well-mean·​ing ˈwel-ˈmē-niŋ How to pronounce well-meaning (audio)
: having good intentions
well-meaning but misguided idealists
: based on good intentions
well-meaning advice

Examples of well-meaning in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web Our research focused on what drives this skepticism of allies, and how well-meaning allies might do better. Preeti Vani, Fortune, 4 Apr. 2024 Girls State is a sharp study of how a well-meaning civics program can simultaneously inspire and limit young women. Shirley Li, The Atlantic, 3 Apr. 2024 The tales are often boring, marked by a well-meaning blandness — by an avoidance of uncomfortable truths. Kabir Chibber, New York Times, 31 Mar. 2024 At their best, EAs are well-meaning people who aspire to rigorous analysis. Leif Wenar, WIRED, 27 Mar. 2024 When users don’t trust a platform, even well-meaning attempts to make things better can make things worse. Scott Duke Kominers, The Atlantic, 22 Mar. 2024 Hur concluded a jury would find Biden a well-meaning old man who was forgetful. Bart Jansen, USA TODAY, 12 Mar. 2024 And somehow, his charming New England suburb’s haughty but well-meaning real estate broker Dell (a genuinely funny Matt Dillon) tolerates this pastime, despite knowing Phil’s financial reality and emotional outbursts that sometimes sabotage his events all too well. Tomris Laffly, Variety, 6 Mar. 2024 He’s come to be particularly wary of how well-meaning colleagues, like his friend Ms. Grekin, could play a role in bringing about that delay, for example by amplifying research that emphasizes far-out technological solutions instead of, say, taking steps like curbing emissions. Hiroko Tabuchi Damon Casarez, New York Times, 1 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'well-meaning.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Time Traveler
The first known use of well-meaning was in the 15th century

Dictionary Entries Near well-meaning

Cite this Entry

“Well-meaning.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/well-meaning. Accessed 23 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition


: having or based on good intentions

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