Meaning of WELL in English


I. ˈwel noun

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

Date: before 12th century


a. : an issue of water from the earth : a pool fed by a spring

b. : source , origin


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


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


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

II. verb

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

Date: before 12th century

intransitive verb

1. : to rise to the surface and usually flow forth

tears well ed from her eyes

2. : to rise like a flood of liquid

longing well ed up in his breast

transitive verb

: to emit in a copious free flow

III. adverb

( bet·ter ˈbe-tər ; best ˈbest)

Etymology: Middle English wel, from Old English; akin to Old High German wela well, Old English wyllan to wish — more at will

Date: before 12th century


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


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


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


a. : as one could wish : pleasingly

the idea didn't sit well with her

b. : with material success : advantageously

married well


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

Usage: see good

- as well

IV. interjection

Date: before 12th century

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?

V. adjective

Date: before 12th century


a. : prosperous , well-off

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


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

Synonyms: see healthy

Usage: see good

Merriam-Webster's Collegiate English vocabulary.      Энциклопедический словарь английского языка Merriam Webster.