AskDefine | Define well

The Collaborative Dictionary

Well \Well\, n. [OE. welle, AS. wella, wylla, from weallan to well up, surge, boil; akin to D. wel a spring or fountain. ????. See Well, v. i.] [1913 Webster]
An issue of water from the earth; a spring; a fountain. [1913 Webster] Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
A pit or hole sunk into the earth to such a depth as to reach a supply of water, generally of a cylindrical form, and often walled with stone or bricks to prevent the earth from caving in. [1913 Webster] The woman said unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep. --John iv.
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A shaft made in the earth to obtain oil or brine. [1913 Webster]
Fig.: A source of supply; fountain; wellspring. "This well of mercy." --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Dan Chaucer, well of English undefiled. --Spenser. [1913 Webster] A well of serious thought and pure. --Keble. [1913 Webster]
(Naut.) (a) An inclosure in the middle of a vessel's hold, around the pumps, from the bottom to the lower deck, to preserve the pumps from damage and facilitate their inspection. (b) A compartment in the middle of the hold of a fishing vessel, made tight at the sides, but having holes perforated in the bottom to let in water for the preservation of fish alive while they are transported to market. (c) A vertical passage in the stern into which an auxiliary screw propeller may be drawn up out of water. (d) A depressed space in the after part of the deck; -- often called the cockpit. [1913 Webster]
(Mil.) A hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries. [1913 Webster]
(Arch.) An opening through the floors of a building, as for a staircase or an elevator; a wellhole. [1913 Webster]
(Metal.) The lower part of a furnace, into which the metal falls. [1913 Webster] Artesian well, Driven well. See under Artesian, and Driven. Pump well. (Naut.) See Well, 5 (a), above. Well boring, the art or process of boring an artesian well. Well drain. (a) A drain or vent for water, somewhat like a well or pit, serving to discharge the water of wet land. (b) A drain conducting to a well or pit. Well room. (a) A room where a well or spring is situated; especially, one built over a mineral spring. (b) (Naut.) A depression in the bottom of a boat, into which water may run, and whence it is thrown out with a scoop. Well sinker, one who sinks or digs wells. Well sinking, the art or process of sinking or digging wells. Well staircase (Arch.), a staircase having a wellhole (see Wellhole (b) ), as distinguished from one which occupies the whole of the space left for it in the floor. Well sweep. Same as Sweep, n.,
Well water, the water that flows into a well from subterraneous springs; the water drawn from a well. [1913 Webster]
Well \Well\, v. t. To pour forth, as from a well. --Spenser. [1913 Webster]
Well \Well\, adv. [Compar. and superl. wanting, the deficiency being supplied by better and best, from another root.] [OE. wel, AS. wel; akin to OS., OFries., & D. wel, G. wohl, OHG. wola, wela, Icel. & Dan. vel, Sw. v[aum]l, Goth. wa['i]la; originally meaning, according to one's will or wish. See Will, v. t., and cf. Wealth.] [1913 Webster]
In a good or proper manner; justly; rightly; not ill or wickedly. [1913 Webster] If thou doest not well, sin lieth at the door. --Gen. iv.
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Suitably to one's condition, to the occasion, or to a proposed end or use; suitably; abundantly; fully; adequately; thoroughly. [1913 Webster] Lot . . . beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was well watered everywhere. --Gen. xiii.
[1913 Webster] WE are wellable to overcome it. --Num. xiii.
[1913 Webster] She looketh well to the ways of her household. --Prov. xxxi.
[1913 Webster] Servant of God, well done! well hast thou fought The better fight. --Milton. [1913 Webster]
