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well Meaning, Definition & Usage

  1. noun a deep hole or shaft dug or drilled to obtain water or oil or gas or brine
  2. noun a cavity or vessel used to contain liquid
  3. noun an abundant source
    wellspring; fountainhead.
    • she was a well of information
  4. noun an open shaft through the floors of a building (as for a stairway)
  5. noun an enclosed compartment in a ship or plane for holding something as e.g. fish or a plane's landing gear or for protecting something as e.g. a ship's pumps
  6. verb come up, as of a liquid
    • Tears well in her eyes
    • the currents well up
  7. adjective in good health especially after having suffered illness or injury; at least I feel well"
    • appears to be entirely well
    • the wound is nearly well
    • a well man
    • I think I'm well
  8. adjective satellite resulting favorably
    • it's a good thing that I wasn't there
    • it is good that you stayed
    • it is well that no one saw you
    • all's well that ends well
  9. adjective satellite wise or advantageous and hence advisable
    • it would be well to start early
  10. adverb (often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well')
    • the children behaved well
    • a task well done
    • the party went well
    • he slept well
    • a well-argued thesis
    • a well-seasoned dish
    • a well-planned party
    • the baby can walk pretty good
  11. adverb thoroughly or completely; fully; often used as a combining form
    • The problem is well understood
    • she was well informed
    • shake well before using
    • in order to avoid food poisoning be sure the meat is well cooked
    • well-done beef", "well-satisfied customers
    • well-educated
  12. adverb indicating high probability; in all likelihood
    • I might well do it
    • a mistake that could easily have ended in disaster
    • you may well need your umbrella
    • he could equally well be trying to deceive us
  13. adverb (used for emphasis or as an intensifier) entirely or fully
    • a book well worth reading
    • was well aware of the difficulties ahead
    • suspected only too well what might be going on
  14. adverb to a suitable or appropriate extent or degree
    • the project was well underway
    • the fetus has well developed organs
    • his father was well pleased with his grades
  15. adverb favorably; with approval
    • their neighbors spoke well of them
    • he thought well of the book
  16. adverb to a great extent or degree
    substantially; considerably.
    • I'm afraid the film was well over budget
    • painting the room white made it seem considerably (or substantially) larger
    • the house has fallen considerably in value
    • the price went up substantially
  17. adverb with great or especially intimate knowledge
    • we knew them well
  18. adverb with prudence or propriety
    • You would do well to say nothing more
    • could not well refuse
  19. adverb with skill or in a pleasing manner
    • she dances well
    • he writes well
  20. adverb in a manner affording benefit or advantage
    • she married well
    • The children were settled advantageously in Seattle
  21. adverb in financial comfort
    • They live well
    • she has been able to live comfortably since her husband died
  22. adverb without unusual distress or resentment; with good humor
    • took the joke well
    • took the tragic news well

