adjective superl. of good with better as compar.
of the highest quality, excellence, or standing: the best work; the best students.
most advantageous, suitable, or desirable: the best way.
largest; most: the best part of a day.
adverb superl. of well with better as compar.
most excellently or suitably; with most advantage or success: an opera role that best suits her voice.
in or to the highest degree; most fully (usually used in combination): best-suited; best-known; best-loved.
something or someone that is best: They always demand and get the best. The best of us can make mistakes.
a person's finest clothing: It's important that you wear your best.
a person's most agreeable or desirable emotional state (often preceded by at ).
a person's highest degree of competence, inspiration, etc. (often preceded by at ).
the highest quality to be found in a given activity or category of things (often preceded by at ): cabinetmaking at its best.
the best effort that a person, group, or thing can make: Their best fell far short of excellence.
a person's best wishes or kindest regards: Please give my best to your father.
verb (used with object)
to get the better of; defeat; beat: He easily bested his opponent in hand-to-hand combat. She bested me in the argument.
all for the best, for the good as the final result; to an ultimate advantage: At the time it was hard to realize how it could be all for the best. Also, for the best.
as best one can, in the best way possible under the circumstances: We tried to smooth over the disagreement as best we could.
at best, under the most favorable circumstances: You may expect to be treated civilly, at best.
get/have the best of,
to gain the advantage over.
to defeat; subdue: His arthritis gets the best of him from time to time.
had best, would be wisest or most reasonable to; ought to: You had best phone your mother to tell her where you are going.
make the best of, to cope with in the best way possible: to make the best of a bad situation.
with the best, on a par with the most capable: He can play bridge with the best.

before 900; Middle English beste, Old English betst, best; cognate with Dutch best, Old High German bezzist (German best), Old Norse bezt, Gothic batists. See better1, -est Unabridged


Charles Herbert, 1899–1978, Canadian physiologist, born in the U.S.: one of the discoverers of insulin.


adjective, better, best.
morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
of high quality; excellent.
right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
well-behaved: a good child.
kind, beneficent, or friendly: to do a good deed.
honorable or worthy; in good standing: a good name.
educated and refined: She has a good background.
financially sound or safe: His credit is good.
genuine; not counterfeit: a good quarter.
sound or valid: good judgment; good reasons.
reliable; dependable; responsible: good advice.
healthful; beneficial: Fresh fruit is good for you.
in excellent condition; healthy: good teeth.
not spoiled or tainted; edible; palatable: The meat was still good after three months in the freezer.
favorable; propitious: good news.
cheerful; optimistic; amiable: in good spirits.
free of distress or pain; comfortable: to feel good after surgery.
agreeable; pleasant: Have a good time.
attractive; handsome: She has a good figure.
(of the complexion) smooth; free from blemish.
close or intimate; warm: She's a good friend of mine.
sufficient or ample: a good supply.
advantageous; satisfactory for the purpose: a good day for fishing.
competent or skillful; clever: a good manager; good at arithmetic.
skillfully or expertly done: a really good job; a good play.
conforming to rules of grammar, usage, etc.; correct: good English.
socially proper: good manners.
remaining available to one: Don't throw good money after bad.
comparatively new or of relatively fine quality: Don't play in the mud in your good clothes.
finest or most dressy: He wore his good suit to the office today.
full: a good day's journey away.
fairly large or great: a good amount.
free from precipitation or cloudiness: good weather.
Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs, being conscious and comfortable, and having excellent appetite, mobility, etc.
fertile; rich: good soil.
loyal: a good Democrat.
(of a return or service in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) landing within the limits of a court or section of a court.
Horse Racing. (of the surface of a track) drying after a rain so as to be still slightly sticky: This horse runs best on a good track.
(of meat, especially beef) noting or pertaining to the specific grade below “choice,” containing more lean muscle and less edible fat than “prime” or “choice.”
favorably regarded (used as an epithet for a ship, town, etc.): the good ship Syrena.
profit or advantage; worth; benefit: What good will that do? We shall work for the common good.
excellence or merit; kindness: to do good.
moral righteousness; virtue: to be a power for good.
(especially in the grading of U.S. beef) an official grade below that of “choice.”
possessions, especially movable effects or personal property.
articles of trade; wares; merchandise: canned goods.
Informal. what has been promised or is expected: to deliver the goods.
Informal. the genuine article.
Informal. evidence of guilt, as stolen articles: to catch someone with the goods.
cloth or textile material: top-quality linen goods.
Chiefly British. merchandise sent by land, rather than by water or air.
the good.
the ideal of goodness or morality.
good things or persons collectively.
(used as an expression of approval or satisfaction): Good! Now we can all go home.
Informal. well.
as good as. as1 ( def 20 ).
come to no good, to end in failure or as a failure: Her jealous relatives said that she would come to no good.
for good, finally and permanently; forever: to leave the country for good. Also, for good and all.
good and, Informal. very; completely; exceedingly: This soup is good and hot.
good for,
certain to repay (money owed) because of integrity, financial stability, etc.
the equivalent in value of: Two thousand stamps are good for one coffeepot.
able to survive or continue functioning for (the length of time or the distance indicated): These tires are good for another 10,000 miles.
valid or in effect for (the length of time indicated): a license good for one year.
(used as an expression of approval): Good for you!
good full, Nautical. (of a sail or sails) well filled, especially when sailing close to the wind; clean full; rap full.
make good,
to make recompense for; repay.
to implement an agreement; fulfill.
to be successful.
to substantiate; verify.
to carry out; accomplish; execute: The convicts made good their getaway.
no good, without value or merit; worthless; contemptible: The check was no good.
to the good,
generally advantageous: That's all to the good, but what do I get out of it?
richer in profit or gain: When he withdrew from the partnership, he was several thousand dollars to the good.

