improve (up)on (something)

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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?
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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]
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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
References in periodicals archive ?
The new product offering improves upon older versions of the release with the addition of three publishing modules - personalised e-mailing, syndication and online subscription renewals.
The strategy improves upon the use of a less deadly strain of chestnut blight to neutralize killer strains.
The anonymous author improves upon his Italian model, which offers Abraham as a topos, by presenting the patriarch as a tormented human being faced with a terrible choice and by conflict with his wife and servants.
Van Vechten hopes to use the 11-atom structure as the basis for making a new low-density material that improves upon the properties of graphite.
It improves upon recent work, including an international effort reported in the March 23 LANCET, that identified genetic markers.
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