American English

Definition of well exclamation from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1used to express surprise, anger, or relief Well, well—I would never have guessed it! Well, really!What a thing to say! Well, thank goodness that's over!
  2. 2used to show that you accept that something cannot be changed Well, it can't be helped. “We lost.” “Oh, well. Better luck next time.”
  3. 3used to agree to something, rather unwillingly Well, I suppose I could fit you in at 3:45. Oh,very well, then, if you insist.
  4. 4used when continuing a conversation after a pause Well, as I was saying…
  5. 5used to say that something is uncertain “Do you want to come?” “Well, I'm not sure.”
  6. 6used to show that you are waiting for someone to say something Well? Are you going to tell us or not?
  7. 7used to mark the end of a conversation Well, I'd better be going now.
  8. 8used when you are pausing to consider your next words I think it happened, well, toward the end of last summer.
  9. 9used when you want to correct or change something that you have just said There were thousands of people there—well, hundreds, anyway.
  10. Idioms
    well I never (did)! (old-fashioned)
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    used to express surprise
    well said! (informal)
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    I agree completely “We must stand up for ourselves.” “Well said, John.”
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: well