before 900; Middle English (adj., adv., and noun); Old English gōd (adj.); cognate with Dutch goed, German gut, Old Norse gōthr, Gothic goths

quasi-good, adjective

good, well (see usage note at the current entry).

1. pure, moral, conscientious, meritorious, worthy, exemplary, upright. 2. commendable, admirable. 5. obedient, heedful. 6. kindly, benevolent, humane, gracious, obliging. 23. full, adequate. 24. profitable, useful, serviceable, beneficial. 25. efficient, proficient, capable, able, ready, suited, suitable, dexterous, expert, adroit, apt. 46. See property.

Good is common as an adverb in informal speech, especially after forms of do: He did good on the test. She sees good with her new glasses. This use does not occur in formal speech or edited writing, where the adverb well is used instead: He did well on the test. She sees well with her new glasses.
The adjective good is standard after linking verbs like taste, smell, look, feel, be, and seem: Everything tastes good. The biscuits smell good. You're looking good today. When used after look or feel, good may refer to spirits as well as health: I'm feeling pretty good this morning, ready to take on the world. Well is both an adjective and an adverb. As an adjective used after look, feel, or other linking verbs, it often refers to good health: You're looking well; we missed you while you were in the hospital. See also bad.


1 [wel]
in a good or satisfactory manner: Business is going well.
thoroughly, carefully, or soundly: to shake well before using; listen well.
in a moral or proper manner: to behave well.
commendably, meritoriously, or excellently: a difficult task well done.
with propriety, justice, or reason: I could not well refuse.
adequately or sufficiently: Think well before you act.
to a considerable extent or degree (often used in combination): a sum well over the amount agreed upon; a well-developed theme.
with great or intimate knowledge: to know a person well.
certainly; without doubt: I anger easily, as you well know.
with good nature; without rancor: He took the joke well.
adjective, comparative better, superlative best.
in good health; sound in body and mind: Are you well? He is not a well man.
satisfactory, pleasing, or good: All is well with us.
proper, fitting, or gratifying: It is well that you didn't go.
in a satisfactory position; well-off: I am very well as I am.
(used to express surprise, reproof, etc.): Well! There's no need to shout.
(used to introduce a sentence, resume a conversation, etc.): Well, who would have thought he could do it?
well-being; good fortune; success: to wish well to someone.
as well,
in addition; also; too: She insisted on directing the play and on producing it as well.
equally: The town grew as well because of its location as because of its superb climate.
as well as, as much or as truly as; equally as: Joan is witty as well as intelligent.
leave well enough alone, avoid changing something that is satisfactory.

