noun \ˈwel\

: a deep hole made in the ground through which water can be removed

Full Definition of WELL

a :  an issue of water from the earth :  a pool fed by a spring
b :  source, origin
a :  a pit or hole sunk into the earth to reach a supply of water
b :  a shaft or hole sunk to obtain oil, brine, or gas
a :  an enclosure in the middle of a ship's hold to protect from damage and facilitate the inspection of the pumps
b :  a compartment in the hold of a fishing boat in which fish are kept alive
:  an open space extending vertically through floors of a structure
:  a space having a construction or shape suggesting a well for water
a :  something resembling a well in being damp, cool, deep, or dark
b :  a deep vertical hole
c :  a source from which something may be drawn as needed
:  a pronounced minimum of a variable in physics <a potential well>

Examples of WELL

  1. <his quirkily dysfunctional family proved to be a bottomless well of inspiration for the novelist>
  2. <the spot where the spring bubbles up to the surface and forms a deep well>

Origin of WELL

Middle English welle, from Old English; akin to Old English weallan to bubble, boil, Old High German wella wave, Lithuanian vilnis
First Known Use: before 12th century

Other Civil Engineering Terms

asphalt, ballast, barrage, cantilever, infrastructure, sluice



of a liquid : to rise to a surface and flow out

Full Definition of WELL

intransitive verb
:  to rise to the surface and usually flow forth <tears welled from her eyes>
:  to rise like a flood of liquid <longing welled up in his breast>
transitive verb
:  to emit in a copious free flow

Origin of WELL

Middle English, from Old English wellan to cause to well; akin to Old English weallan to bubble, boil
First Known Use: before 12th century



: in a successful way

: in a skillful way

: in a good, proper, or positive way

bet·ter \ˈbe-tər\ best \ˈbest\

Full Definition of WELL

a :  in a good or proper manner :  justly, rightly
b :  satisfactorily with respect to conduct or action <did well in mathematics> <works well under pressure>
:  in a kindly or friendly manner <spoke well of your idea> <wished them well>
a :  with skill or aptitude :  expertly, excellently <paints well>
b :  satisfactorily <the plan worked well>
c :  with good appearance or effect :  elegantly <carried himself well>
:  with careful or close attention :  attentively <watch well what I do>
:  to a high degree <well deserved the honor> <a well-equipped kitchen> —often used as an intensifier or qualifier <there are … vacancies pretty well all the time — Listener>
:  fully, quite <well worth the price>
a :  in a way appropriate to the facts or circumstances :  fittingly, rightly <well said>
b :  in a prudent manner :  sensibly —used with do <you would do well to reread the material>
:  in accordance with the occasion or circumstances :  with propriety or good reason <cannot well refuse> <the decision may well be questioned>
a :  as one could wish :  pleasingly <the idea didn't sit well with her>
b :  with material success :  advantageously <married well>
a :  easily, readily <could well afford a new car>
b :  in all likelihood :  indeed <it may well be true>
:  in a prosperous or affluent manner <he lives well>
:  to an extent approaching completeness :  thoroughly <after being well dried with a towel>
:  without doubt or question :  clearly <well knew the penalty>
:  in a familiar manner <knew her well>
:  to a large extent or degree :  considerably, far <well over a million>
See Usage Discussion at good
as well
:  in addition :  also <there were other features as well>
:  to the same extent or degree :  as much <open as well to the poor as to the rich>
:  with equivalent, comparable, or more favorable effect <might just as well have stayed home>

Examples of WELL

  1. How did everything go? It went well, thank you.
  2. She works well under pressure.
  3. I did surprisingly well on my history test.
  4. The company is doing well.
  5. He has his own business and is doing well for himself.
  6. You got a perfect score! Well done!
  7. She sings and plays the guitar quite well.
  8. The essay is well written.
  9. He doesn't smoke or drink, and he eats well.
  10. She doesn't treat her boyfriend very well.

Origin of WELL

Middle English wel, from Old English; akin to Old High German wela well, Old English wyllan to wish — more at will
First Known Use: before 12th century



—used to show that you are unsure about something you are saying

—used to show that you accept something even though you are not happy about it

—used when you are trying to persuade someone or to make someone feel less upset, worried, etc.

Full Definition of WELL

—used to indicate resumption of discourse or to introduce a remark <they are, well, not quite what you'd expect>
—used to express surprise or expostulation <well, what have we here?>

First Known Use of WELL

before 12th century



: in good health

: in a good or satisfactory state

: wise, sensible, or reasonable

Full Definition of WELL

a :  prosperous, well-off
b :  being in satisfactory condition or circumstances
:  being in good standing or favor
:  satisfactory, pleasing <all's well that ends well>
:  advisable, desirable <it might be well for you to leave>
a :  free or recovered from infirmity or disease :  healthy <he's not a well man>
b :  completely cured or healed <the wound is nearly well>
:  pleasing or satisfactory in appearance <our garden looks well — Conrad Aiken>
:  being a cause for thankfulness :  fortunate <it is well that this has happened>
See Usage Discussion at good

Examples of WELL

  1. The children are well again.
  2. I don't feel very well.
  3. You don't look so well.
  4. I hope you get well soon.
  5. I hope all is well with you and your family.

First Known Use of WELL

before 12th century


adjective \ˈwel\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of WELL

:  free or recovered from infirmity or disease :  healthy <a well person>
:  completely cured or healed <the wound is nearly well>
May 27, 2015
riot act Hear it
a vigorous reprimand or warning
Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!
How to use a word that (literally) drives some people nuts.
Test your vocab with our fun, fast game
Ailurophobia, and 9 other unusual fears