adjective, comparative bet·ter, superlative best.
- welfare statism,
- welfare work,
- well advised,
- well and good,
- well begun is half done,
- well done,
- well dressing
- 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.
Origin of well1
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!
adverb better or best
- 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
adjective (usually postpositive)
- an expression of surprise, indignation, or reproof
- an expression of anticipation in waiting for an answer or remark
Word Origin for well
- a cavity, space, or vessel used to contain a liquid
- (in combination)an inkwell
- a bulkheaded compartment built around a ship's pumps for protection and ease of access
- another word for cockpit
Word Origin for well
"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."
as well as
In as satisfactory or good a way as. For example, After the operation, she was supposed to walk around as well as she could without limping. [c. 1400]
To the same extent as, as much as. For example, He is an excellent teacher as well as being a fine musician. [c. 1440]
In addition to, as in The editors as well as the proofreaders are working overtime. [c. 1700]
In addition to the idioms beginning with well
- well and good
- well off
- well out of, be
- well preserved
- 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