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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
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
References in periodicals archive ?
Other students just like you have used these seven keys to improve not only in their school work but also in their social skills and self-management skills.
Blendix 703 alphamethylstyrene ABS modifier with high flow improves melt strength and processability and is especially useful in foamed PVC.
Most importantly, whether papermakers are looking to improve operating efficiency or finished product quality, new offerings will be more targeted, helping mills make needed improvements without the compromises that are often made today," he concluded.
Improve the ratio of stories that are either exclusives or feature-length.
There's a very steady subset of organizations that have been making improvements for the past four to seven years; the best of them improve, but I don't know if, as a whole, the industry is improving.
The campaign also supports programs that encourage law enforcement/community cooperation in drug and crime prevention and conducts drug demand reduction workshops to teach police chiefs and sheriffs how to institute or improve local drug prevention programs.
5-1%, they provide internal and external lubrication, improve gloss, and act as antistats.
To help papermakers improve process efficiency while using less chemicals, we first conduct a paper machine audit to ensure that the proper equipment is in place, the feed points are optimized and the most effective chemicals are being used at a minimal level to accomplish the goals of the mill," said Shetty.
When blended with conventional elastomers or used as the sole elastomer component, ULV products improve processing by lowering compound viscosity, improving flow and surface properties in calendered, extruded and molded products.
Cesa-slip lubricant masterbatches improve flow characteristics of plastics during processing and reduce frictional resistance of end-product surfaces while enhancing appearance and function.
These tend to be mutually exclusive properties, as steps that improve sheet strength tend to degrade softness.
That is to say, if carbon black content is increased to improve rubber modulus, energy loss is increased causing poorer rolling resistance.