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Webster 1913 Edition


Well

Well

,
Noun.
[OE.
welle
, AS.
wella
,
wylla
, from
weallan
to well up, surge, boil; akin to D.
wel
a spring or fountain. [GREEK][GREEK][GREEK][GREEK]. See
Well
,
Verb.
I.
]
1.
An issue of water from the earth; a spring; a fountain.
Begin, then, sisters of the sacred
well
.
Milton.
2.
A pit or hole sunk into the earth to such a depth as to reach a supply of water, generally of a cylindrical form, and often walled with stone or bricks to prevent the earth from caving in.
The woman said unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the
well
is deep.
John iv. 11.
3.
A shaft made in the earth to obtain oil or brine.
4.
Fig.: A source of supply; fountain; wellspring.
“This well of mercy.”
Chaucer.
Dan Chaucer,
well
of English undefiled.
Spenser.
A
well
of serious thought and pure.
Keble.
5.
(Naut.)
(a)
An inclosure in the middle of a vessel’s hold, around the pumps, from the bottom to the lower deck, to preserve the pumps from damage and facilitate their inspection.
(b)
A compartment in the middle of the hold of a fishing vessel, made tight at the sides, but having holes perforated in the bottom to let in water for the preservation of fish alive while they are transported to market.
(c)
A vertical passage in the stern into which an auxiliary screw propeller may be drawn up out of water.
(d)
A depressed space in the after part of the deck; – often called the cockpit.
6.
(Mil.)
A hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries.
7.
(Arch.)
An opening through the floors of a building, as for a staircase or an elevator; a wellhole.
8.
(Metal.)
The lower part of a furnace, into which the metal falls.
Artesian well
,
Driven well
.
See under
Artesian
, and
Driven
.
Pump well
.
(Naut.)
See
Well
, 5
(a)
, above.
Well boring
,
the art or process of boring an artesian well.
Well drain
.
(a)
A drain or vent for water, somewhat like a well or pit, serving to discharge the water of wet land.
(b)
A drain conducting to a well or pit.
Well room
.
(a)
A room where a well or spring is situated; especially, one built over a mineral spring.
(b)
(Naut.)
A depression in the bottom of a boat, into which water may run, and whence it is thrown out with a scoop.
Well sinker
,
one who sinks or digs wells.
Well sinking
,
the art or process of sinking or digging wells.
Well staircase
(Arch.)
,
a staircase having a wellhole (see
Wellhole
(b)
), as distinguished from one which occupies the whole of the space left for it in the floor.
Well sweep
.
Same as
Sweep
,
Noun.
, 12.
Well water
,
the water that flows into a well from subterraneous springs; the water drawn from a well.

Well

,
Verb.
I.
[
imp. & p. p.
Welled
;
p. pr. & vb. n.
Welling
.]
[OE.
wellen
, AS.
wyllan
,
wellan
, fr.
weallan
; akin to OFries.
walla
, OS. & OHG.
wallan
, G.
wallen
, Icel.
vella
, G.
welle
, wave, OHG.
wella
,
walm
, AS.
wylm
; cf. L.
volvere
to roll, Gr. [GREEK] to inwrap, [GREEK] to roll. Cf.
Voluble
,
Wallop
to boil,
Wallow
,
Weld
of metal.]
To issue forth, as water from the earth; to flow; to spring.
“[Blood] welled from out the wound.”
Dryden.
“[Yon spring] wells softly forth.”
Bryant.
From his two springs in Gojam's sunny realm,
Pure
welling
out, he through the lucid lake
Of fair Dambea rolls his infant streams.
Thomson.

Well

,
Verb.
T.
To pour forth, as from a well.
Spenser.

