Etymology
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better (v.)
Old English *beterian "improve, amend, make better," from Proto-Germanic *batizojan (source also of Old Frisian beteria, Dutch beteren, Old Norse betra, Old High German baziron, German bessern), from *batizo- (see better (adj.)). Meaning "exceed, surpass, outdo" is from 1540s. Related: Bettered; bettering.
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tune-up (n.)
"adjustments made to an automobile to improve its working," 1911, from verbal phrase tune up "bring to a state of effectiveness," 1718, in reference to musical instruments, from tune (v.) + up (adv.). Attested from 1901 in reference to engines. Meaning "event that serves as practice for a later one" is from 1934, U.S. sports jargon.
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sanitize (v.)

1836 (implied in sanitizing, and treating it as a new word), from stem of sanitary + -ize. The figurative use for "render more acceptable by removing objectionable elements" is by 1934, said to be a word from Roosevelt's N.R.A. Related: Sanitized. Also in use was sanify "make healthy, improve in sanitary condition" (1836).

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redress (v.)

mid-14c., redressen, "to correct, reform" (a person; a sense now obsolete); late 14c., "restore, put right" (a wrong, error, offense); "repair; relieve; improve; amend," from Old French redrecier, redresier, "reform, restore, rebuild" (Modern French redresser), from re- "again" (see re-) + drecier "to straighten, arrange" (see dress (v.)). Formerly used in many more senses than currently. Related: Redressed; redressing.

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bet (n.)
1590s, "the mutual pledging of things of value to be won or lost based on some future event," appearing simultaneously with the verb, originally in the argot of petty criminals, a word of unknown origin. Perhaps a shortening of abet or else from obsolete beet "to make good" (related to better). The original notion is perhaps "to improve" a contest by wagering on it, or to encourage a contestant. Or perhaps the word is from the "bait" sense in abet. Meaning "that which is wagered" is from 1796.
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revise (v.)

1560s, "to look at again" (a sense now obsolete), from French reviser (13c.), from Latin revisere "look at again, visit again, look back on," frequentative of revidere (past participle revisus) "see again, go to see again," from re- "again" (here probably denoting "repetition of an action;" see re-) + videre "to see" (from PIE root *weid- "to see"). Meaning "to look over again with intent to improve or amend" is recorded from 1590s. Related: Revised; revising.

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shape (n.)
Old English sceap, gesceap "form; created being, creature; creation; condition; sex, genitalia," from root of shape (v.)). Meaning "contours of the body" is attested from late 14c. Meaning "condition, state" is first recorded 1865, American English. In Middle English, the word in plural also had a sense of "a woman's private parts." Shape-shifter attested from 1820. Out of shape "not in proper shape" is from 1690s. Shapesmith "one who undertakes to improve the form of the body" was used in 1715.
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training (n.)

mid-15c., "protraction, delay," verbal noun from train (v.). From 1540s as "discipline and instruction to develop powers or skills;" 1786 as "exercise to improve bodily vigor." Training wheels as an attachment to a bicycle is from 1953.

Training is the development of the mind or character or both, or some faculty, at some length, by exercise, as a soldier is trained or drilled. Discipline is essentially the same as training, but more severe. [Century Dictionary]
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cultivate (v.)

by 1650s, of land, "till, prepare for crops;" by 1690s of crops, "raise or produce by tillage;" from Medieval Latin cultivatus, past participle of cultivare "to cultivate," from Late Latin cultivus "tilled," from Latin cultus "care, labor; cultivation," from past participle of colere "to cultivate, to till; to inhabit; to frequent, practice, respect; tend, guard," from PIE root *kwel- (1) "revolve, move round; sojourn, dwell."

Figurative sense of "improve by labor or study, devote one's attention to" is from 1680s. Meaning "court the acquaintance of (someone)" is by 1707. Related: Cultivated; cultivating.

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merino (n.)

fine-wool breed of sheep originally from Spain, 1781, from Spanish merino, possibly from Arabic Merini, a Berber family or tribe of sheep farmers in northwest Africa whose animals were imported into Spain 14c.-15c. to improve local breeds. Or from or influenced by Medieval Latin maiorinus, from maior "greater," either in reference to size of the animals or from Spanish derivative merino (n.) "overseer of cattle pastures," also a title of judicial officers. Applied from early 19c. to the wool itself and to various articles made from it.

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