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improve (up)on (something)
To make something better in future attempts or iterations. The company always improves upon its previous hardware, making small tweaks and fixes of issues that irked users the last time around. The only way to improve on your writing is to just keep writing as much as you can—while also taking on board advice and constructive criticism from others, of course. Do you have any ideas for how we can improve on this ad campaign?
See also: improve
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.
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
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.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Make beneficial additions or changes to, as in The company is trying to improve on the previous model. [Late 1600s]
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
improve the shining hourmake 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’.
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017
improve onor improve upon
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.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.