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of superior quality or excellence:
a better coat; a better speech.
morally superior; more virtuous:
They are no better than thieves.
of superior suitability, advisability, desirability, acceptableness, etc.; preferable:
a better time for action.
larger; greater:
the better part of a lifetime.
improved in health; healthier than before.
completely recovered in health.
in a more appropriate or acceptable way or manner:
to behave better.
to a greater degree; more completely or thoroughly:
He knows the way better than we do. I probably know him better than anyone else.
I walked better than a mile to town.
to increase the good qualities of; make better; improve: to better one’s grades;
to better the lot of the suburban commuter.
to improve upon; surpass; exceed:
We have bettered last year’s production record.
Cards. to raise (a previous bid).
that which has greater excellence or is preferable or wiser:
the better of two choices.
Usually, betters. those superior to one in wisdom, wealth, etc.
better off,

in better circumstances.
more fortunate; happier:
Because of his asthma, he would be better off in a different climate.

better oneself, to improve one’s social standing, financial position, or education:
He is going to night school because he wants to better himself.
for the better, in a way that is an improvement:
His health changed for the better.
get / have the better of,

to get an advantage over.
to prevail against.

go (someone) one better, to exceed the effort of; be superior to:
The neighbors went us one better by buying two new cars.
had better, would be wiser or more well-advised to; ought to:
We had better stay indoors today.
no better than one should be, morally inferior; immoral or amoral:
Don’t speak to him; he’s no better than he should be!
think better of,

to reconsider and decide more favorably or wisely regarding:
I was tempted to make a sarcastic retort, but thought better of it.
to form a higher opinion of:
I think better of him now that he’s gone back to college.

morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious:
a good man.
satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree:
a good teacher; good health.
of high quality; excellent.
right; proper; fit:
It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
a good child.
kind, beneficent, or friendly:
to do a good deed.
honorable or worthy; in good standing:
a good name.
educated and refined:
She has a good background.
financially sound or safe:
His credit is good.
genuine; not counterfeit:
a good quarter.
sound or valid:
good judgment; good reasons.
reliable; dependable; responsible:
good advice.
healthful; beneficial:
Fresh fruit is good for you.
in excellent condition; healthy:
good teeth.
not spoiled or tainted; edible; palatable:
The meat was still good after three months in the freezer.
favorable; propitious:
good news.
cheerful; optimistic; amiable:
in good spirits.
free of distress or pain; comfortable:
to feel good after surgery.
agreeable; pleasant:
Have a good time.
attractive; handsome:
She has a good figure.
(of the complexion) smooth; free from blemish.
close or intimate; warm:
She’s a good friend of mine.
sufficient or ample:
a good supply.
advantageous; satisfactory for the purpose:
a good day for fishing.
competent or skillful; clever:
a good manager; good at arithmetic.
skillfully or expertly done:
a really good job; a good play.
conforming to rules of grammar, usage, etc.; correct:
good English.
socially proper:
good manners.
remaining available to one:
Don’t throw good money after bad.
comparatively new or of relatively fine quality:
Don’t play in the mud in your good clothes.
finest or most dressy:
He wore his good suit to the office today.
a good day’s journey away.
fairly large or great:
a good amount.
free from precipitation or cloudiness:
good weather.
Medicine/Medical. (of a patient’s condition) having stable and normal vital signs, being conscious and comfortable, and having excellent appetite, mobility, etc.
fertile; rich:
good soil.
a good Democrat.
(of a return or service in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) landing within the limits of a court or section of a court.
Horse Racing. (of the surface of a track) drying after a rain so as to be still slightly sticky:
This horse runs best on a good track.
(of meat, especially beef) noting or pertaining to the specific grade below “choice,” containing more lean muscle and less edible fat than “prime” or “choice.”.
favorably regarded (used as an epithet for a ship, town, etc.): the good ship Syrena.
profit or advantage; worth; benefit: What good will that do?
We shall work for the common good.
excellence or merit; kindness:
to do good.
moral righteousness; virtue:
to be a power for good.
(especially in the grading of U.S. beef) an official grade below that of “choice.”.

possessions, especially movable effects or personal property.
articles of trade; wares; merchandise:
canned goods.
Informal. what has been promised or is expected:
to deliver the goods.
Informal. the genuine article.
Informal. evidence of guilt, as stolen articles:
to catch someone with the goods.
cloth or textile material:
top-quality linen goods.
Chiefly British. merchandise sent by land, rather than by water or air.

the good.

the ideal of goodness or morality.
good things or persons collectively.