Well noun
OE. welle, AS. wella, wylla, from weallan to well up, surge, boil; akin to D. wel a spring or fountain. . See Well, v. i.
  1. An issue of water from the earth; a spring; a fountain.
    Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well. Milton.
  2. A pit or hole sunk into the earth to such a depth as to reach a supply of water, generally of a cylindrical form, and often walled with stone or bricks to prevent the earth from caving in.
    The woman said unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. John iv. 11.
  3. A shaft made in the earth to obtain oil or brine.
  4. Fig.: A source of supply; fountain; wellspring. "This well of mercy." Chaucer.
    Dan Chaucer, well of English undefiled. Spenser.
    A well of serious thought and pure. Keble.
  5. (Naut.) (a) An inclosure in the middle of a vessel's hold, around the pumps, from the bottom to the lower deck, to preserve the pumps from damage and facilitate their inspection. (b) A compartment in the middle of the hold of a fishing vessel, made tight at the sides, but having holes perforated in the bottom to let in water for the preservation of fish alive while they are transported to market. (c) A vertical passage in the stern into which an auxiliary screw propeller may be drawn up out of water. (d) A depressed space in the after part of the deck; -- often called the cockpit.
  6. (Mil.) A hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries.
  7. (Arch.) An opening through the floors of a building, as for a staircase or an elevator; a wellhole.
  8. (Metal.) The lower part of a furnace, into which the metal falls.
Well intransitive verb
OE. wellen, AS. wyllan, wellan, fr. weallan; akin to OFries. walla, OS. & OHG. wallan, G. wallen, Icel. vella, G. welle, wave, OHG. wella, walm, AS. wylm; cf. L. volvere to roll, Gr. to inwrap, to roll. Cf. Voluble, Wallop to boil, Wallow, Weld of metal.
imperfect & past participle Welled ; present participle & verbal noun Welling
  1. To issue forth, as water from the earth; to flow; to spring. "[Blood] welled from out the wound." Dryden. "[Yon spring] wells softly forth." Bryant.
    From his two springs in Gojam's sunny realm, Pure welling out, he through the lucid lake Of fair Dambea rolls his infant streams. Thomson.
Well transitive verb
  1. To pour forth, as from a well. Spenser.
Well adverb
OE. wel, AS. wel; akin to OS., OFries., & D. wel, G. wohl, OHG. wola, wela, Icel. & Dan. vel, Sw. väl, Goth. waíla; originally meaning, according to one's will or wish. See Will, v. t., and cf. Wealth.
comparative and superlative wanting, the deficiency being supplied by better and best, from another root
  1. In a good or proper manner; justly; rightly; not ill or wickedly.
    If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. Gen. iv. 7.
  2. Suitably to one's condition, to the occasion, or to a proposed end or use; suitably; abundantly; fully; adequately; thoroughly.
    Lot . . . beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere. Gen. xiii. 10.
    WE are wellable to overcome it. Num. xiii. 30.
    She looketh well to the ways of her household. Prov. xxxi. 27.
    Servant of God, well done! well hast thou fought The better fight. Milton.
  3. Fully or about; -- used with numbers. Obs. "Well a ten or twelve." Chaucer.
    Well nine and twenty in a company. Chaucer.
  4. In such manner as is desirable; so as one could wish; satisfactorily; favorably; advantageously; conveniently. "It boded well to you." Dryden.
    Know In measure what the mind may well contain. Milton.
    All the world speaks well of you. Pope.
  5. Considerably; not a little; far.
    Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age. Gen. xviii. 11.
    Well is sometimes used elliptically for it is well, as an expression of satisfaction with what has been said or done, and sometimes it expresses concession, or is merely expletive; as, well, the work is done; well, let us go; well, well, be it so. Well, like above, ill, and so, is used before many participial adjectives in its usual adverbial senses, and subject to the same custom with regard to the use of the hyphen (see the Note under Ill, adv.); as, a well-affected supporter; he was well affected toward the project; a well-trained speaker; he was well trained in speaking; well-educated, or well educated; well-dressed, or well dressed; well-appearing; well-behaved; well-controlled; well-designed; well-directed; well-formed; well-meant; well-minded; well-ordered; well-performed; well-pleased; well-pleasing; well-seasoned; well-steered; well-tasted; well-told, etc. Such compound epithets usually have an obvious meaning, and since they may be formed at will, only a few of this class are given in the Vocabulary.
Well adjective
  1. Good in condition or circumstances; desirable, either in a natural or moral sense; fortunate; convenient; advantageous; happy; as, it is well for the country that the crops did not fail; it is well that the mistake was discovered.
    It was well with us in Egypt. Num. xi. 18.
  2. Being in health; sound in body; not ailing, diseased, or sick; healthy; as, a well man; the patient is perfectly well. "Your friends are well." Shak.
    Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Gen. xliii. 27.
  3. Being in favor; favored; fortunate.
    He followed the fortunes of that family, and was well with Henry the Fourth. Dryden.
  4. (Marine Insurance) Safe; as, a chip warranted well at a certain day and place. Burrill.

Webster 1913

"Rowling never met an adverb she didn't like."

-Stephen King on J.K Rowling's excessive use of adverbs.

Fear not the Adverb Hell!

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