.
  4. Advance or progress from any state to a better. There is a design of publishing the history of architecture, with its several improvements and decays. Addison.
  5. Instruction; growth in knowledge or refinement; edification. I look upon your city as the best place of improvement. South.
  6. Use or employment to beneficial purposes; a turning to good account; as, the improvement of natural advantages, or spiritual privileges. A good improvement of his reason. S. Clarke.
  7. Practical application; as, the improvement of the doctrines and principles of a sermon. I shall make some improvement of this doctrine. Tillotson. Hence,
  8. The part of a discourse intended to enforce and apply the doctrines, is called the improvement.
  9. Use; occupancy.
  10. Improvements, plur., valuable additions or melioration, as buildings, clearings, drains, fences, &c., on a farm. Kent.


  1. One who improves; one who makes himself or any thing else better; as, an improver of horses or cattle.
  2. That which improves, enriches or meliorates; as, chalk is an improver of lands. Mortimer.

IM-PRO-VID'ED, a. [L. improvisus; in and provideo, to foresee or provide.]

Unforeseen; unexpected; not provided against. [Obs.] Spenser.

IM-PROV'I-DENCE, n. [L. in and providens, providentia, from pro, before, and video, to see.]

Want of providence or forecast; neglect of foresight, or of the measures which foresight might dictate for safety or advantage. Half the inconveniences and losses which men suffer, are the effects of improvidence.

IM-PROV'I-DENT, a. [L. in and providens; pro and video, supra.]

Wanting forecast; not foreseeing what will be necessary or convenient, or neglecting the measures which foresight would dictate; wanting care to make provision for future exigencies. Seamen are proverbially improvident. It is sometimes followed by of; as, improvident of harm.


Without foresight or forecast; without care to provide against future wants.


Tending to advance in good qualities; as, an improving rotation of crops.


Making better; growing better; using to advantage.


In an improving manner.




Act of performing extemporaneously.

IM-PRO'VI-SA-TO-RE, n. [It.]

A man who makes rhymes and short poems, extemporaneously.


Relating to extemporary composition of rhymes.


A woman who makes rhymes or short poems, extemporaneously.

IM-PRO-VISE', adv.