Well

,
adv.
[
Com
par.
and
sup
erl.
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.
väl
, Goth.
waíla
; originally meaning, according to one's will or wish. See
Will
,
Verb.
T.
, and cf.
Wealth
.]
1.
In a good or proper manner; justly; rightly; not ill or wickedly.
If thou doest not
well
, sin lieth at the door.
Gen. iv. 7.
2.
Suitably to one's condition, to the occasion, or to a proposed end or use; suitably; abundantly; fully; adequately; thoroughly.
Lot . . . beheld all the plain of Jordan, that it was
well
watered everywhere.
Gen. xiii. 10.
WE are
well
able to overcome it.
Num. xiii. 30.
She looketh
well
to the ways of her household.
Prov. xxxi. 27.
Servant of God,
well
done!
well
hast thou fought
The better fight.
Milton.
3.
Fully or about; – used with numbers.
[Obs.]
Well a ten or twelve.”
Chaucer.
Well
nine and twenty in a company.
Chaucer.
4.
In such manner as is desirable; so as one could wish; satisfactorily; favorably; advantageously; conveniently.
“It boded well to you.”
Dryden.
Know
In measure what the mind may
well
contain.
Milton.
All the world speaks
well
of you.
Pope.
5.
Considerably; not a little; far.
Abraham and Sarah were old and
well
stricken in age.
Gen. xviii. 11.
Well is sometimes used elliptically for it is well, as an expression of satisfaction with what has been said or done, and sometimes it expresses concession, or is merely expletive; as, well, the work is done; well, let us go; well, well, be it so.
Well, like above, ill, and so, is used before many participial adjectives in its usual adverbial senses, and subject to the same custom with regard to the use of the hyphen (see the Note under
Ill
,
adv.
); as, a well-affected supporter; he was well affected toward the project; a well-trained speaker; he was well trained in speaking; well-educated, or well educated; well-dressed, or well dressed; well-appearing; well-behaved; well-controlled; well-designed; well-directed; well-formed; well-meant; well-minded; well-ordered; well-performed; well-pleased; well-pleasing; well-seasoned; well-steered; well-tasted; well-told, etc. Such compound epithets usually have an obvious meaning, and since they may be formed at will, only a few of this class are given in the Vocabulary.
As well
.
See under
As
.
As well as
,
and also; together with; not less than; one as much as the other;
as, a sickness long,
as well as
severe; London is the largest city in England,
as well as
the capital
.
Well enough
,
well or good in a moderate degree; so as to give satisfaction, or so as to require no alteration.
Well off
,
in good condition; especially, in good condition as to property or any advantages; thriving; prosperous.
Well to do
,
well off; prosperous; – used also adjectively.
“The class well to do in the world.”
J. H. Newman.
Well to live
,
in easy circumstances; well off; well to do.
Shak.

Well

,
Adj.
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 discovered
.
It was
well
with us in Egypt.
Num. xi. 18.
2.
Being in health; sound in body; not ailing, diseased, or sick; healthy;
as, a
well
man; the patient is perfectly
well
.
“Your friends are well.”
Shak.
Is your father
well
, the old man of whom ye spake?
Gen. xliii. 27.
3.
Being in favor; favored; fortunate.
He followed the fortunes of that family, and was
well
with Henry the Fourth.
Dryden.
4.
(Marine Insurance)
Safe;
as, a chip warranted
well
at a certain day and place
.
Burrill.

Webster 1828 Edition


Well

WELL

,
Noun.
[G., a spring; to spring, to issue forth, to gush, to well, to swell. G., a wave. On this word I suppose swell to be formed.]
1.
A spring; a fountain; the issuing of water from the earth.
Begin then, sisters of the sacred well. [In this sense obsolete.]
2.
A pit or cylindrical hole, sunk perpendicularly into the earth to such a depth as to reach a supply of water, and walled with stone to prevent the earth from caving in.
3.
In ships, an apartment in the middle of a ships hold, to inclose the pumps, from the bottom to the lower deck.
4.
In a fishing vessel, an apartment in the middle of the hold, made tight at the sides, but having holes perforated int he bottom to let in fresh water for the preservation of fish, while they are transported to market.
5.
In the military art, a hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries.

