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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 ?
Novalar impact modifier for ABS, PVC, and PC increases impact strength and ductility, improves low temperature properties, and eliminates brittleness.
Six Sigma adherents use the acronym DMAIC (Define, Measure, Analyze, Improve and Control) to explain their approach--a systematic and logical approach to improving processes.
The experts interviewed for this article cited several examples of performance chemical use that help improve machine efficiency, promote consistent retention and drainage, increase machine speed, and lower energy consumption.
The converged network architectures from Cisco Systems can transform the back-office efficiency of public sector organizations and the productivity of their staff, to improve the quality, reach and cost of citizen services.
The National Institute of Justice (NIJ), which sponsors research and develops and evaluates new approaches to fight drugs and drug-related crime, as well as to improve the operation and effectiveness of the criminal justice system
TR060 used in lower temperature polymers improves end properties of recyclate-containing compounds while also improving dispersion and reducing splay in colored and filled olefins.
To help our readers get more for less, we asked the wet end experts to weigh in on how effective chemical use can help them reduce costs, improve efficiency, and meet environmental targets.
These tend to be mutually exclusive properties, as steps that improve sheet strength tend to degrade softness.
RE40 for PP, PE, and EVA reportedly reduces mold sticking and improves part release at levels of 0.
Silane coupling agents, when used with reinforcements, can improve impact strength, tensile strength, and other properties such as detergent resistance and dimensional stability.
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