from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. The act or process of improving something or the state of being improved.
  • n. An improvement.
  • n. The linguistic process by which a word over a period of time grows more elevated in meaning or more positive in connotation.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An improvement, betterment or amelioration
  • n. The process in which a term gains a more positive connotation over time

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. The act or operation of meliorating, or the state of being meliorated; improvement.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The act or process of making or becoming better; improvement; amelioration.
  • n. plural In Scots law, improvements made by a tenant upon the property which he rents, and for which he is in certain cases entitled to compensation from the landlord.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. the act of relieving ills and changing for the better
  • n. a condition superior to an earlier condition
  • n. the linguistic process in which over a period of time a word grows more positive in connotation or more elevated in meaning


Sorry, no etymologies found.


  • Instances, rare instances, of such "melioration" and of such "schools of instruction," I doubt not there have been: but, I am confident, that the

    The Anti-Slavery Examiner, Omnibus

  • Always the opponent of sane social reforms which Socialists deride as "melioration" or as futile attempts to shore up an obsolete system, it has consistently disassociated itself from such men as Lord Shaftesbury, who did more to better the conditions of the working classes than anyone who has ever lived.

    Secret Societies And Subversive Movements

  • You might perhaps say "melioration," but "improvement" is the proper word. '

    Life of Her Most Gracious Majesty the Queen — Volume 1

  • James G. Frazer, in "The G.lden Bough," demonstrated that the connection between charismatic leadership and the melioration of suffering was historically a close one: many primitive peoples believed that the magical virtues of a priest-king could guarantee the soil's fertility and that such a leader could therefore alleviate one of the most elementary forms of suffering, hunger.

    Barack Obama, Shaman

  • The various terms they have tried -- "Islamic extremism," "Islamism," "Islamofascism" -- have fallen short of both clarity and melioration.

    'Our Culture Is Better'

  • On the binary-melioration scale, the digicognizence of the most promising genus (locally referred to as Homo Sapiens Sapiens) has progressed from 6 (see report Sol-4960) to the current value of 21.

    365 tomorrows » Sol-5210 : A New Free Flash Fiction SciFi Story Every Day

  • What does seem surprising is that in Academe, unlike “Real Life” continuing experience and maturation does not produce the melioration of radical viewpoints.

    The Volokh Conspiracy » Interesting Study on Professors’ Ideology:

  • But Aristotle seems to be against this opinion, who hath observed that oil grows sweeter by being kept in vessels not exactly filled, and afterwards ascribes this melioration to the air; for more air, and therefore more powerful to produce the effect, flows into a vessel not well filled.

    Essays and Miscellanies

  • One major exception to such promises of melioration, of course, involves the resurgent focus on the relatively lower IQ scores of African Americans.

    FAT and MEAN

  • It is not mutual in effect, for it does not provide for a melioration of _our_ obligations in internal differences now prevailing in, or which may hereafter arise in, Great

    The Continental Monthly, Vol. 1, No. 2, February, 1862 Devoted To Literature And National Policy


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  • "Yes, personally speaking too, art heightens life. She gives deeper joy, she consumes more swiftly," -Death in Venice, Thomas Mann

    February 4, 2010