well Meaning in the Cambridge English Dictionary Cambridge dictionaries logo

Meaning of “well” in the English Dictionary

"well" in British English

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welladverb

uk   us   /wel/ (better, best)
  • well adverb (IN A GOOD WAY)

A1 in a good way, to a high or ​satisfactorystandard: The ​documentarypresented both ​sides of the ​problem very well. The ​concert was ​advertised well enough but ​ticketsales were ​poor. a well-cut ​suit a well-paid ​job Her ​points were well put (= ​expressed in a good or ​intelligent way). His ​point about the need to ​reducewaste was well taken (= it was ​accepted as a good ​criticism). They took two ​hours to ​discuss the ​plans and ​considered it ​time well spent (= it had been a ​usefuldiscussion). I can't do it as well as Marie can.

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  • well adverb (TO A GREAT DEGREE)

A2 very much, to a ​greatdegree, or ​completely: Knead the ​dough well, then ​divide it into four ​pieces. He could well ​imagine how much his ​promise was going to ​cost him. I can't ​catch the ​bus - there are no ​buses after ​midnight, as you well ​know. He ​plays the ​piano well enough (= to a ​satisfactorystandard).C1 used to ​emphasize some ​prepositions: The ​results are well above/below what we ​expected. Keep well away from the ​edge of the ​cliff. It ​cost well over £100. Stand well ​clear of the ​doors!B2 used to ​emphasize some ​adjectives: The ​police are well aware of the ​situation. The ​museum is well worth a ​visit. Some ​machineslook more like ​cheap, ​plastictoys - leave these well alone. UK slang very: The ​film was well good. Watch out for those two - they're well hard (= ​strong and ​willing to use ​violence).

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  • well adverb (REASONABLY)

B2 with good ​reason: She might well be the best ​person to ​ask. I can't very well (= it would not be ​acceptable to)refusetheirgenerousoffer.

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  • well adverb (IN ADDITION)

as well (as)

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A1 in ​addition (to): Invite Emily - and Scott as well. I ​want to ​visit Andrew as well as Martin.
Grammar

welladjective [usually after verb]

uk   us   /wel/ (better, best)
A1 healthy; not ​ill: He hasn't been very well ​lately. When she came ​home from ​school she really didn't look well. I'm ​sorry you're ​ill - I ​hope you get well ​soon. They ​sent a get well ​card.

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  • He didn't ​feel very well after getting off the ​bike.
  • I'm very well ​thank you.
  • She wasn't ​feeling well, so I don't ​think she gave of her best ​tonight.
  • She wasn't ​feeling well, so she went ​home early.
  • I'm not well. I'd better not go out.

wellexclamation

uk   us   /wel/
A1 used to ​introduce something you are going to say, often to show ​surprise, ​doubt, ​slightdisagreement, or ​anger, or to ​continue a ​story: Well, what shall we do now? Well now/then, how are we going to ​arrange things? "Who was that?" "Well, I can't ​remember her ​name." "He's ​decided to give up his ​job and ​move to Seattle with her." "Well, well - that's what ​love does for you." Well, really, that was ​thoughtless of him! Well? What did you do next? Well, after that we went ​camping in the ​mountains. Well/Oh well, it doesn't ​matter - I can always ​buy another one. Very well, if you ​insist I'll ​meet him next ​week.

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  • Well now, what are we doing about that?
  • Oh well, never ​mind.
  • Well, well. Who'd have ​thought things would ​turn out like this.
  • Well? How did ​yourexam go?
  • Well really! How ​rude!

wellnoun [C]

uk   us   /wel/
a ​deephole in the ​ground from which you can get ​water, ​oil, or ​gas
See also

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wellverb [I usually + adv/prep]

uk   us   /wel/
(of ​liquid) to ​appear on the ​surface of something or come ​slowly out from ​somewhere: Dirty ​water welled (up) out of the ​damagedpipe. As she ​read the ​lettertears welled up in her ​eyes.figurative Conflicting ​emotions welled up in his ​heart.

we'll

uk   us   strong /wiːl/ weak /wil/
short form of we will: We'll do ​better next ​time, I'm ​sure.

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(Definition of well from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"well" in American English

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welladjective

 us   /wel/ (comparative better, superlative best)
  • well adjective (HEALTHY)

healthy: I don’t ​feel well. I ​feel better now.
Idioms

welladverb

 us   /wel/
  • well adverb (IN A GOOD WAY)

(comparative better  /ˈbet̬·ər/ , superlative best  /best/ ) in a good way; to a high or ​satisfactorystandard: The ​car was well ​designed. She ​managespeople very well. I can’t ​sing as well as Jessica (= She ​sings better). His ​point about ​reducingwaste is well taken (= ​accepted as a ​faircriticism). The two ​hours of ​discussion was ​time well ​spent (= it was a ​usefuldiscussion). I ​want to ​congratulate you on a ​job well done.
  • well adverb (TO A GREAT DEGREE)

(comparative better  /ˈbet̬·ər/ , superlative best  /best/ ) to a ​greatdegree; much or ​completely: I ​know her well. Put in two ​eggs and ​stir well. He ​sent away for ​tickets well in ​advance (= very early). I ​knewperfectly well what ​time it was. I ​knew her ​pretty well when I ​lived in Iowa City. (comparative better  /ˈbet̬·ər/ , superlative best  /best/ ) Well is used with some ​prepositions and ​adverbs for ​emphasis: Keep the ​children well away from the ​edge of the ​pool. It ​costs well over $100. (comparative better  /ˈbet̬·ər/ , superlative best  /best/ ) Well is used with a few ​adjectives for ​emphasis: The ​museum is well ​worth a ​visit.
  • well adverb (REASONABLY)

[not gradable] with good ​reason: I couldn’t very well say no.

wellnoun [C]

 us   /wel/
  • well noun [C] (HOLE)

a ​deephole in the ​ground from which ​water, ​oil, or ​gas can be ​obtained: an ​oil well well ​water

wellverb [I]

 us   /wel/
  • well verb [I] (COME TO SURFACE)

(of a ​liquid) to come to the ​surface or into ​view: As she ​read the ​letter, ​tears welled in her ​eyes. fig. He could ​feel the ​anger well up inside him.

wellexclamation

 us   /wel, wəl/
  • well exclamation (EXCLAMATION)

used to ​introduce something you are about to say, or to ​connect one ​statement with the next, or to show ​doubt or ​disagreement, ​annoyance, ​surprise, or ​understanding: Well, what ​happened next? He ​startedyelling at me, and well, I was ​scared at first. Well, what are you going to do now that you’ve ​lostyourjob? Oh well, there’s not much we can do about it now.

we’ll

 us   /wil, wɪl/
contraction of we shall or we will: We’ll be there ​tomorrow.
(Definition of well from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)

"well" in Business English

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wellnoun [C]

uk   us   /wel/
NATURAL RESOURCES a ​deephole in the ​ground from which you can get water: These two tributaries of the Yellowstone River ​supply water for ​farms and wells in two ​states. It is an 8-mile round ​trip to fetch ​clean water from a well.
NATURAL RESOURCES, PRODUCTION →  oil well
(Definition of well from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
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“well” in Business English

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