from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A deep hole or shaft sunk into the earth to obtain water, oil, gas, or brine.
  • n. A container or reservoir for a liquid, such as ink.
  • n. A place where water issues from the earth; a spring or fountain.
  • n. A mineral spring.
  • n. A watering place; a spa.
  • n. An abundant source: a well of information.
  • n. An open space extending vertically through the floors of a building, as for stairs or ventilation.
  • n. Nautical An enclosure in a ship's hold for the pumps.
  • n. Nautical A compartment or recessed area in a ship, used for stowage: an anchor well.
  • n. Nautical A part of a ship's weather deck enclosed between two watertight bulkheads.
  • n. A cistern with a perforated bottom in the hold of a fishing vessel for keeping fish alive.
  • n. An enclosed space for receiving and holding something, such as the wheels of an airplane when retracted.
  • n. Chiefly British The central space in a law court, directly in front of the judge's bench, where the counsel or solicitor sits.
  • intransitive v. To rise to the surface, ready to flow: Tears welled in my eyes.
  • intransitive v. To rise or surge from an inner source: Anger welled up in me.
  • transitive v. To pour forth.
  • adv. In a good or proper manner: behaved well.
  • adv. Skillfully or proficiently: dances well.
  • adv. Satisfactorily or sufficiently: slept well.
  • adv. Successfully or effectively: gets along well with people.
  • adv. In a comfortable or affluent manner: lived well.
  • adv. In a manner affording benefit or gain; advantageously: married well.
  • adv. With reason or propriety; reasonably: can't very well say no.
  • adv. In all likelihood; indeed: You may well need your umbrella.
  • adv. In a prudent or sensible manner: You would do well to say nothing more.
  • adv. In a close or familiar manner: knew them well.
  • adv. In a favorable or approving manner: spoke well of them.
  • adv. Thoroughly; completely: well cooked; cooked well.
  • adv. Perfectly; clearly: I well understand your intentions.
  • adv. To a suitable or appropriate degree: This product will answer your needs equally well.
  • adv. To a considerable extent or degree: well over the estimate.
  • adv. With care or attention: listened well.
  • adv. Entirely; fully: well worth seeing.
  • adj. In a satisfactory condition; right or proper: All is well.
  • adj. Not ailing, infirm, or diseased; healthy. See Synonyms at healthy.
  • adj. Cured or healed, as a wound.
  • adj. Of or characterized by the maintenance of good health practices. Often used in combination: a well-baby clinic; a well-child visit to the doctor.
  • adj. Advisable; prudent: It would be well not to ask.
  • adj. Fortunate; good: It is well that you stayed.
  • interj. Used to introduce a remark, resume a narrative, or fill a pause during conversation.
  • interj. Used to express surprise.
  • idiom as well In addition; also: mentioned other matters as well.
  • idiom as well With equal effect: I might as well go.
  • idiom in well with Informal In a position to influence or be favored by: He's in well with management.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adv. Accurately, competently.
  • adv. Completely, fully.
  • adv. To a significant degree.
  • adv. Very (as a general-purpose intensifier).
  • adj. In good health.
  • adj. Prudent; good; well-advised.
  • interj. Used to acknowledge a statement or situation.
  • interj. An exclamation of surprise, often doubled or tripled.
  • interj. Used in speech to express the overcoming of reluctance to say something.
  • interj. Used in speech to fill gaps; filled pause.
  • n. A hole sunk into the ground as a source of water, oil, natural gas or other fluids.
  • n. A place where a liquid such as water surfaces naturally, a spring.
  • n. A small depression suitable for holding liquid, or other objects.
  • n. A vertical, cylindrical trunk in a ship, reaching down to the lowest part of the hull, through which the bilge pumps operate.
  • n. The cockpit of a sailboat.
  • n. A well drink.
  • n. The playfield of the video game Tetris.
  • v. To seep out of the surface.
  • v. To have something seep out of the surface.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Good in condition or circumstances; desirable, either in a natural or moral sense; fortunate; convenient; advantageous; happy.
  • adj. Being in health; sound in body; not ailing, diseased, or sick; healthy.
  • adj. Being in favor; favored; fortunate.
  • adj. Safe.
  • adv. In a good or proper manner; justly; rightly; not ill or wickedly.
  • adv. Suitably to one's condition, to the occasion, or to a proposed end or use; suitably; abundantly; fully; adequately; thoroughly.
  • adv. Fully or about; -- used with numbers.
  • adv. In such manner as is desirable; so as one could wish; satisfactorily; favorably; advantageously; conveniently.
  • adv. Considerably; not a little; far.
  • n. An issue of water from the earth; a spring; a fountain.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A shaft made in the earth to obtain oil or brine.
  • n. Fig.: A source of supply; fountain; wellspring.
  • n.
  • n. 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.
  • n. 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.
  • n. A vertical passage in the stern into which an auxiliary screw propeller may be drawn up out of water.
  • n. A depressed space in the after part of the deck; -- often called the cockpit.
  • n. A hole or excavation in the earth, in mining, from which run branches or galleries.
  • n. An opening through the floors of a building, as for a staircase or an elevator; a wellhole.
  • n. The lower part of a furnace, into which the metal falls.
  • intransitive v. To issue forth, as water from the earth; to flow; to spring.
  • transitive v. To pour forth, as from a well.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To issue forth, as water from the earth or from a spring; spring; flow up or out.
  • To boil.
  • To pour forth from or as if from a well or spring.
  • In a good or laudable manner; not ill; worthily; rightly; properly; suitably: as, to act or reason well; to work or ride well; to be well disposed; a well- built house.
  • In a satisfactory or pleasing manner; ac cording to desire, taste, or the like; fortunate ly; happily; favorably: as, to live or faro well; to succeed well in business; to be well situated.