(used as an expression of approval or satisfaction):
Good! Now we can all go home.
Informal. well1 (defs 1-3, 8): I wish I could cook this good!
Yes, we knew him pretty good.
as good as. as1 (def 20).
come to no good, to end in failure or as a failure:
Her jealous relatives said that she would come to no good.
for good, finally and permanently; forever:
to leave the country for good.
Also, for good and all.
good and, Informal. very; completely; exceedingly:
This soup is good and hot.
good for,

certain to repay (money owed) because of integrity, financial stability, etc.
the equivalent in value of:
Two thousand stamps are good for one coffeepot.
able to survive or continue functioning for (the length of time or the distance indicated):
These tires are good for another 10,000 miles.
valid or in effect for (the length of time indicated):
a license good for one year.
(used as an expression of approval):
Good for you!

good full, Nautical. (of a sail or sails) well filled, especially when sailing close to the wind; clean full; rap full.
make good,

to make recompense for; repay.
to implement an agreement; fulfill.
to be successful.
to substantiate; verify.
to carry out; accomplish; execute:
The convicts made good their getaway.

no good, without value or merit; worthless; contemptible:
The check was no good.
to the good,

generally advantageous:
That’s all to the good, but what do I get out of it?
richer in profit or gain:
When he withdrew from the partnership, he was several thousand dollars to the good.

in a good or satisfactory manner:
Business is going well.
thoroughly, carefully, or soundly:
to shake well before using; listen well.
in a moral or proper manner:
to behave well.
commendably, meritoriously, or excellently:
a difficult task well done.
with propriety, justice, or reason:
I could not well refuse.
adequately or sufficiently:
Think well before you act.
to a considerable extent or degree (often used in combination): a sum well over the amount agreed upon;
a well-developed theme.
with great or intimate knowledge:
to know a person well.
certainly; without doubt:
I anger easily, as you well know.
with good nature; without rancor:
He took the joke well.
in good health; sound in body and mind:
Are you well? He is not a well man.
satisfactory, pleasing, or good:
All is well with us.
proper, fitting, or gratifying:
It is well that you didn’t go.
in a satisfactory position; well-off:
I am very well as I am.
(used to express surprise, reproof, etc.):
Well! There’s no need to shout.
(used to introduce a sentence, resume a conversation, etc.):
Well, who would have thought he could do it?
well-being; good fortune; success:
to wish well to someone.
as well,

in addition; also; too:
She insisted on directing the play and on producing it as well.
The town grew as well because of its location as because of its superb climate.

as well as, as much or as truly as; equally as:
Joan is witty as well as intelligent.
leave well enough alone, avoid changing something that is satisfactory.
a hole drilled or bored into the earth to obtain water, petroleum, natural gas, brine, or sulfur.
a spring or natural source of water.
an apparent reservoir or a source of human feelings, emotions, energy, etc.:
He was a well of gentleness and courtesy.
a container, receptacle, or reservoir for a liquid:
the well of ink in a fountain pen.
any sunken or deep, enclosed space, as a shaft for air or light, stairs, or an elevator, extending vertically through the floors of a building.

a part of a weather deck between two superstructures, extending from one side of a vessel to the other.
a compartment or enclosure around a ship’s pumps to make them easily accessible and protect them from being damaged by the cargo.

a hollow compartment, recessed area, or depression for holding a specific item or items, as fish in the bottom of a boat or the retracted wheels of an airplane in flight.
any shaft dug or bored into the earth, as for storage space or a mine.
to rise, spring, or gush, as water, from the earth or some other source (often followed by up, out, or forth):
Tears welled up in my eyes.
to send welling up or forth:
a fountain welling its pure water.
like, of, resembling, from, or used in connection with a well.
a person who bet.
Contemporary Examples

On Her Own Terms: Why Brittany Maynard Has Chosen to Die Gene Robinson October 11, 2014
Great and Fake: The Wild Absurdity Of Iranian And Russian State Media Michael Moynihan January 15, 2014
Popular Novelist Ken Follett Is a Slightly Unlikely and Certainly Unsung Gay Icon William O’Connor September 30, 2014
South Africa Rallies Against Fatal Gang Rape Eusebius McKaiser February 9, 2013
One Redneck’s Gun Stand Joe McLean February 12, 2013

