1

well

play
noun \ ˈwel \

Definition of well

1 a :an issue of water from the earth :a pool fed by a spring
2 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
3 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
4 :an open space extending vertically through floors of a structure
5 :a space having a construction or shape suggesting a well for water
6 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
7 :a pronounced minimum of a variable in physics
  • a potential well

Examples of well in a Sentence

  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

Recent Examples of well from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'well.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of well

Middle English welle, from Old English; akin to Old English weallan to bubble, boil, Old High German wella wave, Lithuanian vilnis

Other Civil Engineering Terms


2

well

verb

Definition of well

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

Recent Examples of well from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'well.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of well

Middle English, from Old English wellan to cause to well; akin to Old English weallan to bubble, boil


3

well

adverb

Definition of well

better play \ˈbe-tər\; best play \ˈbest\
1 a :in a good or proper manner :justly, rightly
b :satisfactorily with respect to conduct or action
  • did well in math
  • works well under pressure
2 :in a kindly or friendly manner
  • spoke well of your idea
  • wished them well
3 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
4 :with careful or close attention :attentively
  • watch well what I do
5 :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
6 :fully, quite
  • well worth the price
7 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
8 :in accordance with the occasion or circumstances :with propriety or good reason
  • cannot well refuse
  • the decision may well be questioned
9 a :as one could wish :pleasingly
  • the idea didn't sit well with her
b :with material success :advantageously
  • married well
10 a :easily, readily
  • could well afford a new car
b :in all likelihood :indeed
  • it may well be true
11 :in a prosperous or affluent manner
  • he lives well
12 :to an extent approaching completeness :thoroughly
  • after being well dried with a towel
13 :without doubt or question :clearly
  • well knew the penalty
14 :in a familiar manner
  • knew her well
15 :to a large extent or degree :considerably, far
  • well over a million
as well
1 :in addition :also
  • there were other features as well
2 :to the same extent or degree :as much
  • open as well to the poor as to the rich
3 :with equivalent, comparable, or more favorable effect
  • might just as well have stayed home

good vs. well

Adverbial good has been under attack from the schoolroom since the 19th century. Insistence on well rather than good has resulted in a split in connotation: well is standard, neutral, and colorless, while good is emotionally charged and emphatic. This makes good the adverb of choice in sports.
    • "I'm seeing the ball real good" is what you hear
    • —Roger Angell
In such contexts as
    • listen up. And listen good
    • —Alex Karras
    • lets fly with his tomatoes before they can flee. He gets Clarence good
    • —Charles Dickinson
good cannot be adequately replaced by well. Adverbial good is primarily a spoken form; in writing it occurs in reported and fictional speech and in generally familiar or informal contexts.


Examples of well in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of well from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'well.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of well

Middle English wel, going back to Old English, going back to Germanic *welō (whence Old Frisian wol, wel, wal "in a good manner," Old Saxon wola, wela, wala, Old High German wola, Old Norse vel, val), from an adjectival derivative of the base of *weljan- "to want" — more at 1will


4

well

interjection

Definition of well

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

Recent Examples of well from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'well.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of well

before 12th century

well Synonyms

Synonyms
ah, aha, come on, fie, indeed, my word, pshaw, no, what, why
Related Words
gee, gee whiz, ha, hello, hey, lo, oh; fiddlesticks, phooey, pooh; there; oops (or whoops also woops), ugh; egad, gad, gadzooks [archaic], the deuce, the devil, the dickens, zounds

5

well

adjective

Definition of well

b :being in satisfactory condition or circumstances
2 :being in good standing or favor
3 :satisfactory, pleasing
  • all's well that ends well
4 :advisable, desirable
  • it might be well for you to leave
5 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
6 :pleasing or satisfactory in appearance
  • our garden looks well
  • —Conrad Aiken
7 :being a cause for thankfulness :fortunate
  • it is well that this has happened

good vs. well

An old notion that it is wrong to say "I feel good" in reference to health still occasionally appears in print. The origins of this notion are obscure, but they seem to combine someone's idea that good should be reserved to describe virtue and uncertainty about whether an adverb or an adjective should follow feel. Today nearly everyone agrees that both good and well can be predicate adjectives after feel. Both are used to express good health, but good may connote good spirits in addition to good health.


Examples of well in a Sentence

  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.

Recent Examples of well from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'well.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of well

before 12th century

Synonym Discussion of well

healthy, sound, wholesome, robust, hale, well mean enjoying or indicative of good health. healthy implies full strength and vigor as well as freedom from signs of disease.
    • a healthy family
sound emphasizes the absence of disease, weakness, or malfunction.
    • a sound heart
wholesome implies appearance and behavior indicating soundness and balance.
    • a face with a wholesome glow
robust implies the opposite of all that is delicate or sickly.
    • a lively, robust little boy
hale applies particularly to robustness in old age.
    • still hale at the age of eighty
well implies merely freedom from disease or illness.
    • she has never been a well person

WELL Defined for English Language Learners

well

play
noun

Definition of well for English Language Learners

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


well

verb

Definition of well for English Language Learners

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


well

adverb

Definition of well for English Language Learners

  • : in a successful way

  • : in a skillful way

  • : in a good, proper, or positive way


well

interjection

Definition of well for English Language Learners

  • —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.


well

adjective

Definition of well for English Language Learners

  • : in good health

  • : in a good or satisfactory state

  • : wise, sensible, or reasonable


WELL Defined for Kids

1

well

play
adverb \ ˈwel \

Definition of well for Students

better \ˈbe-tər\; best \ˈbest\
1 :in a skillful or expert manner
  • He plays the guitar well.
2 :by as much as possible :completely
  • We are well aware of the problem.
3 :in such a way as to be pleasing :as wanted
  • Everything went well.
4 :without trouble
  • We could well afford the cost.
5 :in a thorough manner
  • Shake well before using.
6 :in a familiar manner
  • I know them well.
7 :by quite a lot
  • There was well over a million.
8 :so as to be right :in a satisfactory way
  • Do your work well.
9 :in a complimentary or generous way
  • They always speak well of you.
10 :with reason or courtesy
  • I cannot well refuse.
as well
1 :in addition :also She has other hobbies as well.
2 :with the same result
  • We might as well walk.

2

well

interjection

Definition of well for Students

1 used to express surprise or doubt
2 used to begin a conversation or remark or to continue one that was interrupted

3

well

noun

Definition of well for Students

1 :a hole made in the earth to reach a natural deposit (as of water, oil, or gas)
2 :a source of supply
  • He was a well of news.
3 :something like a deep hole Voices echoed in the well of the great hall.

4

well

adjective

Definition of well for Students

1 :being in a satisfactory or good state
  • All is well.
2 :free or recovered from ill health :healthy
3 :fortunate 1
  • It was well that we left.

5

well

verb

Definition of well for Students

welled; welling
:to rise to the surface and flow out
  • Tears welled up in her eyes.

Medical Dictionary

well

play
adjective \ ˈwel \

medical Definition of well

1 :free or recovered from infirmity or disease :healthy
  • a well person
2 :completely cured or healed
  • the wound is nearly well


Seen and Heard

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