Definition 2022


Well

Well

See also: well, wëll, and we'll

Luxembourgish

Noun

Well f (plural Wellen)

  1. wave

well

well

See also: Well, wëll, and we'll

English

Alternative forms

Adverb

well (comparative better, superlative best)

  1. (manner) Accurately, competently, satisfactorily.
    He does his job well.
    • 1852, Mrs M.A. Thompson, “The Tutor's Daughter”, in Graham's American Monthly Magazine of Literature, Art, and Fashion, page 266:
      In the lightness of my heart I sang catches of songs as my horse gayly bore me along the well-remembered road.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 1, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      A chap named Eleazir Kendrick and I had chummed in together the summer afore and built a fish-weir and shanty at Setuckit Point, down Orham way. For a spell we done pretty well. Then there came a reg'lar terror of a sou'wester same as you don't get one summer in a thousand, and blowed the shanty flat and ripped about half of the weir poles out of the sand.
    • 2013 July 20, Welcome to the plastisphere”, in The Economist, volume 408, number 8845:
      Plastics are energy-rich substances, which is why many of them burn so readily. Any organism that could unlock and use that energy would do well in the Anthropocene. Terrestrial bacteria and fungi which can manage this trick are already familiar to experts in the field.
  2. (manner) Completely, fully.
    a well done steak
    • 1915, Emerson Hough, The Purchase Price, chapterII:
      Carried somehow, somewhither, for some reason, on these surging floods, were these travelers, []. Even such a boat as the Mount Vernon offered a total deck space so cramped as to leave secrecy or privacy well out of the question, even had the motley and democratic assemblage of passengers been disposed to accord either.
  3. (degree) To a significant degree.
    That author is well known.
    • 1995 Feb, Luke Timothy Johnson, “The New Testament and the examined life: Thoughts on teaching”, in The Christian Century, volume 112, number 4, page 108:
      Indeed, some readers may feel that I am beating a horse now already well dead. But in fact, that dead horse is still being driven daily through the pages of introductory textbooks.
    • 2000, Colin Robinson, “Energy Economists and Economic Liberalism”, in Energy Journal, volume 21, number 2, page 1:
      Energy markets demonstrated in the 1970s and 1980s that they were well capable of adapting to a perceived scarcity.
    • 2006, Spider Robinson, Callahan's legacy:
      neither of us was paying attention to any damn imaginary scoring judges -- we were both well content, if a little fatigued.
  4. (degree, Britain, slang) Very (as a general-purpose intensifier).
    • 1999, "Drummond Pearson", What Ash are doing right now... (on Internet newsgroup alt.music.ash)
      That guy rocks! I think he's called Matthew Lillard or sommat but he is well cool in Scream.
    • 2002, "jibaili", FIFA 2003 How is it? (on Internet newsgroup microsoft.public.xbox)
      Hey Dude / FIFA 2003 is well wicked, I've got FIFA 2002 on PS2, David Beckham on Xbox and Football Manager on Xbox too, out of all pf[sic] them FIFA 2003 is easliy[sic] the best.
    • 2003, Steve Eddy, Empower, Book 2
      Hey, you should've seen it, it was well good.
  5. In such manner as is desirable; so as one could wish; satisfactorily; favourably; advantageously.
    • John Dryden (1631-1700)
      It boded well to you.
    • John Milton (1608-1674)
      Know / In measure what the mind may well contain.
    • Alexander Pope (1688-1744)
      All the world speaks well of you.
Derived terms
Translations

Adjective

well (comparative better, superlative best)

  1. In good health.
    I had been sick, but now I'm well.
  2. (archaic) Prudent; good; well-advised.
    • 1897, National Association of Railway Surgeons, Railway surgeon, page 191:
      On leaving the operating table it is well to put the patient in a bed previously warmed and supplied with hot cans.
Derived terms
Translations

