well


well
I [[t]we̱l[/t]] DISCOURSE USES
(Well is used mainly in spoken English.)
1) ADV: ADV cl You say well to indicate that you are about to say something.

Sylvia shook hands. `Well, you go get yourselves some breakfast.'...

Well, I don't like the look of that.

2) ADV: ADV cl You say well to indicate that you intend or want to carry on speaking.

You can lose your perspective. You know, get paranoid? Well, that's something I really try and avoid...

The trouble with City is that they do not have enough quality players. Well, that can easily be rectified.

3) ADV: ADV cl You say well to indicate that you are changing the topic, and are either going back to something that was being discussed earlier or are going on to something new.

Thank you Lionel, for singing that for us. Well, we'd better tell you what's on the show between nine and midnight...

Well, let's press on.

Syn:
anyway, so
4) ADV: ADV cl You say well to indicate that you have reached the end of a conversation.

`I'm sure you will be an asset,' she finally added. `Well, I see it's just about time for lunch.'...

Well, thank you for speaking with us.

5) ADV: ADV cl You say well to make a suggestion, criticism, or correction seem less definite or rude.

Well, maybe it would be easier to start with a smaller problem...

Well, let's wait and see...

Well, I thought she was a bit unfair about me.

6) ADV: ADV cl You say well just before or after you pause, especially to give yourself time to think about what you are going to say.

Look, I'm really sorry I woke you, and, well, I just wanted to tell you I was all right.

Syn:
you know
7) ADV: ADV cl/group You say well when you are correcting something that you have just said.

The comet is going to come back in 2061 and we are all going to be able to see it. Well, our offspring are, anyway...

There was a note. Well, not really a note.

Syn:
at least
8) ADV: ADV cl (feelings) You say well to express your doubt about something that someone has said.

`But finance is far more serious.' - `Well I don't know really.'...

`Go on, Dennis.' - `Well, if you're sure.'

9) EXCLAM (feelings) You say well to express your surprise or anger at something that someone has just said or done.

`Imelda,' said Mrs Kennerly. `That's my name, Tom.' - `Well,' said Tom. `Imelda. I never knew.'...

Well, honestly! They're like an old married couple at times.

10) CONVENTION (feelings) You say well to indicate that you are waiting for someone to say something and often to express your irritation with them.

`Well?' asked Barry, `what does it tell us?'...

`Well, why don't you ask me?' he said finally.

Syn:
11) CONVENTION (feelings) You use well to indicate that you are amused by something you have heard or seen, and often to introduce a comment on it.

Well, well, well, look at you. Ethel, look at this little fat girl...

Bob peered at it. `Well, well!' he said, `I haven't seen Spam since the war!' and laughed.

12) CONVENTION (feelings) You say oh well to indicate that you accept a situation or that someone else should accept it, even though you or they are not very happy about it, because it is not too bad and cannot be changed.

Oh well, it could be worse...

`I called her and she said no.' - `Oh well.'

Syn:
never mind
13) very wellsee very
II [[t]we̱l[/t]] ADVERB USES
1) ADV-GRADED: ADV after v If you do something well, you do it to a high standard or to a great extent.

All the Indian batsmen played well...

He speaks English better than I do...

It is a formula that worked very well indeed...

I don't really know her very well.

2) ADV-GRADED: ADV after v If you do something well, you do it thoroughly and completely.

Mix all the ingredients well...

Wash your hands well with soap.

Syn:
thoroughly
3) ADV-GRADED: ADV after v If you speak or think well of someone, you say or think favourable things about them.

`He speaks well of you.' - `I'm glad to hear that.'...

It might help people think better of him.

Syn:
4) COMB in ADJ-GRADED Well is used in front of past participles to indicate that something is done to a high standard or to a great extent.

Helen is a very well-known novelist in Australia...

People live longer nowadays, and they are better educated...

British nurses were among the best trained in Europe.

5) ADV-GRADED: how ADV, as ADV as, ADV-compar than You use well to ask or talk about the extent or standard of something.

How well do you remember your mother, Franzi?...

This new career doesn't pay nearly as well as the old one...

Their captain said his team had played as well as it possibly could...

He wasn't dressed any better than me.

6) ADV: ADV prep (emphasis) You use well in front of a prepositional phrase to emphasize it. For example, if you say that one thing happened well before another, you mean that it happened a long time before it.

Franklin did not turn up until well after midnight...

We often plan our meals well in advance...

They had remained silent until they were well away from the house...

There are well over a million Muslims in Britain.

