well

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UK:*UK and possibly other pronunciationsUK and possibly other pronunciations/ˈwɛl/US:USA pronunciation: IPA and respellingUSA pronuncation: IPA/wɛl/ ,USA pronunciation: respelling(wel)


Inflections of 'well' (advadverb: Describes a verb, adjective, adverb, or clause--for example, "come quickly," "very rare," "happening now," "fall down."):
Some senses of the adverb "well" are invariable.
better
adv comparative
best
adv superlative
WordReference Collins English Usage © 2020
well
used before a statement
In conversation, people sometimes say well when they are about to make a statement. Well can show that someone is hesitating or uncertain, but sometimes it has no meaning at all.
‘Is that right?’ – ‘Well, I think so.’
In conversation, people also use well when they are correcting something they have just said.
We walked along in silence; well, not really silence, because she was humming.
It took me years, well months at least, to realise that he'd lied to me.
used as an adverb
Well is very commonly an adverb.
You use well to say that something is done to a high standard or to a great extent.
He handled it well.
The strategy has worked very well in the past.
You use well to emphasize some -ed participles when they are part of a passive construction.
You seem to be well liked at work.
When well is used with an -ed participle like this to make a compound adjective that comes before a noun, the compound usually has a hyphen.
She was seen having dinner with a well-known actor.
This is a very well-established custom.
When the compound adjective comes after a verb, don't use a hyphen.
The author is well known in his native country of Scotland.
Their routine of a morning walk was well established.
You also use well in front of some prepositions such as ahead of and behind.
The candidate is well ahead of his rivals in the opinion polls.
The border now lay well behind them.
When well is an adverb, its comparative and superlative forms are better and best.
People are better housed than ever before.
What works best is a balanced, sensible diet.
used as an adjective
Well is also an adjective. If you are well, you are healthy and not ill.
She looked well.
‘How are you?’ – ‘I’m very well, thank you.'
Most British speakers do not use well in front of a noun. They don't say, for example, ‘He’s a well man'. They say ‘He’s well'. However, American and Scottish speakers sometimes use well in front of a noun.
When well is an adjective, it does not have a comparative form. However, you can use better to say that the health of a sick person has improved. When better is used like this, it means ‘less ill’.
He seems better today.
Better is more commonly used to say that someone has completely recovered from an illness or injury.
I hope you'll be better soon.
Her cold was better.
➜ See better
‘as well’
You use as well when you are giving more information about something.
Fresh fruit is healthier than tinned fruit. And it tastes nicer as well.
The woman laughed, and Jayah giggled as well.
'well' also found in these entries:
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