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Well (adverb)

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2260, 2261

View Scan · View Transcription · from pages 2260, 2261

Well. adv. [will, Gothick; well, Saxon; wel, Dutch; vel, Islandick.

  1. Not ill; not unhappily.

    Some sense, and more estate, kind heav'n
    To this well-lotted peer has given:
    What then? he must have rule and sway;
    Else all is wrong till he's in play.

  2. Not ill; not wickedly.

    My bargains, and well-won thrift he calls int'rest. Shak.

    Thou one bad act with many deeds well done
    May'st cover.

  3. Skilfully; properly.

    A private caution I know not well how to sort, unless I should call it political, by no means to build too near a great neighbour. Wotton.

    Beware and govern well thy appetite. Milton.

    Whether the learn'd Minerva be her theme,
    Or chaste Diana bathing in the stream;
    None can record their heavenly praise so well.

    What poet would not mourn to see
    His brother write as well as he?

  4. Not amiss; not unsuccessfully; not erroneously.

    Solyman commended them for a plot so well by them laid, more than he did the victory of others got by good fortune, not grounded upon any good reason. Knolles.

    The soldier that philosopher well blam'd,
    Who long and loudly in the schools declaim'd.

    'Tis almost impossible to translate verbally and well. Dryden.

  5. Not insufficiently; not defectively.

    The plain of Jordan was well watered everywhere. Genesis.

    We are well able to overcome it. Num. xiii. 30.

    The merchant adventurers being a strong company, and well underset with rich men, held out bravely. Bacon.

  6. To a degree that gives pleasure.

    I like well, in some places, fair columns upon frames of carpenters work. Bacon.

  7. With praise; favourably.

    All the world speaks well of you. Pope.

  8. Well is sometimes like the French bien, a term of concession.

    The knot might well be cut, but untied it could not be. Sidney.

                    To know
    In measure what the mind can well contain.

  9. It is a word by which something is admitted as the ground for a conclusion.

    Well, let's away, and say how much is done. Shakespeare.

    Well, by this author's confession, a number superior are for the succession in the house of Hanover. Swift.

  10. As well as. Together with; not less than.

    Coptos was the magazine of all the trade from Æthiopia, by the Nile, as well as of those commodities that came from the west by Alexandria. Arbuthnot on Coins.

  11. Well is him or me; bene est, he is happy.

    Well is him that dwelleth with a wife of understanding, and that hath not slipped with his tongue. Ecclus. xxv. 8.

  12. Well nigh. Nearly; almost.

    I freed well nigh half th' angelick name. Milton.

  13. It is used much in composition, to express any thing right, laudable, or not defective.

    Antiochus understanding him not be well affected to his affairs, provided for his own safety. 2 Mac. iv. 21.

    There may be safety to the well·affected Persians; but to those which do conspire against us, a memorial of destruction. Esth. xvi. 23.

    Should a whole host at once discharge the bow,
    My well-aim'd shaft with death prevents the foe.

    What well-appointed leader fronts us here? Shakesp.

    Well-apparel'd April on the heel
    Of limping winter treads.
    Shakesp. Romeo and Juliet.

    The pow'r of wisdom march'd before,
    And ere the sacrificing throng he join'd,
    Admonish'd thus his well-attending mind.

                Such musick
    Before was never made,
    But when of old the sons of morning sung,
    Whilst the Creator great
    His constellations set,
    And the well-balanc'd world on hinges hung.

    Learners must at first be believers, and their master's rules having been once made axioms to them, they mislead those who think it sufficient to excuse them, if they go out of their way in a well-beaten track. Locke.

    He chose a thousand horse, the flow'r of all
    His warlike troops, to wait the funeral:
    To bear him back, and share Evander's grief;
    A well-becoming, but a weak relief.

                Those opposed files,
    Which lately met in the intestine shock,
    And furious close of civil butchery,
    Shall now, in mutual well-beseeming rank,
    March all one way.
    Shakesp. Hen. IV.

    O'er the Elean plains, thy well-breath'd horse
    Impels the flying car, and wins the course.

    More dismal than the loud disploded roar
    Of brazen enginry, that ceaseless storms
    The bastion of a well-built city.