before 900; Middle English, Old English wel(l) (adj. and adv.); cognate with Dutch wel, German wohl, Old Norse vel, Gothic waila

3. properly, correctly. 4. skillfully, adeptly, accurately, efficiently. 5. suitably. 6. fully, amply. 7. rather, quite. 11. healthy, hale, hearty. 12. fine. 13. suitable, befitting, appropriate. 14. fortunate, happy.

3. poorly, badly. 11. ill, sick.

See good.

Sometimes an adverb like well is so often placed in front of and combined with a certain past participle in order to modify it that the resulting adjectival combination achieves the status of a common word and is listed in dictionaries. In you will find, for example, entries for well-advised, well-loved, and well-mannered; for ill-advised, ill-bred, and ill-conceived; and for half-baked, half-cocked, and half-hearted. Some of these terms are given full definitions, while others are considered such obvious combinations that you can figure out for yourself what they must mean and so they are simply listed. It is important to note, however, that compound adjectives like these are hyphenated for use before the noun they modify together. Thus we say that someone is “a well-loved professor,” but there would be no hyphen between well and loved in a sentence like “My English professor is well loved and deserves the award.”
In a similar manner, adjectival compounds formed with better, best, little, lesser, least, etc., are also hyphenated when placed before the noun (a little-understood theory), but the hyphen is dropped when the adjectival combination follows the noun (his films are best known in England) or is itself modified by an adverb (a too little understood theory).
There are exceptions to this pattern. For example, when the combining adverb ends in –ly, no hyphen is required, whether the resulting adjectival combination appears before or after the noun: a highly regarded surgeon; a surgeon who is highly regarded.
Don’t let the hyphens fool you. Punctuation can be tricky!


2 [wel]
a hole drilled or bored into the earth to obtain water, petroleum, natural gas, brine, or sulfur.
a spring or natural source of water.
an apparent reservoir or a source of human feelings, emotions, energy, etc.: He was a well of gentleness and courtesy.
a container, receptacle, or reservoir for a liquid: the well of ink in a fountain pen.
any sunken or deep, enclosed space, as a shaft for air or light, stairs, or an elevator, extending vertically through the floors of a building.
a part of a weather deck between two superstructures, extending from one side of a vessel to the other.
a compartment or enclosure around a ship's pumps to make them easily accessible and protect them from being damaged by the cargo.
a hollow compartment, recessed area, or depression for holding a specific item or items, as fish in the bottom of a boat or the retracted wheels of an airplane in flight.
any shaft dug or bored into the earth, as for storage space or a mine.
verb (used without object)
to rise, spring, or gush, as water, from the earth or some other source (often followed by up, out, or forth ): Tears welled up in my eyes.
verb (used with object)
to send welling up or forth: a fountain welling its pure water.
like, of, resembling, from, or used in connection with a well.

before 900; (noun) Middle English well(e), Old English wylle, wella, welle; cognate with German Welle wave; (v.) Middle English wellen, Old English wellan (cognate with Dutch wellen, Old Norse vella); both noun and v. ultimately akin to weallan to boil

