1. meaning or intending well; having good intentions: a well-meaning but tactless person.
  2. Also well-meant [wel-ment] /ˈwɛlˈmɛnt/. proceeding from good intentions: Her well-meaning words were received in silence.

Origin of well-meaning

Middle English word dating back to 1350–1400
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for well-meaning

Contemporary Examples of well-meaning

Historical Examples of well-meaning

  • Well-meaning men often do quite as much harm, in this world, as the evil-disposed.

    Ned Myers

    James Fenimore Cooper

  • My name, translated, means gracious or kindly or well-meaning.

    They Twinkled Like Jewels

    Philip Jos Farmer

  • He was a man of good standing, well-meaning, and honest in his intentions.

  • She was a hard-working, honest, and well-meaning soul, but she was not her husband's equal.

  • But Charles, in spite of his hypocritical character, was a well-meaning boy.

    The Boat Club

    Oliver Optic

British Dictionary definitions for well-meaning


adjective (well meaning when postpositive)
  1. having or indicating good or benevolent intentions, usually with unfortunate results
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