    He conducted his course among the same well-chosen friendships and alliances with which he began it. Addison.

    My son corrupts a well-derived nature
    With his inducement.

    If good accrue, 'tis conferr'd most commonly on the base and infamous; and only happening sometimes to well-deservers. Dryden.

    It grieves me he should desperately adventure the loss of his well-deserving life. Sidney, b. ii.

    What a pleasure is well-directed study in the search of truth! Locke.

    A certain spark of honour, which rose in her well-disposed mind, made her fear to be alone with him, with whom alone she desired to be. Sidney, b. ii.

    The unprepossessed, the well-disposed, who both together make much the major part of the world, are affected with a due fear of these things. South's Sermons.

    A clear idea is that, whereof the mind hath such a full and evident perception, as it does receive from an outward object, operating duly on a well-disposed organ. Locke.

    Amid the main, two mighty fleets engage;
    Actium surveys the well-disputed prize.

    The ways of well-doing are in number even as many, as are the kinds of voluntary actions: so that whatsoever we do in this world, and may do it ill, we shew ourselves therein by well-doing to be wise. Hooker, b. ii.

    The conscience of well-doing may pass for a recompence. L'Estrange.

    God will judge every man according to his works; to them, who by patient continuance in well-doing, endure through the heat and burden of the day, he will give the reward of their labour. Rogers's Sermons.

            As far the spear I throw,
    As flies an arrow from the well-drawn bow.

    Fair nymphs and well-dress'd youths around her shone,
    But ev'ry eye was fixt on her alone.

    Such a doctrine in St. James's air,
    Shou'd chance to make the well-drest rabble stare.

    The desire of esteem, riches, or power, makes men espouse the well-endowed opinions in fashion. Locke.

    We ought to stand firm in well-established principles, and not be tempted to change for every difficulty. Watts.

    Echenus sage, a venerable man!
    Whose well-taught mind the present age surpass'd.

    Some reliques of the true antiquity, though disguised, a well-eyed man may happily discover. Spenser on Ireland.

    How sweet the products of a peaceful reign?
    The heaven-taught poet, and enchanting strain:
    The well-fill'd palace, the perpetual feast;
    A land rejoicing, and a people blest.

    Turkish blood did his young hands imbrue.
    From thence returning with deserv'd applause,
    Against the Moors his well-flesh'd sword he draws.

    Fairest piece of well-form'd earth,
    Urge not thus your haughty birth.

    A rational soul can be no more discerned in a well-formed, than ill-shaped infant. Locke.

    A well-formed proposition is sufficient to communicate the
    knowledge of a subject.

    Oh! that I'd dy'd before the well-fought wall!
    Had some distinguish'd day renown'd my fall,
    AIl Greece had paid my solemn funerals.

    Good men have a well-grounded hope in another life; and are as certain of a future recompence, as of the being of God. Atterbury.

    Let firm, well-hammer'd soles protect thy feet
    Through freezing snows.
    Gay's Trivia.

    The camp of the heathen was strong, and well-harnessed, and compassed round with horsemen. 1 Mic. iv. 7.

    Among the Romans, those who saved the life of a citizen, were dressed in an oaken garland; but among us, this has been a mark of such well-intentioned persons as would betray their country. Addison.

            He, full of fraudful arts,
    This well-invented tale for truth imparts.

    He, by enquiry, got to the well-known house of Kalander. Sidney.

    Soon as thy letters trembling I unclose,
    That well-known name awakens all my woes.

    Where proud Athens rears her tow'ry head,
    With opening streets, and shining structures spread,
    She past, delighted, with the well-known seats.

    From a confin'd well-manag'd store,
    You both employ and feed the poor.

    A noble soul is better pleas'd with a zealous vindicator of liberty, than with a temporizing poet, or well-manner'd court-slave, and one who is ever decent, because he is naturally servile. Dryden's Dedication to Juvenal.

    Well-meaners think no harm; but for the rest,
    Things sacred they pervert, and silence is the best.

    By craft they may prevail on the weakness of some well-meaning men to engage in their designs. Rogers's Sermons.

    He examines that well-meant, but unfortunate, lie of the conquest of France. Arbuthnot.