3. store, fund, mine, fount. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To best
World English Dictionary
best (bɛst)
1.  the superlative of good
2.  most excellent of a particular group, category, etc
3.  most suitable, advantageous, desirable, attractive, etc
4.  the best part of most of: the best part of an hour
5.  put one's best foot forward
 a.  to do one's utmost to make progress
 b.  to hurry
6.  the superlative of well
7.  in a manner surpassing all others; most excellently, advantageously, attractively, etc
8.  (in combination) in or to the greatest degree or extent; most: the best-loved hero
9.  as best one can, as best one may as effectively as possible within one's limitations
10.  had best would be wise, sensible, etc, to: you had best go now
11.  the best the most outstanding or excellent person, thing, or group in a category
12.  (often preceded by at) the most excellent, pleasing, or skilled quality or condition: journalism at its best
13.  the most effective effort of which a person or group is capable: even their best was inadequate
14.  a winning majority: the best of three games
15.  Also: all the best best wishes: she sent him her best
16.  a person's smartest outfit of clothing
17.  at best
 a.  in the most favourable interpretation
 b.  under the most favourable conditions
18.  for the best
 a.  for an ultimately good outcome
 b.  with good intentions: he meant it for the best
19.  get the best of, have the best of to surpass, defeat, or outwit; better
20.  give someone the best to concede someone's superiority
21.  make the best of to cope as well as possible in the unfavourable circumstances of (often in the phrases make the best of a bad job, make the best of it)
22.  informal six of the best six strokes with a cane on the buttocks or hand
23.  (tr) to gain the advantage over or defeat
[Old English betst; related to Gothic batista, Old High German bezzist]

Best (bɛst)
1.  Charles Herbert. 1899--1978, Canadian physiologist: associated with Banting and Macleod in their discovery of insulin in 1922
2.  George. 1946--2005, Northern Ireland footballer

good (ɡʊd)
adj , better, best
1.  having admirable, pleasing, superior, or positive qualities; not negative, bad or mediocre: a good idea; a good teacher
2.  a.  morally excellent or admirable; virtuous; righteous: a good man
 b.  (as collective noun; preceded by the): the good
3.  suitable or efficient for a purpose: a good secretary; a good winter coat
4.  beneficial or advantageous: vegetables are good for you
5.  not ruined or decayed; sound or whole: the meat is still good
6.  kindly, generous, or approving: you are good to him
7.  right or acceptable: your qualifications are good for the job
8.  rich and fertile: good land
9.  valid or genuine: I would not do this without good reason
10.  honourable or held in high esteem: a good family
11.  commercially or financially secure, sound, or safe: good securities; a good investment
12.  (of a draft) drawn for a stated sum
13.  (of debts) expected to be fully paid
14.  clever, competent, or talented: he's good at science
15.  obedient or well-behaved: a good dog
16.  reliable, safe, or recommended: a good make of clothes
17.  affording material pleasure or indulgence: the good things in life; the good life
18.  having a well-proportioned, beautiful, or generally fine appearance: a good figure; a good complexion
19.  complete; full: I took a good look round the house
20.  propitious; opportune: a good time to ask the manager for a rise
21.  satisfying or gratifying: a good rest
22.  comfortable: did you have a good night?
23.  newest or of the best quality: to keep the good plates for important guests
24.  fairly large, extensive, or long: a good distance away
25.  sufficient; ample: we have a good supply of food
26.  (US) (of meat) of the third government grade, above standard and below choice
27.  serious or intellectual: good music
28.  used in a traditional description: the good ship ``America''
29.  used in polite or patronizing phrases or to express anger (often intended ironically): how is your good lady?; look here, my good man!
30.  a good one
 a.  an unbelievable assertion
 b.  a very funny joke
31.  as good as virtually; practically: it's as good as finished
32.  as good as gold excellent; very good indeed
33.  be as good as to, be so good as to would you please
34.  come good to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback
35.  informal good and (intensifier): good and mad
36.  (intensifier; used in mild oaths): good grief!; good heavens!
37.  an exclamation of approval, agreement, pleasure, etc
38.  moral or material advantage or use; benefit or profit: for the good of our workers; what is the good of worrying?
39.  positive moral qualities; goodness; virtue; righteousness; piety
40.  (sometimes capital) moral qualities seen as a single abstract entity: we must pursue the Good
41.  a good thing
42.  economics a commodity or service that satisfies a human need
43.  for good, for good and all forever; permanently: I have left them for good
44.  make good
 a.  to recompense or repair damage or injury
 b.  to be successful
 c.  to demonstrate or prove the truth of (a statement or accusation)
 d.  to secure and retain (a position)
 e.  to effect or fulfil (something intended or promised)
45.  good on you, good for you well done, well said, etc: a term of congratulation
46.  (Irish) get any good of, get some good of
 a.  to handle to good effect: I never got any good of this machine
 b.  to understand properly: I could never get any good of him
 c.  to receive cooperation from
[Old English gōd; related to Old Norse gōthr, Old High German guot good]