Fully or about; -- used with numbers. [Obs.] "Well a ten or twelve." --Chaucer. [1913 Webster] Well nine and twenty in a company. --Chaucer. [1913 Webster]
In such manner as is desirable; so as one could wish; satisfactorily; favorably; advantageously; conveniently. "It boded well to you." --Dryden. [1913 Webster] Know In measure what the mind may well contain. --Milton. [1913 Webster] All the world speaks well of you. --Pope. [1913 Webster]
Considerably; not a little; far. [1913 Webster] Abraham and Sarah were old and well stricken in age. --Gen. xviii.
[1913 Webster] Note: Well is sometimes used elliptically for it is well, as an expression of satisfaction with what has been said or done, and sometimes it expresses concession, or is merely expletive; as, well, the work is done; well, let us go; well, well, be it so. [1913 Webster] Note: Well, like above, ill, and so, is used before many participial adjectives in its usual adverbial senses, and subject to the same custom with regard to the use of the hyphen (see the Note under Ill, adv.); as, a well-affected supporter; he was well affected toward the project; a well-trained speaker; he was well trained in speaking; well-educated, or well educated; well-dressed, or well dressed; well-appearing; well-behaved; well-controlled; well-designed; well-directed; well-formed; well-meant; well-minded; well-ordered; well-performed; well-pleased; well-pleasing; well-seasoned; well-steered; well-tasted; well-told, etc. Such compound epithets usually have an obvious meaning, and since they may be formed at will, only a few of this class are given in the Vocabulary. [1913 Webster] As well. See under As. As well as, and also; together with; not less than; one as much as the other; as, a sickness long, as well as severe; London is the largest city in England, as well as the capital. Well enough, well or good in a moderate degree; so as to give satisfaction, or so as to require no alteration. Well off, in good condition; especially, in good condition as to property or any advantages; thriving; prosperous. Well to do, well off; prosperous; -- used also adjectively. "The class well to do in the world." --J. H. Newman. Well to live, in easy circumstances; well off; well to do. --Shak. [1913 Webster]
Well \Well\, v. i. [imp. & p. p. Welled; p. pr. & vb. n. Welling.] [OE. wellen, AS. wyllan, wellan, fr. weallan; akin to OFries. walla, OS. & OHG. wallan, G. wallen, Icel. vella, G. welle, wave, OHG. wella, walm, AS. wylm; cf. L. volvere to roll, Gr. ? to inwrap, ? to roll. Cf. Voluble, Wallop to boil, Wallow, Weld of metal.] To issue forth, as water from the earth; to flow; to spring. "[Blood] welled from out the wound." --Dryden. "[Yon spring] wells softly forth." --Bryant. [1913 Webster] From his two springs in Gojam's sunny realm, Pure welling out, he through the lucid lake Of fair Dambea rolls his infant streams. --Thomson. [1913 Webster]
Well \Well\, a. [1913 Webster]
Good in condition or circumstances; desirable, either in a natural or moral sense; fortunate; convenient; advantageous; happy; as, it is well for the country that the crops did not fail; it is well that the mistake was discovered. [1913 Webster] It was well with us in Egypt. --Num. xi.
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Being in health; sound in body; not ailing, diseased, or sick; healthy; as, a well man; the patient is perfectly well. "Your friends are well." --Shak. [1913 Webster] Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? --Gen. xliii.
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Being in favor; favored; fortunate. [1913 Webster] He followed the fortunes of that family, and was well with Henry the Fourth. --Dryden. [1913 Webster]
(Marine Insurance) Safe; as, a chip warranted well at a certain day and place. --Burrill. [1913 Webster]
We'll \We'll\ Contraction for we will or we shall. "We'll follow them." --Shak. [1913 Webster]