    A critick supposes he has done his part, if he proves a writer to have faiI'd in an expression; and can it be wonder'd at, if the poets seern resolved not to own themselves in any error? for as long as one side despises a well-meant endeavour, the other will not be satisfied with a moderate approbation. Pope's Preface to his Works.

    Many sober, well-minded men, who were real lovers of the peace of the kingdom, were imposed upon. Clarendon.

    Jarring int'rests of themselves create
    Th'according musick of a well-mix'd state.

    When the blast of winter blows,
    Into the naked wood he goes;
    And seeks the tusky boar to rear,
    With well-mouth'd hounds, and pointed spear.

    The applause that other people's reason gives to virtuous and well-ordered actions, is the proper guide of children, till they grow able to judge for themselves. Locke.

    The fruits of unity, next unto the well-pleasing of God, which is all in all, are towards those that are without the church; the other toward those that are within. Bacon.

    The exercise of the offices of charity is always well-pleasing to God, and honourable among men. Atterbury.

    My voice shall sound, as you do prompt mine ear;
    And I will stoop, and humble my intents
    To your well-practis'd wise directions.
    Shakesp. Hen. VI.

    The well-proportion'd shape, and beauteous face,
    Shall never more be seen by mortal eyes.

    'Twas not the hasty product of a day,
    But the well-ripen'd fruit of wise delay.

    Procure those that are fresh gathered, strait, smooth, and well-rooted. Mortimer's Husbandry.

    If I should instruct them to make well-running verses, they want genius to give them strength. Dryden.

    The eating of a well-seasoned dish, suited to a man's palate, may move the mind, by the delight itself that accompanies the eating, without reference to any other end. Locke.

    Instead of well-set hair, baldness. Isa. iii. 24.

    Abraham and Sarah were old, and well-stricken in age. Genesis.

    Many well-shaped innocent virgins are waddling like big-bellied women. Spectator, № 127.

    We never see beautiful and well-tasted fruits from a tree choaked with thorns and briars. Dryden's Dufresnoy.

    The well-tim'd oars
    With sounding strokes divide the sparkling waves.

    Wisdom's triumph is well-tim'd retreat,
    As hard a science to the fair as great.

    Mean time we thank you for your well-took labour.
    Go to your rest.
    Shakesp. Hamlet.

    Oh you are well-tun'd now; but I'll let down the pegs that make this musick. Shakesp. Othello.

    Her well-turn'd neck he view'd,
    And on her shoulders her dishevel'd hair.

    A well-weighed judicious poem, which at first gains no more upon the world than to be just received, insinuates itself by insensible degrees into the liking of the reader. Dryden.

                    He rails
    On me, my bargains, and my well-won thrift,
    Which he calls interest.
    Shakesp. Merch. of Venice.

    Each by turns the other's bound invade,
    As, in some well-wrought picture, light and shade.

Sources: The Bible - 1. Maccabees (8) · The Bible - 2. Maccabees (14) · Addison, Joseph (408) · Shakespeare's All's Well That Ends Well (21) · Arbuthnot, John (227) · Atterbury, Francis (75) · Bacon, Francis (396) · Clarendon, Edward (73) · Denham, John (75) · Dryden, John (788) · The Bible - Ecclesiasticus (27) · The Bible - Esther (3) · Gay, John (51) · The Bible - Genesis (48) · Shakespeare's Hamlet (60) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 1 (46) · Shakespeare's Henry IV, Part 2 (72) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Knolles, Richard (44) · L'Estrange, Roger (131) · Locke, John (269) · Shakespeare's Macbeth (136) · Shakespeare's Merchant of Venice (83) · Milton, John (449) · Mortimer, John (62) · The Bible - Numbers (12) · Shakespeare's Othello (60) · Philips, John (42) · Pope, Alexander (393) · Prior, Matthew (162) · Rogers, John (38) · Sidney, Philip (140) · Smith, Edmund (7) · South, Robert (158) · Spectator (140) · Spenser, Edmund (254) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Waller, Edmund (63) · Watts, Isaac (117) · Wotton, Henry (48)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Well (adverb)." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: January 5, 2013. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/well-adverb/.

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