well1 (wɛl)
adv (preceded by could, might, or may) (preceded by may or might) , better, best
1.  (often used in combination) in a satisfactory manner: the party went very well
2.  (often used in combination) in a good, skilful, or pleasing manner: she plays the violin well
3.  in a correct or careful manner: listen well to my words
4.  in a comfortable or prosperous manner: to live well
5.  (usually used with auxiliaries) suitably; fittingly: you can't very well say that
6.  intimately: I knew him well
7.  in a kind or favourable manner: she speaks well of you
8.  to a great or considerable extent; fully: to be well informed
9.  by a considerable margin: let me know well in advance
10.  indeed: you may well have to do it yourself
11.  informal (intensifier): well safe
12.  all very well used ironically to express discontent, dissent, etc
13.  as well
 a.  in addition; too
 b.  with equal effect: you might as well come
 c.  just as well preferable or advisable: it would be just as well if you paid me now
14.  as well as in addition to
15.  just leave well alone, just leave well enough alone to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
16.  well and good used to indicate calm acceptance, as of a decision: if you accept my offer, well and good
17.  well up in well acquainted with (a particular subject); knowledgeable about
18.  (when prenominal, usually used with a negative) in good health: I'm very well, thank you; he's not a well man
19.  satisfactory, agreeable, or pleasing
20.  prudent; advisable: it would be well to make no comment
21.  prosperous or comfortable
22.  fortunate or happy: it is well that you agreed to go
23.  a.  an expression of surprise, indignation, or reproof
 b.  an expression of anticipation in waiting for an answer or remark
sentence connector
24.  an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etc: well, I don't think I will come
[Old English wel; related to Old High German wala, wola (German wohl), Old Norse val, Gothic waila]

well2 (wɛl)
1.  a hole or shaft that is excavated, drilled, bored, or cut into the earth so as to tap a supply of water, oil, gas, etc
2.  a natural pool where ground water comes to the surface
3.  a.  a cavity, space, or vessel used to contain a liquid
 b.  (in combination): an inkwell
4.  an open shaft through the floors of a building, such as one used for a staircase
5.  a deep enclosed space in a building or between buildings that is open to the sky to permit light and air to enter
6.  a.  a bulkheaded compartment built around a ship's pumps for protection and ease of access
 b.  another word for cockpit
7.  a perforated tank in the hold of a fishing boat for keeping caught fish alive
8.  (in England) the open space in the centre of a law court
9.  a source, esp one that provides a continuous supply: he is a well of knowledge
10.  to flow or cause to flow upwards or outwards: tears welled from her eyes
[Old English wella; related to Old High German wella (German Welle wave), Old Norse vella boiling heat]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Word Origin & History

"in a satisfactory manner," O.E. wel, common Gmc. (cf. O.S. wela, O.N. vel, O.Fris. wel, Du. wel, O.H.G. wela, Ger. wohl, Goth. waila "well"), from PIE *wel-, *wol- (cf. Skt. prati varam "at will," O.C.S. vole "well," Welsh gwell "better," L. velle "to wish, will," O.E. willan "to wish;" see
will (v.)). Also used as an interjection and an expression of surprise in O.E. Well-to-do "prosperous" is recorded from 1825.

