To be better off
Better Bet"ter, a.; compar. of Good. [OE. betere, bettre, and as adv. bet, AS. betera, adj., and bet, adv.; akin to Icel. betri, adj., betr, adv., Goth. batiza, adj., OHG. bezziro, adj., baz, adv., G. besser, adj. and adv., bass, adv., E. boot, and prob. to Skr. bhadra excellent. See {Boot} advantage, and cf. {Best}, {Batful}.] 1. Having good qualities in a greater degree than another; as, a better man; a better physician; a better house; a better air. [1913 Webster]

Could make the worse appear The better reason. --Milton. [1913 Webster]

2. Preferable in regard to rank, value, use, fitness, acceptableness, safety, or in any other respect. [1913 Webster]

To obey is better than sacrifice. --1 Sam. xv. 22. [1913 Webster]

It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. --Ps. cxviii. 9. [1913 Webster]

3. Greater in amount; larger; more. [1913 Webster]

4. Improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better. [1913 Webster]

5. More advanced; more perfect; as, upon better acquaintance; a better knowledge of the subject. [1913 Webster]

{All the better}. See under {All}, adv.

{Better half}, an expression used to designate one's wife. [1913 Webster]

My dear, my better half (said he), I find I must now leave thee. --Sir P. Sidney. [1913 Webster]

{To be better off}, to be in a better condition.

{Had better}. (See under {Had}).

Note: The phrase had better, followed by an infinitive without to, is idiomatic. The earliest form of construction was ``were better'' with a dative; as, ``Him were better go beside.'' (--Gower.) i. e., It would be better for him, etc. At length the nominative (I, he, they, etc.) supplanted the dative and had took the place of were. Thus we have the construction now used. [1913 Webster]

By all that's holy, he had better starve Than but once think this place becomes thee not. --Shak. [1913 Webster]


The Collaborative International Dictionary of English. 2000.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • to be better off — be in an improved financial situation …   English contemporary dictionary

  • better off — adj [no comparative] 1.) having more money than someone else or than you had before ≠ ↑worse off ▪ She ll be about £50 a week better off. →↑well off 2.) happier, improved, more successful etc ≠ ↑worse off better off with/without ▪ I think she s… …   Dictionary of contemporary English

  • better off — in a more satisfactory condition or situation. I think you d be better off if you bought a new car and didn t try to repair your old one …   New idioms dictionary

  • Better Off Dead (film) — Infobox Film name = Better Off Dead caption = Better Off Dead movie poster director = Savage Steve Holland producer = Gil Friesen Michael Jaffe Andrew Meyer writer = Savage Steve Holland starring = John Cusack David Ogden Stiers Diane Franklin… …   Wikipedia

  • Better off Alone (song) — Infobox Single Name = Better Off Alone Caption = Artist = Alice DeeJay from Album = Who Needs Guitars Anyway? A side = B side = Released = 1999 Format = Cassette single, CD single Recorded = 1998 1999 Genre = Dance pop, Eurodance Length = 3:35… …   Wikipedia

  • To be hand and glove with — Hand Hand (h[a^]nd), n. [AS. hand, hond; akin to D., G., & Sw. hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. h[ o]nd, Goth. handus, and perh. to Goth. hin[thorn]an to seize (in comp.). Cf. {Hunt}.] 1. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To be hand in glove with — Hand Hand (h[a^]nd), n. [AS. hand, hond; akin to D., G., & Sw. hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. h[ o]nd, Goth. handus, and perh. to Goth. hin[thorn]an to seize (in comp.). Cf. {Hunt}.] 1. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • To be on the mending hand — Hand Hand (h[a^]nd), n. [AS. hand, hond; akin to D., G., & Sw. hand, OHG. hant, Dan. haand, Icel. h[ o]nd, Goth. handus, and perh. to Goth. hin[thorn]an to seize (in comp.). Cf. {Hunt}.] 1. That part of the fore limb below the forearm or wrist in …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Better Off Ted — Infobox Television show name = Better Off Ted caption = show name 2 = genre = situation comedy creator = Victor Fresco writer = director = creat director = developer = starring = Andrea Anders Malcolm Barrett Jay Harrington Portia de Rossi… …   Wikipedia

  • Who Wants to Be a Superhero? (Season 2) — Who Wants to Be a Superhero? is a reality show hosted by Stan Lee. Contestants dress up as comic book superheroes of their own invention. Each week, Lee challenges the contestants to represent what superheroes are all about. Three or four… …   Wikipedia

Share the article and excerpts

Direct link
Do a right-click on the link above
and select “Copy Link”