Word Net

well adj
1 in good health especially after having suffered illness or injury; "appears to be entirely well"; "the wound is nearly well"; "a well man"; "I think I'm well; at least I feel well" [ant: ill]
2 resulting favorably; "its a good thing that I wasn't there"; "it is good that you stayed"; "it is well that no one saw you"; "all's well that ends well" [syn: good, well(p)]
3 wise or advantageous and hence advisable; "it would be well to start early" [syn: well(p)]

Noun

1 a deep hole or shaft dug or drilled to obtain water or oil or gas or brine
2 a cavity or vessel used to contain liquid
3 an abundant source; "she was a well of information" [syn: wellspring, fountainhead]
4 an open shaft through the floors of a building (as for a stairway)
5 an enclosed compartment in a ship or plane for holding something as e.g. fish or a plane's landing gear or for protecting something as e.g. a ship's pumps adv
1 (often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well'); "the children behaved well"; "a task well done"; "the party went well"; "he slept well"; "a well-argued thesis"; "a well-planned party"; "the baby can walk pretty good" [syn: good] [ant: ill]
2 thoroughly or completely; fully; often used as a combining form; "The problem is well understood"; "she was well informed"; "shake well before using"; "in order to avoid food poisoning be sure the meat is well cooked"; "well-done beef", "well-satisfied customers"; "well-educated"
3 indicating high probability; in all likelihood; "I might well do it"; "a mistake that could easily have ended in disaster"; "you may well need your umbrella"; "he could equally well be trying to deceive us" [syn: easily]
4 (used for emphasis or as an intensifier) entirely or fully; "a book well worth reading"; "was well aware of the difficulties ahead"; "suspected only too well what might be going on"
5 to a suitable or appropriate extent or degree; "the project was well underway"; "the fetus has well developed organs"; "his father was well pleased with his grades"
6 favorably; with approval; "their neighbors spoke well of them"; "he thought well of the book" [ant: ill]
7 to a great extent or degree; "I'm afraid the film was well over budget"; "painting the room white made it seem considerably (or substantially) larger"; "the house has fallen considerably in value"; "the price went up substantially" [syn: considerably, substantially]
8 with great or especially intimate knowledge; "we knew them well" [syn: intimately]
9 with prudence or propriety; "You would do well to say nothing more"; "could not well refuse"
10 with skill or in a pleasing manner; "she dances well"; "he writes well" [ant: badly]
11 in a manner affording benefit or advantage; "she married well"; "The children were settled advantageously in Seattle" [syn: advantageously] [ant: badly, badly]
12 in financial comfort; "They live well"; "she has been able to live comfortably since her husband died" [syn: comfortably]
13 without unusual distress or resentment; with good humor; "took the joke well"; "took the tragic news well" [ant: badly] v : come up; "Tears well in her eyes" [syn: swell] [also: better, best]

Moby Thesaurus

ably, abysm, abyss, acceptably, adeptly, adequately, adroitly, agilely, all right, all the way, altogether, amply, appropriately, approvingly, aptly, aright, artfully, artificial lake, artistically, baths, bayou lake, becomingly, benignantly, benignly, beyond all expectation, blow out, bonanza, brilliantly, bunkum, capably, capitally, cascade, cataract, cavity, certainly, chasm, cistern, clear, cleverly, comfortable, comfortably, competently, completely, conceivably, concernedly, considerably, considerately, cornucopia, correctly, crater, crevasse, cunningly, dam, dead water, decently, decorously, deep, deftly, deluge, depth, dexterously, dextrously, dig, diggings, dike, doing nicely, doubtlessly, drain, drain out, easily, easy, effectively, effectually, efficiently, effortlessly, empty, engulf, entirely, etang, excavation, excellently, exhaust, expertly, facilely, famously, far, farm pond, favorably, featly, find vent, fine, finely, fishpond, fit, fitly, fittingly, flood, flow, flow out, font, fortunate, fortunately, fount, fountain, fountainhead, freely, freshwater lake, fully, generously, glacial lake, gold mine, good, gulf, gush, gush out, hale, handily, happily, happy, headspring, headstream, headwater, heedfully, hole, hollow, humanely, humanly, inception, indeed, ingeniously, inland sea, interestedly, inundate, jet, justly, kindheartedly, kindly, lagoon, laguna, lake, lakelet, landlocked water, lightly, likely, linn, loch, lode, lough, mainspring, masterfully, mere, millpond, millpool, mine, neatly, nicely, nimbly, nyanza, obviously, origin, outflow, outpour, overbrim, overflow, overrun, overwhelm, oxbow lake, passably, perfectly, perhaps, pit, plash, play, pleasantly, plumb, pond, pondlet, pool, possibly, pour, pour out, pour over, probably, proficiently, properly, prosperously, provenance, provenience, providential, puddle, quarry, quite, rather, readily, really, reservoir, resource, resourcefully, right, rightly, riverhead, root, roundly, royally, run out, run over, salina, salt pond, sane, satisfactorily, satisfyingly, shaft, significantly, skillfully, slam, slop, slosh, sluice out, smoothly, snug, softheartedly, somewhat, sound, source, source of supply, spa, spew, spew out, spill, spill out, spill over, spit, splendidly, spout, spout out, spray, spring, springhead, springs, spritz, spryly, spurt, spurtle, squirt, stagnant water, standing water, staple, still water, sublimely, submerge, substantial, successfully, suitably, sump, superbly, surely, surge, swamp, sweep, swimmingly, tank, tarn, tenderheartedly, thoughtfully, tidal pond, to good purpose, to some purpose, tolerably, truly, unailing, undoubtedly, unquestionably, unsick, unsickly, up and about, utterly, vein, very well, volcanic lake, vomit, vomit forth, vomit out, warmheartedly, warmly, water hole, water pocket, watering place, well out, well-fixed, well-heeled, well-off, well-to-do, wellhead, wellspring, whelm, white, wholesome, wholly, with consummate skill, with finesse, with genius, with skill, workings, yawning abyss

Acronyms

WELL Whole Earth 'Lectronic Net (network)

English

Pronunciation

  • /wɛl/
  • Rhymes with: -ɛl

Etymology 1

wel.