Interjection

well

  1. Used to acknowledge a statement or situation.
    • 1913, Joseph C. Lincoln, chapter 5, in Mr. Pratt's Patients:
      Well,” I says, “I cal'late a body could get used to Tophet if he stayed there long enough.” ¶ She flared up; the least mite of a slam at Doctor Wool was enough to set her going.
    “The car is broken.” “Well, we could walk to the movies instead.”
    “I didn't like the music.” “Well, I thought it was good.”
    “I forgot to pack the tent! Well, I guess we're sleeping under the stars tonight.”
  2. An exclamation of surprise, often doubled or tripled.
    Well, well, well, what do we have here?
  3. Used in speech to express the overcoming of reluctance to say something.
    • 1898, Winston Churchill, chapter 4, in The Celebrity:
      Well,” I answered, at first with uncertainty, then with inspiration, “he would do splendidly to lead your cotillon, if you think of having one.” “So you do not dance, Mr. Crocker?” I was somewhat set back by her perspicuity.
    It was a bit... well... too loud.
  4. Used in speech to fill gaps; filled pause.
    “So what have you been doing?” “Well, we went for a picnic, and then it started raining so we came home early.”
  5. (Hiberno-English) Used as a greeting
    Well lads. How's things?

Synonyms

Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 2

From Old English well (well), from Proto-Germanic *wall-.

Noun

well (plural wells)

  1. A hole sunk into the ground as a source of water, oil, natural gas or other fluids.
    • Bible, John iv. 11
      The woman said unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep.
  2. A place where a liquid such as water surfaces naturally; a spring.
    • Milton
      Begin, then, sisters of the sacred well.
  3. A small depression suitable for holding liquid, or other objects.
  4. (figuratively) A source of supply.
    • Spenser
      Dan Chaucer, well of English undefiled
    • Keble
      a well of serious thought and pure
  5. (nautical) A vertical, cylindrical trunk in a ship, reaching down to the lowest part of the hull, through which the bilge pumps operate.
  6. (nautical) The cockpit of a sailboat.
  7. (nautical) A compartment in the middle of the hold of a fishing vessel, made tight at the sides, but having holes perforated in the bottom to let in water to keep fish alive while they are transported to market.
  8. (nautical) A vertical passage in the stern into which an auxiliary **** propeller may be drawn up out of the water.
  9. (military) A hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries.
  10. (architecture) An opening through the floors of a building, as for a staircase or an elevator; a wellhole.
  11. (metalworking) The lower part of a furnace, into which the metal falls.
  12. A well drink.
    They're having a special tonight: $1 wells.
  13. (video games) The playfield of Tetris and similar video games, into which the blocks fall.
    • 2005, James Paul Gee, Why Video Games are Good for Your Soul
      Tetris, the most widely played computer game of all time, is a problem-solving puzzle game. [] The player attempts to lock the falling shape smoothly together with the shapes in the well.
  14. (biology) In a microtiter plate, each of the small equal circular or square sections which serve as test tubes.
Synonyms
  • (excavation in the earth, from which run branches or galleries): shaft
Derived terms
Translations

Etymology 3

From Old English weallan, from Proto-Germanic *wallaną. Cognate with German wallen (boil, seethe), Danish vælde (gush), Albanian valoj (I boil, seethe).

Verb

well (third-person singular simple present wells, present participle welling, simple past and past participle welled)

  1. To issue forth, as water from the earth; to flow; to spring.
    • Dryden
      [Blood] welled from out the wound.
    • Bryant
      [Yon spring] wells softly forth.
  2. To have something seep out of the surface.
    Her eyes welled with tears.
Translations

Statistics

Most common English words before 1923: way · even · say · #124: well · many · work · too

German

Verb

well

  1. Imperative singular of wellen.
  2. (colloquial) First-person singular present of wellen.

Luxembourgish

Etymology

Cognate with German weil.

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /væl/
  • Rhymes: -æl
  • Homophone: Well

Conjunction

well

  1. because
    Ech gi geschwënn um Bett, well ech midd sinn.
    I'm going to bed soon because I am tired.

Old English

Etymology

From Proto-Germanic *wall-, whence also Old High German wella, Old Norse vella.

Noun

well m

  1. well

Declension

This noun needs an inflection-table template.

Descendants


Welsh

Pronunciation

  • IPA(key): /wɛɬ/

Adjective

well

  1. Soft mutation of gwell.

Adverb

well

  1. Soft mutation of gwell.

Mutation

Welsh mutation
radical soft nasal aspirate
gwell well ngwell unchanged
Note: Some of these forms may be hypothetical. Not every
possible mutated form of every word actually occurs.