from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. The state or quality of being better; superiority.
  • n. The result or product of being better.
  • n. The amount by which a precious metal exceeds the the standard of fineness.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The quality of being better or superior; superiority.
  • n. The difference by which fine gold or silver exceeds in fineness the standard.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The quality of being better; superiority.
  • n. In minting, the amount by which a precious metal exceeds the standard of fineness.


From Middle English betternes, equivalent to better +‎ -ness. (Wiktionary)


  • Indeed, it doesn't seem clear that there is any objective way of assessing 'betterness' in music.

    Reminding You That All Religions Were Once New

  • Dante stands in no class at all, nor does Milton, nor does Shelley; and though Shakespeare indulgently permits himself to be classed as an "Elizabethan dramatist," what strikes true critics most is again hardly more his "betterness" than his difference.

    A History of the French Novel, Vol. 1 From the Beginning to 1800

  • This process also needs to be spiral so that we can continuously pursue "betterness" in various aspects of education.

    Academic Commons

  • That sounds like a definite betterness indeed, and very encouraging.

    mrissa: What we call progress

  • Her illness was psychosomatic, so her betterness has to be too.

    Zombies vs. Unicorns

  • I like Macs, but I wish the company was secure enough in its betterness to present itself simply as creating great products, not as a creating products that are better than everything else.

    Smug Ugly - Anil Dash

  • I can attest to the fact that bicycle gearing shares a non-linear log exponential-type betterness factor with the earthquake Richter Scale: 11 is waaaaaay better than 10, and 10 is waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay better than 9, and so on.

    The Irrelevancy of Time: Bicycle Products Don't Spoil

  • There are probably more such relations, e.g. temporal precedence and betterness.


  • This view constitutes a more radical threat to the computation of intrinsic value than does the view that intrinsic betterness is not transitive.

    Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Value

  • One response to these puzzles (eschewed by Parfit himself) is to adopt the thesis of the nontransitivity of intrinsic betterness.

    Intrinsic vs. Extrinsic Value

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