Adverb

  1. Accurately, competently.
    He does his job well.
  2. Completely, fully.
    A well done steak.
  3. To a significant degree.
    That author is well known.
  4. In the context of "UK|slang": Very (as a general-purpose intensifier).
    Well wicked!

Translations

accurately; competently
  • Czech: dobře
  • Finnish: hyvin
  • French: bien
  • German: gut
  • Greek: καλά (kalá)
  • Japanese: 良く (yoku)
  • Polish: dobrze
  • Portuguese: bem
  • Romanian: bine
  • Russian: хорошо (xorošó), как следует (kak sl'édujet)
  • Slovene: dobro
  • Spanish: bien
  • Swedish: väl, bra
  • Tok Pisin: gut
completely; fully
to a significant degree
  • Finnish: hyvin
  • Japanese: 良く (yoku)
  • Polish: dobrze
  • Portuguese: bem
  • Romanian: bine
  • Russian: хорошо
  • Spanish: bien
  • Swedish: väl
(slang) very
  • Finnish: tosi

Adjective

  1. In good health.
    I had been sick, but now I'm well.

Derived terms

Translations

in good health
  • Chinese: (hǎo)
  • Dutch: gezond
  • Finnish: terve, hyvässä kunnossa
  • German: gesund
  • Greek: καλά (kalá)
  • Hebrew: בריא, בריאה
  • Ido: bona
  • Italian: bene
  • Japanese: 良い (yoi)
  • Polish: zdrowy, zdrowa
  • Portuguese: bem
  • Romanian: bine
  • Russian: здоровый
  • Slovak: dobre
  • Slovene: zdrav, zdrava, zdravo
  • Spanish: bien
  • Swedish: frisk
  • Telugu: బాగు (baagu)
  • Tok Pisin: no sik

Interjection

  1. Used to introduce a statement that may be contrary to expectations.
    Do you think I care? Well, I don't.
  2. An exclamation of surprise, often doubled or tripled
    Well, well, well, what do we have here?
  3. Used in conversation to fill space (see uh).

Translations

used to introduce a statement that may be contrary to expectations
  • Finnish: no
  • Japanese: うーん (ūn)
  • Portuguese: bem
  • Russian: так вот (tak vot)
  • Slovene: no
  • Swedish: tja, nå
exclamation of surprise
used in conversation to fill space

Etymology 2

well.

Noun

  1. A hole sunk into the ground as a source of water, oil, natural gas or other fluids.
  2. A place where a liquid such as water surfaces naturally, a spring.
  3. A small depression suitable for holding liquid, or other objects.
  4. A vertical, cylindrical trunk in a ship, reaching down to the lowest part of the hull, through which the bilge pumps operate.
  5. The cockpit of a sailboat.
  6. A well drink.
    They're having a special tonight: $1 wells.

Translations

hole sunk into the ground
spring
  • Arabic:
  • Bulgarian: извор
  • Croatian: bunar, zdenac, studena
  • Finnish: lähde
  • Georgian: წყარო (ts‘q‘aro)
  • German: Quelle
  • Russian: родник, ключ, источник
  • Swedish: källa
  • Thai: (bòr-nám)
  • Yiddish: קװאַל (kval)
small depression
lowest part of a ship's hull
cockpit of a sailing boat

Etymology 3

weallan.

Verb

  1. To seep out of the surface.
    Blood welled from the wound.

Translations

to seep out of the surface
  • Dutch: vloeien, opwellen
  • Finnish: pulputa, kummuta
  • German: quellen
  • Japanese: にじみ出る
  • Swedish: välla

Old English

Etymology

Common *wall-, whence also Old High German wella, Old Norse vella

Noun

well
Well is an English adverb with irregular comparison.
Well may also refer to:
well in French: Well
well in Dutch: Well
well in Serbian: Бунар (вишезначна одредница)
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