A Dictionary of the English Language
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Well (adjective)

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2260

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 2260

Well. adj. [Well seems to be sometimes an adjective, though it is not always easy to determine its relations.]

  1. Not sick; not unhappy.

            Mark, we use
    To say the dead are well.
    Shakes. Ant. and Cleopatra.

    Lady, I am not well, else I should answer
    From a full flowing stomach
    . Shakesp. King Lear.

    In poison there is physick; and this news,
    That would, had I been well, have made me sick,
    Being sick, hath in some measure made me well.
    Shakesp.

    While thou art well, thou mayest do much good; but when thou art sick, thou can'st not tell what thou shalt be able to do: it is not very much nor very good. Few men mend with sickness, as there are but few who by travel and a wandering life become devout. Taylor's Guide to Devotion.

    Men under irregular appetites never think themselves well, so long as they fancy they might be better; then from better they must rise to best. L' Estrange.

    'Tis easy for any, when well, to give advice to them that are not. Wake's Preparation for Death.

  2. Convenient; happy.

    Holdings were so plentiful, and holders so scarce, as well was the landlord, who could get one to be his tenant. Carew.

    Charity is made the constant companion and perfection of all virtues; and well it is for that virtue where it most enters, and longest stays. Sprat's Sermons.

    This exactness is necessary, and it would be well too, if it extended itself to common conversation. Locke.

    It would have been well for Genoa, if she had followed the example of Venice, in not permitting her nobles to make any purchase of lands in the dominions of a foreign prince. Ad.

  3. Being in favour.

    He followed the fortunes of that family; and was well with Henry the fourth. Dryden.

  4. Recovered from any sickness or misfortune.

                    I am sorry
    For your displeasure; but all will sure be well.
    Shakespeare.

    Just thoughts, and modest expectations are easily satisfied. If we don't over-rate our pretensions, all will be well. Collier.

Sources: Addison, Joseph (408) · Shakespeare's Antony and Cleopatra (57) · Carew, Thomas (36) · Collier, Jeremy (24) · Dryden, John (788) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Shakespeare's King Lear (144) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Sprat, Thomas (20) · Taylor, Jeremy (57) · Wake, William (7)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Well (adjective)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: August 31, 2011. http://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/?p=7662.


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