Bet·ter a.; compar. of Good.
1. Having good qualities in a greater degree than another; as, a better man; a better physician; a better house; a better air.
Could make the worse appear
The better reason. --Milton.
2. Preferable in regard to rank, value, use, fitness, acceptableness, safety, or in any other respect.
To obey is better than sacrifice. --1 Sam. xv. 22.
It is better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in princes. --Ps. cxviii. 9.
3. Greater in amount; larger; more.
4. Improved in health; less affected with disease; as, the patient is better.
5. More advanced; more perfect; as, upon better acquaintance; a better knowledge of the subject.
All the better. See under All, adv.
Better half, an expression used to designate one's wife.
My dear, my better half (said he),
I find I must now leave thee. --Sir P. Sidney.
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.
By all that's holy, he had better starve
Than but once think this place becomes thee not. --Shak.
Half n.; pl. Halves
1. Part; side; behalf. [Obs.]
The four halves of the house. --Chaucer.
2. One of two equal parts into which anything may be divided, or considered as divided; -- sometimes followed by of; as, a half of an apple.
Not half his riches known, and yet despised. --Milton.
A friendship so complete
Portioned in halves between us. --Tennyson.
Better half. See under Better.
In half, in two; an expression sometimes used improperly instead of in halves or into halves; as, to cut in half. [Colloq.] --Dickens.
In one's half or On one's half, in one's behalf; on one's part. [Obs.]
To cry halves, to claim an equal share with another.
To go halves, to share equally between two.
n : a person's partner in marriage [syn: spouse, partner, married