improve

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improve the shining hour

old-fashioned To maximize one's productivity; to make the most of one's time. This notion that children should at all times strive to improve the shining hour—foregoing play and rest in the name of education and work—means many children are being deprived of childhood itself.
See also: hour, improve, shine

improve (up)on (something)

To make something better or more outstanding. Your grade is pretty good so far, but I think you can improve upon it as the semester goes on. Do you have any ideas for how we can improve on this ad campaign?
See also: improve

improve (up)on something

to make something better. (Upon is formal and less commonly used than on.) Do you really think you can improve upon this song? No one can improve on my favorite melody.
See also: improve, on

improve on

Make beneficial additions or changes to, as in The company is trying to improve on the previous model. [Late 1600s]
See also: improve, on

improve the shining hour

make good use of time; make the most of your time. literary
This expression comes from Isaac Watts's Divine Songs for Children ( 1715 ): ‘How doth the little busy bee Improve each shining hour’.
See also: hour, improve, shine

improve on

or improve upon
v.
To make beneficial additions or changes to something; make something better: We can improve on this room by painting it. I improved upon the recipe by adding more spices.
See also: improve, on