3 properly, correctly.
4 skillfully, adeptly, accurately, efficiently.
5 suitably.
6 fully, adequately.
12 fine.
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Idioms about well

Origin of well

First recorded before 900; Middle English adverb wel, wel(l)e, wil, Old English adjective and adverb wel(l); cognate with Dutch wel, Old High German wela, wola, German wohl, Old Norse vel, Gothic waila; akin to Old English wyllan “to wish,” Latin velle “to wish”; see also will1

grammar notes for well

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 and well-mannered; for ill-advised, ill-bred, and ill-conceived; and for half-baked and half-cocked. 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. 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!

usage note for well

See good.

Other definitions for well (2 of 3)

Origin of well

First recorded before 900; Middle English noun wel(le), Old English wylle, wella, welle; cognate with German Welle “wave”; Middle English wellen, wel(le), Old English wellan, willan, wyllan; cognate with Dutch wellen, Old Norse vella; both noun and verb ultimately akin to weallan “to boil, bubble up”

Other definitions for well (3 of 3)

[ weel; unstressed wil ]
/ wil; unstressed wɪl /

contraction of we will.

usage note for we'll

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use well in a sentence

  • We-ll, but youll have to let me really help, you know, get the refreshments and everything.

    Betty Lee, Freshman|David Goodger (goodger@python.org)
  • We-ll, I'd like to hear a little testimony from Cordelia first.

    Fair Harbor|Joseph Crosby Lincoln
  • We-ll, 'twas in my pants pocket here, just where I put it last time I used it.

    Shavings|Joseph C. Lincoln
  • "We-ll, you came all the way from New York on purpose, you know," he observed.

    The Portygee|Joseph Crosby Lincoln

British Dictionary definitions for well (1 of 3)

Word Origin for well

Old English wel; related to Old High German wala, wola (German wohl), Old Norse val, Gothic waila

British Dictionary definitions for well (2 of 3)

/ (wɛl) /

to flow or cause to flow upwards or outwardstears welled from her eyes

Word Origin for well

Old English wella; related to Old High German wella (German Welle wave), Old Norse vella boiling heat

British Dictionary definitions for well (3 of 3)

/ (wiːl) /

contraction of
we will or we shall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Scientific definitions for well

[ wĕl ]

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 © 2011. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Other Idioms and Phrases with well


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.