Etymology
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smarten (v.)
"to make smart, to spruce up, to improve appearance," 1786, from smart (adj.) in its sense of "spruce, trim" + -en (1). Related: Smartened; smartening.
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touch-up (n.)
"act of improvement requiring modest effort," 1872, from verbal phrase touch up "improve or finish (as a painting or drawing) with light strokes" (1715), from touch (v.) + up (adv.).
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retouch (v.)

"amend or improve by fresh touches," 1680s, from French retoucher (13c.) "to touch again" (with a view to improving), from re- "again" (see re-) + toucher (see touch (v.)). Related: Retouched; retouching; retoucher.

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emend (v.)
"remove faults from, alter for the better," c. 1400, from Latin emendare "to free from fault, correct, improve, revise," from assimilated form of ex "out" (see ex-) + mendum (nominative menda) "fault, blemish" (see amend). Related: Emended; emending.
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season (v.)
"improve the flavor of by adding spices," c. 1300, from Old French assaisoner "to ripen, season," from a- "to" (see ad-) + root of season (n.) on the notion of fruit becoming more palatable as it ripens. Applied to timber by 1540s. In 16c., it also meant "to copulate with."
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utilize (v.)

1794, from French utiliser, from Italian utilizzare, from utile "usable," from Latin utilis "usable," from uti "make use of, profit by, take advantage of" (see use (v.)).

Utilize is fast antiquating improve, in the sense of 'turn to account.' [Fitzedward Hall, "Modern English," 1873]
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edify (v.)
Origin and meaning of edify
mid-14c., "to build, construct," also, in figurative use, "to build up morally or in faith," from Old French edefiier (12c., Modern French édifier) "build; install; teach, instruct (morally)," from Latin aedificare "to build, construct," in Late Latin "improve spiritually, instruct" (see edifice). Related: Edified; edifying.
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amend (v.)
early 13c., "to free from faults, rectify," from Old French amender "correct, set right, make better, improve" (12c.), from Latin emendare "to correct, free from fault," from ex "out" (see ex-) + menda "fault, blemish," from PIE root *mend- "physical defect, fault" (source also of Sanskrit minda "physical blemish," Old Irish mennar "stain, blemish," Welsh mann "sign, mark").

The spelling with a- is unusual but early and also is found in Provençal and Italian. In English it has been supplanted in senses of "repair; cure" by its shortened offspring mend (v.). Meaning "to add to legislation" (ostensibly to correct or improve it) is recorded from 1777. Related: Amended; amending.
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reform (n.)

"any proceeding which brings back a better order of things or attempts to improve the present," 1660s, from reform (v.) and in some uses from French réforme. The older word for this was reformation, but it had acquired a specialized sense. As a branch of Judaism from 1843.

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melioration (n.)

c. 1400, melioracioun, "improvement, act or process of making or becoming better," from Late Latin meliorationem (nominative melioratio) "a bettering, improvement," noun of action from past-participle stem of meliorare "to improve" (see meliorate). Meliorations in Scottish law were "improvements made by a tenant upon rented land."

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