7) ADV-GRADED: ADV adj (emphasis) You use well before certain adjectives to emphasize them.

She has a close group of friends who are very well aware of what she has suffered...

Men are generally better able to express anger...

The show is well worth a visit.

8) ADV: ADV adj (emphasis) Some people use well before adjectives referring to feelings to emphasize that the feeling is very strong. [INFORMAL]

It was about the only time I got up the field in the whole game so I was well happy with my goal...

I was well pissed off about it at the time.

Syn:
9) ADV: adv ADV, ADV with v (emphasis) You use well after adverbs such as `perfectly', `jolly', or `damn' in order to emphasize an opinion or the truth of what you are saying.

You know perfectly well I can't be blamed for the failure of that mission...

I'd got myself into this marriage and I jolly well had to get myself out of it.

10) ADV: modal ADV (emphasis) You use well after verbs such as `may' and `could' when you are saying what you think is likely to happen.

Our instinct tells us that the murderer may well come from the estate...

Ours could well be the last generation for which moviegoing has a sense of magic.

Syn:
very likely
III [[t]we̱l[/t]] PHRASES
(Please look at category 14 to see if the expression you are looking for is shown under another headword.)
1) PHRASE: cl PHR You use as well when mentioning something which happens in the same way as something else already mentioned, or which should be considered at the same time as that thing.

It is most often diagnosed in women in their thirties and forties, although I've seen it in many younger women, as well...

`What do you like about it then?' - `Erm, the history, the shops - people are quite friendly as well.'...

Andy's face paled with disappointment; perhaps with anger as well.

Syn:
2) PHR-PREP You use as well as when you want to mention another item connected with the subject you are discussing.

She published historical novels, as well as a non-fiction study of women in the British Empire...

It is in his best interests as well as yours...

Wearing the right shoes and clothes as well as being fit can make all the difference...

As well as a good academic record I look for people who've climbed mountains or been captain of a team.

Syn:
in addition to
3) PHRASE If you say, after stating that something has happened or is the case, as well it might or as well it may, you mean that this is not at all surprising or is quite appropriate.

This caused a few gasps, as well it might...

You can see he's terrified, as well he might be after what we've been through.

4) PHRASE: V inflects, oft it PHR that If you say that something that has happened is just as well, you mean that it is fortunate that it happened in the way it did.

Blue asbestos is far less common in buildings, which is just as well because it's more dangerous than white asbestos...

Judging from everything you've said, it was just as well she wasn't there.

5) PHRASE: V inflects, PHR inf You say it is as well to think or do something when you are advising someone to think in a particular way or to take a particular action.

It is as well to bear in mind that laughter is a great releaser of tension.

6) PHR-MODAL If you say that someone would do well to do something, you mean that you advise or recommend that they do it.

The new president would do well to remember that he wouldn't have made it without the support of America's Black voters...

Investors would do well to take a look at the Swiss economy.

7) PHRASE: PHR inf If you say that something, usually something bad, might as well be true or may as well be true, you mean that the situation is the same or almost the same as if it were true.

The couple might as well have been strangers...

We might just as well be in prison for all the quality our lives have at present.

8) PHRASE: usu PHR inf If you say that you might as well do something, or that you may as well do it, you mean that you will do it although you do not have a strong desire to do it and may even feel slightly unwilling to do it.

If I've got to go somewhere I may as well go to Birmingham...

Anyway, you're here; you might as well stay...

I'll come with you if you like. I might as well.

9) PHRASE: usu v-link PHR, oft PHR for n, PHR to-inf If you say that something is all well and good, you are suggesting that it has faults or disadvantages, although it may appear to be correct or reasonable.

It's all well and good for him to say he's sorry for dropping you, but has he told you why he did it?

Syn:
all very well
10) PHRASE: usu PHR with cl, v-link PHR, it v-link PHR to-inf/-ing You say well and good or all well and good to indicate that you would be pleased if something happens but you are aware that it has some disadvantages.

If they arrive before I leave, well and good. If not, the responsibility will be mine...

This is all well and good, but we have to look at the situation in the long term.

11) PHRASE: V inflects If you say to someone who is no longer involved in a situation that they are well out of it, you mean that it is a good thing they are no longer involved and they should be pleased about this. [mainly BRIT]

I hated the Cold War. I think we're very well out of it.

12) PHRASE: PHR group (emphasis) If you say that something is well and truly finished, gone, or done, you are emphasizing that it is completely finished or gone, or thoroughly done. [mainly BRIT]

The war is well and truly over.

