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 Dictionary.com 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!
Dictionary.com Unabridged


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.


[weel; unstressed wil]
contraction of we will.

See contraction.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
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]

we'll (wiːl)
contraction of
we will or we shall

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."

"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
Science Dictionary
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 well, also see alive and kicking (well); all's well that ends well; all very well; as well; as well as; augur well for; damn well; do well; full well; get well; hanged for a sheep, might as well be; leave well enough alone; only too (well); sit well with; think a lot (well) of; to a fare-thee-well; very well; wear well.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
The lucky bedside nurses got to feed him his first meal, which he took well.
These exercises will keep the rest of your body healthy and functioning, as
Unfortunately, such chemotherapy kills a lot of healthy cells as well.
Eating well is important, and these are good tips.
Related Words
Images for well
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