  • With satisfaction or gratification; com mendably; agreeably; highly; excellently: as, to be well entertained or pleased.
  • In reality; fairly; practically; fully.
  • To a good or fair degree; not slightly or moderately; adequately: as, to be well deserving; to sleep well; a well-known author.
  • To a large extent; greatly, either in an absolute or in a relative sense.
  • Conformably to state or circumstances; with propriety; conveniently; advantageously; justifiably: as, I can not well afford it.
  • Conformably to requirement or obligation; with due heed or diligence; carefully; conscientiously: now only in the legal phrase well and truly, as part of an oath or undertaking.
  • Entirely; fully; quite; in full measure.
  • Very; much; very much: obsolete except in well nigh (see well-nigh).
  • Elliptically, it is well; so be it: used as a sign of assent, either in earnest, in indifference, or in irony, or with other shades of meaning, as a prelude to a further statement, and often as a mere introductory expletive.
  • [Of the proper compounds of well with participial adjectives, only those are given below which are in standard use, or the meaning of which is not directly obvious. In regard to the improper joining of well with participles in regular verbal construction, see remark under ill.]
  • Agreeable to wish or desire; satisfactory as to condition or relation; fortunate; opportune; propitious: only predicative, and most commonly used in impersonal clauses.
  • Satisfactory in kind or character; suitable; proper; right; good: as, was it well to do this? the well ordering of a household.
  • In a good state or condition; well off; comfortable; free from trouble: used predicatively: as, I am quite well where I am.
  • In good standing; favorably situated or connected; enjoying consideration: used predicatively.
  • In good health; not sick or ailing; in a sound condition as to body or mind: usually predicative: as, he is now well, or (colloquially) a well man.
  • Synonyms Hale, hearty, sound.
  • n. That which is well or good; good state, health, or fortune.
  • n. A natural source of water; a place where water springs up in or issues from the ground; a spring or well-spring; a fountain.
  • n. Hence The source whence any series or order of things issues or is drawn; a well-spring of origin or supply; a fount in the figurative sense.
  • n. That which flows or springs out or up from a source; water or other fluid issuing forth.
  • n. A pit, hole, or shaft sunk in the ground, either by digging or by boring through earth and rock, to obtain a supply of water, or of other fluid, as mineral water, brine, petroleum, or natural gas, from a subterranean source, and walled or otherwise protected from caving in.
  • n. A cavity, or an inclosed space, shaft, or the like, in some way comparable to or suggestive of an ordinary well, but of some other origin or use: as, an ink-well.
  • n. Specifically— In a building, a compartment or shaft extending through the different floors, or from top to bottom, in which the stairs are placed, or round which they turn; or one in which an elevator or lift moves up and down; or one which serves for the admission of air or light to interior rooms, etc. The kinds of well named are distinctively called a well-staircase or (for the space interior to the stairs) a well-hole, an elevator-shaft, and an air or light-shaft.
  • n. In a ship:
  • n. A compartment formed by bulkheads round the pumps, for their protection and for ease of access to them.
  • n. A shaft through which to raise and lower an auxiliary screw-propeller.
  • n. The cockpit.
  • n. In a fishing-vessel or on a float, a compartment with a perforated bottom for the admission of water, in which fish are kept alive: distinctively called live-well.
  • n. In a military mine, a shaft with branches or galleries running out from it.
  • n. In a furnace, the lower part of the cavity into which the metal falls.
  • n. In an Irish jaunting-car, the hollow space for luggage between the seats.
  • n. In some breech-loading small arms, a cavity for the breech-block in the rear of the chamber.
  • n. In an English court of law, the inclosed space for the lawyers and their assistants, immediately in front of the judges' bench.
  • n. In heraldry, a bearing representing a well-curb, usually seen in perspective, circular, and masoned of large stones.
  • n. A whirlpool: an eddy; especially, a dangerous eddy in the sea, as about the Orkney and Shetland Islands.
  • n. Synonyms Well, Spring, Fountain, Cistern. A well is an artificial pit sunk to such a depth that water comes into the bottom and rises to the water-level, ready to be drawn up. A spring is a place where water conies naturally to the surface of the ground and flows away: a spring may be opened or struck in excavation, but cannot be made. A fountain is characterized by the leaping upward of the water: it may be natural, and thus be a kind of spring, or it may be artificial, as in a public square. A cistern is an artificial receptacle for the storage of water, as that which is conducted from roofs; figuratively, the word may be applied to similar natural subterranean reservoirs.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. in good health especially after having suffered illness or injury
  • adv. with prudence or propriety
  • adv. in a manner affording benefit or advantage
  • adj. wise or advantageous and hence advisable
  • n. an open shaft through the floors of a building (as for a stairway)
  • adv. (used for emphasis or as an intensifier) entirely or fully
  • adv. in financial comfort
  • adv. (often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well')
  • v. come up, as of a liquid
  • adv. without unusual distress or resentment; with good humor
  • adv. thoroughly or completely; fully; often used as a combining form
  • n. an enclosed compartment in a ship or plane for holding something as e.g. fish or a plane's landing gear or for protecting something as e.g. a ship's pumps
  • n. an abundant source
  • adj. resulting favorably
  • n. a cavity or vessel used to contain liquid
  • adv. with skill or in a pleasing manner
  • adv. indicating high probability; in all likelihood
  • adv. with great or especially intimate knowledge
  • adv. to a great extent or degree
  • adv. to a suitable or appropriate extent or degree
  • adv. favorably; with approval
  • n. a deep hole or shaft dug or drilled to obtain water or oil or gas or brine


