- 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.
- 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.
Origin of well1
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
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!
- (often used in combination) in a satisfactory mannerthe party went very well
- (often used in combination) in a good, skilful, or pleasing mannershe plays the violin well
- in a correct or careful mannerlisten well to my words
- in a comfortable or prosperous mannerto live well
- (usually used with auxiliaries) suitably; fittinglyyou can't very well say that
- intimatelyI knew him well
- in a kind or favourable mannershe speaks well of you
- to a great or considerable extent; fullyto be well informed
- by a considerable marginlet me know well in advance
- (preceded by could, might, or may) indeedyou may well have to do it yourself
- informal (intensifier)well safe
- all very well used ironically to express discontent, dissent, etc
- as well
- in addition; too
- (preceded by may or might)with equal effectyou might as well come
- just as wellpreferable or advisableit would be just as well if you paid me now
- as well as in addition to
- just leave well alone or just leave well enough alone to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
- well and good used to indicate calm acceptance, as of a decisionif you accept my offer, well and good
- well up in well acquainted with (a particular subject); knowledgeable about
- (when prenominal, usually used with a negative) in good healthI'm very well, thank you; he's not a well man
- satisfactory, agreeable, or pleasing
- prudent; advisableit would be well to make no comment
- prosperous or comfortable
- fortunate or happyit is well that you agreed to go
- an expression of surprise, indignation, or reproof
- an expression of anticipation in waiting for an answer or remark
- an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etcwell, I don't think I will come
- 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
- a natural pool where ground water comes to the surface
- a cavity, space, or vessel used to contain a liquid
- (in combination)an inkwell
- an open shaft through the floors of a building, such as one used for a staircase
- a deep enclosed space in a building or between buildings that is open to the sky to permit light and air to enter
- a bulkheaded compartment built around a ship's pumps for protection and ease of access
- another word for cockpit
- a perforated tank in the hold of a fishing boat for keeping caught fish alive
- (in England) the open space in the centre of a law court
- a source, esp one that provides a continuous supplyhe is a well of knowledge
- to flow or cause to flow upwards or outwardstears welled from her eyes
Word Origin and History for leave well enough alone
"hole dug for water, spring of water," Old English wielle (West Saxon), welle (Anglian), from wiellan (see well (v.)).
"in a satisfactory manner," Old English wel, common Germanic (cf. Old Saxon wela, Old Norse vel, Old Frisian wel, Dutch wel, Old High German wela, German wohl, Gothic waila "well"), from PIE *wel-, *wol- (cf. Sanskrit prati varam "at will," Old Church Slavonic vole "well," Welsh gwell "better," Latin velle "to wish, will," Old English willan "to wish;" see will (v.)). Also used in Old English as an interjection and an expression of surprise. Well-to-do "prosperous" is recorded from 1825.
"to spring, rise, gush," Old English wiellan (Anglian wællan), causative of weallan "to boil, bubble up" (class VII strong verb; past tense weoll, past participle weallen), from Proto-Germanic *wal-, *wel- "roll" (cf. Old Saxon wallan, Old Norse vella, Old Frisian walla, Old High German wallan, German wallen, Gothic wulan "to bubble, boil"), from PIE root *wel- "to turn, roll" (see volvox), on notion of "roiling or bubbling water."
- 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.
Leave well enough alone
If things are going tolerably well, leave them alone; your efforts to improve the situation may make things worse.
Idioms and Phrases with leave well enough alone
leave well enough alone
Also, let well enough alone. Do not try to change something lest you make it worse. For example, This recipe has turned out fine in the past, so leave well enough alone. The idea behind this expression dates from ancient Greek times, specifically Aesop's fable about a fox who refused a hedgehog's offer to take out its ticks lest, by removing those that are full, other hungry ones will replace them. Put as let well alone from the early 1700s, it was first recorded as let well enough alone in 1827. Also see let sleeping dogs lie.
In addition to the idioms beginning with well