...the relief of knowing that a problem was well and truly solved...

The greenhouse effect is well and truly with us.

13) PHRASE: PHR after v If you say that you like something or someone well enough, you mean that you quite like them or find them reasonably acceptable.

Nancy liked it well enough, but complained about the color...

Crook liked her well enough, but remained indifferent to her feminine charms.

14) all very wellsee all
to know full wellsee full
to leave well alonesee leave
to mean wellsee mean
pretty wellsee pretty
IV [[t]we̱l[/t]] ADJECTIVE USE
ADJ-GRADED: usu v-link ADJ
If you are well, you are healthy and not ill.

I'm not very well today, I can't come in...

I hope you're well.

Ant:
V [[t]we̱l[/t]] NOUN USES
wells
1) N-COUNT A well is a hole in the ground from which a supply of water is extracted.

I had to fetch water from the well.

2) N-COUNT A well is an oil well.

About 650 wells are on fire.

VI [[t]we̱l[/t]] VERB USES
wells, welling, welled
1) VERB If liquids, for example tears, well, they come to the surface and form a pool.

Tears welled in her eyes...

He fell back, blood welling from a gash in his thigh.

Well up means the same as well.

V P Tears welled up in Anni's eyes.

2) VERB If an emotion wells in you, it suddenly becomes stronger, to the point where you have to express it.

[V in/inside n] Gratitude welled in Chryssa...

Her love for him welled stronger than ever.

Syn:
surge up
Well up means the same as well.

V P in/inside n He could feel the anger welling up inside him... V P Hope welled up.


English dictionary. 2008.

Synonyms:

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Well — Well, adv. [Compar. and superl. wanting, the deficiency being supplied by better and best, from another root.] [OE. wel, AS. wel; akin to OS., OFries., & D. wel, G. wohl, OHG. wola, wela, Icel. & Dan. vel, Sw. v[ a]l, Goth. wa[ i]la; originally… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Well to do — Well Well, adv. [Compar. and superl. wanting, the deficiency being supplied by better and best, from another root.] [OE. wel, AS. wel; akin to OS., OFries., & D. wel, G. wohl, OHG. wola, wela, Icel. & Dan. vel, Sw. v[ a]l, Goth. wa[ i]la;… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Well — Well, n. [OE. welle, AS. wella, wylla, from weallan to well up, surge, boil; akin to D. wel a spring or fountain. ????. See {Well}, v. i.] [1913 Webster] 1. An issue of water from the earth; a spring; a fountain. [1913 Webster] Begin, then,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • well — well1 [wel] n. [ME welle < OE wella, akin to weallan, to boil up, akin to Ger welle, wave, wallen, to boil < IE base * wel , to turn, roll > WALK, L volvere, to roll] 1. a flow of water from the earth; natural spring and pool 2. a hole… …   English World dictionary

  • Well — is an English adverb with irregular comparison. Well may also refer to:* Water well, an artificial excavation or structure for the purpose of withdrawing water * Oil well, a hole drilled through the Earth s surface for the purpose of extracting… …   Wikipedia

  • well — Ⅰ. well [1] ► ADVERB (better, best) 1) in a good or satisfactory way. 2) in a condition of prosperity or comfort. 3) in a favourable or approving manner. 4) in a thorough manner. 5) …   English terms dictionary

  • Well — Well, a. [1913 Webster] 1. Good in condition or circumstances; desirable, either in a natural or moral sense; fortunate; convenient; advantageous; happy; as, it is well for the country that the crops did not fail; it is well that the mistake was… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Well — bezeichnet eine Vertiefung in einer Mikrotiterplatte Well ist der Familienname folgender Personen: Günther van Well (1922–1993), deutscher Diplomat und Staatssekretär Roman Well (eigentlich Ruvelis Leiba Sobolevicius, später Robert Soblen;… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

  • well — well, well There is much uncertainty about whether forms such as well( )made and well( )received should contain a hyphen or be spelt as two words. The normal rule is that the combination is hyphened when it occurs in attributive position (i.e.… …   Modern English usage

  • well- — well, well There is much uncertainty about whether forms such as well( )made and well( )received should contain a hyphen or be spelt as two words. The normal rule is that the combination is hyphened when it occurs in attributive position (i.e.… …   Modern English usage

  • well — [wel] noun [countable] another name for an oil well * * * well UK US /wel/ noun [C] ► NATURAL RESOURCES a deep hole in the ground from which you can get water: »These two tributaries of the Yellowstone River supply water for farms and wells in… …   Financial and business terms


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