from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

Middle English welle, from Old English.
Middle English wel, from Old English.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English wel, wal, wol, wele, from Old English wel, wæl, well ("well, abundantly, very, very easily, very much, fully, quite, nearly"), from Proto-Germanic *walō (“well”, literally "as wished, as desired"), from Proto-Indo-European *wel- (“wish, desire”). Cognate with Scots wele, weil ("well"), North Frisian wel, weil, wal ("well"), West Frisian wol ("well"), Dutch wel ("well"), Low German wol ("well"), German wol, wohl ("well"), Danish vel ("well"), Swedish väl ("well"), Icelandic vel, val ("well"). Non-Germanic cognate include Albanian vallë ("well, perhaps, wishfully"). Related to will.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English well ("well")

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Old English weallan. Cognate with German wallen ("boil, seethe"), Danish vælde ("gush"), Albanian valoj ("I boil, seethe").



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  • oh thank you! I figured it out yesterday myself but wasn't sure abt it! Thnx a lot!!

    March 18, 2013

  • @lydunka - my feeling is that the well was nearly dry, so the water level in the well was very low. More rope required to reach the water, and more time and effort required to hoist the bucket.

    March 17, 2013

  • Hey guys! I'm Ukrainian and working on my translation from English into Ukrainian I faced a problem translation this sentence: water was deep down the well. Could you perephrase it for me so I can get wht the author meant here?

    March 17, 2013

  • That's a deep subject.

    April 9, 2007