build a better mousetrap

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British pronunciation/bˈɪld ɐ bˈɛtə mˈaʊsɪtɹˌap/
American pronunciation/bˈɪld ɐ bˈɛɾɚ mˈaʊsɪtɹˌæp/
to build a better mousetrap
01

to manage to invent something that improves upon an existing concept or object

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to [build] a better mousetrap definition and meaning

What is the origin of the idiom "build a better mousetrap" and when to use it?

The phrase is a proverbial expression that originated in the US in the late 1800s. The phrase is often attributed to American inventor and businessman Ralph Waldo Emerson, who allegedly said, "If a man can write a better book, preach a better sermon, or make a better mousetrap than his neighbor, though he build his house in the woods, the world will make a beaten path to his door." The actual origins of the phrase are unclear, and there are many variations of the quote attributed to different sources. Regardless of its origins, the phrase has become a common metaphor for the pursuit of innovation and excellence in modern society.

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The musician built a better mousetrap by incorporating new sounds and genres into their music, resulting in a more diverse and experimental sound.
The software company was determined to build a better mousetrap than its competitors, with a new product that was more user-friendly and had better features.
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Definition & Meaning of "To [build] a better mousetrap"
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