"to spring, rise, gush," O.E. wiellan (Anglian wællan), causative of weallan "to boil, bubble up" (class VII strong verb; past tense weoll, pp. weallen), from P.Gmc. *wal-, *wel- "roll" (cf. O.S. wallan, O.N. vella, O.Fris. walla, O.H.G. wallan, Ger. wallen, Goth. wulan "to bubble, boil"), from
PIE base *wel- "to turn, roll" (see vulva), on notion of "roiling or bubbling water."

O.E. god (with a long "o") "having the right or desirable quality," from P.Gmc. *gothaz (cf. O.N. goðr, Du. goed, Ger. gut, Goth. goþs), originally "fit, adequate, belonging together," from PIE base *ghedh- "to unite, be associated, suitable" (cf. O.C.S. godu "pleasing time," Rus. godnyi "fit,
suitable," O.E. gædrian "to gather, to take up together"). Irregular comparatives (better, best) reflect a widespread pattern, cf. L. bonus, melior, optimus. First record of good day is from c.1200. Goods "property" first recorded late 13c., but singular in the same sense was in O.E. The good neighbours is Scot. euphemism for "the fairies" (1580s). Good-for-nothing is from 1711; good-looking is from 1780; good-natured first recorded 1570s. Good sport is from 1917; good to go is attested from 1989.

O.E., reduced by assimilation of -t- from earlier O.E. betst "best, first, in the best manner," originally superlative of bot "remedy, reparation," the root word now only surviving in to boot (see boot (2)), though its comparative, better, and
superlative, best, transferred to good (and in some cases well). From P.Gmc. root *bat-, with comp. *batizon and superl. *batistaz. The verb "to get the better of" is from 1863. Best-seller is from 1889; best friend was in Chaucer (late 14c.). Best girl is first attested 1887 in a Texas context; best man is 1814, originally Scottish, replacing groomsman.

"hole dug for water, spring of water," O.E. wielle (W.Saxon), welle (Anglian), from wiellan (see well (v.)).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

Best (běst), Charles Herbert. 1899-1978.

American-born Canadian physiologist noted for the discovery and successful clinical application of insulin.

The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
Cite This Source
American Heritage
Science Dictionary
Best   (běst)  Pronunciation Key 
American-born Canadian physiologist who assisted Frederick Banting in the discovery of the hormone insulin. In acknowledgment of his work, Banting shared his portion of the 1923 Nobel Prize with Best. In addition to further refining the use of insulin, Best later discovered the vitamin choline and the enzyme histaminase, which breaks down histamine.
well   (wěl)  Pronunciation Key 
A deep hole or shaft sunk into the Earth to tap a liquid or gaseous substance such as water, oil, gas, or brine. If the substance is not under sufficient pressure to flow freely from the well, it must be pumped or raised mechanically to the surface. Water or pressurized gas is sometimes pumped into a nonproducing oil well to push petroleum resources out of underground reservoirs. See also artesian well.
The American Heritage® Science Dictionary
Copyright © 2002. Published by Houghton Mifflin. All rights reserved.
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Bible Dictionary

Well definition

(Heb. beer), to be distinguished from a fountain (Heb. 'ain). A "beer" was a deep shaft, bored far under the rocky surface by the art of man, which contained water which percolated through the strata in its sides. Such wells were those of Jacob and Beersheba, etc. (see Gen. 21:19, 25, 30, 31; 24:11; 26:15, 18-25, 32, etc.). In the Pentateuch this word beer, so rendered, occurs twenty-five times.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with best, also see all for the best; all the best; as best one can; at best; at one's best; come off (second-best); do one's best; get the better (best) of; give it one's best shot; had better (best); make the best of it; on one's best behavior; put one's best foot forward; second best; Sunday best; in one's (best) interest; to the best of one's ability; with the best of them; with the best will in the world. Also see under better.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences for best
But though you will be angry to hear it, i believe, for myself at least, what is is best.
Benny was a swing player and decided to concentrate on what he does best.
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