Historical Examples

The Three Cities Trilogy, Complete Emile Zola
Philothea Lydia Maria Child
Harper’s Young People, October 19, 1880 Various
Philothea Lydia Maria Child
The Stark Munro Letters J. Stark Munro

the comparative of good
more excellent than other members of a particular group, category, etc
more suitable, advantageous, attractive, etc
improved in health
fully recovered in health
in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
better off, in more favourable circumstances, esp financially
the better part of, a large part of: the better part of a day
the comparative of well1
in a more excellent manner; more advantageously, attractively, etc
in or to a greater degree or extent; more: she is better loved than her sister
(Brit intr; US transitive) go one better, to outdo (a person) or improve upon (someone else’s effort)
had better, would be wise, sensible, etc to: I had better be off
know better than to, not to be so stupid as to
think better of

to change one’s course of action after reconsideration
to rate (a person) more highly

the better, something that is the more excellent, useful, etc, of two such things
(usually pl) a person who is superior, esp in social standing or ability
all the better for, improved as a result of
all the better to, more suitable to
for better for worse, whatever the subsequent events or changes may be
for the better, by way of improvement: a change for the better
get the better of, to defeat, outwit, or surpass
(Irish) the better of, having recovered from: I’m not the better of it yet
to make or become better
(transitive) to improve upon; surpass
a person who bets
adverb better, best
(often used in combination) in a satisfactory manner: the party went very well
(often used in combination) in a good, skilful, or pleasing manner: she plays the violin well
in a correct or careful manner: listen well to my words
in a comfortable or prosperous manner: to live well
(usually used with auxiliaries) suitably; fittingly: you can’t very well say that
intimately: I knew him well
in a kind or favourable manner: she speaks well of you
to a great or considerable extent; fully: to be well informed
by a considerable margin: let me know well in advance
preceded by could, might, or may. indeed: you may well have to do it yourself
(informal) (intensifier): well safe
all very well, used ironically to express discontent, dissent, etc
as well

in addition; too
preceded by may or might. with equal effect: you might as well come
just as well, preferable or advisable: it would be just as well if you paid me now

as well as, in addition to
just leave well alone, just leave well enough alone, to refrain from interfering with something that is satisfactory
well and good, used to indicate calm acceptance, as of a decision: if you accept my offer, well and good
well up in, well acquainted with (a particular subject); knowledgeable about
adjective (usually postpositive)
(when prenominal, usually used with a negative) in good health: I’m very well, thank you, he’s not a well man
satisfactory, agreeable, or pleasing
prudent; advisable: it would be well to make no comment
prosperous or comfortable
fortunate or happy: it is well that you agreed to go

an expression of surprise, indignation, or reproof
an expression of anticipation in waiting for an answer or remark

sentence connector
an expression used to preface a remark, gain time, etc: well, I don’t think I will come
a hole or shaft that is excavated, drilled, bored, or cut into the earth so as to tap a supply of water, oil, gas, etc
a natural pool where ground water comes to the surface

a cavity, space, or vessel used to contain a liquid
(in combination): an inkwell

an open shaft through the floors of a building, such as one used for a staircase
a deep enclosed space in a building or between buildings that is open to the sky to permit light and air to enter

a bulkheaded compartment built around a ship’s pumps for protection and ease of access
another word for cockpit

a perforated tank in the hold of a fishing boat for keeping caught fish alive
(in England) the open space in the centre of a law court
a source, esp one that provides a continuous supply: he is a well of knowledge
to flow or cause to flow upwards or outwards: tears welled from her eyes
adjective better, best
having admirable, pleasing, superior, or positive qualities; not negative, bad or mediocre: a good idea, a good teacher

morally excellent or admirable; virtuous; righteous: a good man
(as collective noun; preceded by the): the good

suitable or efficient for a purpose: a good secretary, a good winter coat
beneficial or advantageous: vegetables are good for you
not ruined or decayed; sound or whole: the meat is still good
kindly, generous, or approving: you are good to him
right or acceptable: your qualifications are good for the job
rich and fertile: good land
valid or genuine: I would not do this without good reason
honourable or held in high esteem: a good family
commercially or financially secure, sound, or safe: good securities, a good investment
(of a draft) drawn for a stated sum
(of debts) expected to be fully paid
clever, competent, or talented: he’s good at science
obedient or well-behaved: a good dog
reliable, safe, or recommended: a good make of clothes
affording material pleasure or indulgence: the good things in life, the good life
having a well-proportioned, beautiful, or generally fine appearance: a good figure, a good complexion
complete; full: I took a good look round the house
propitious; opportune: a good time to ask the manager for a rise
satisfying or gratifying: a good rest
comfortable: did you have a good night?
newest or of the best quality: to keep the good plates for important guests
fairly large, extensive, or long: a good distance away
sufficient; ample: we have a good supply of food
(US) (of meat) of the third government grade, above standard and below choice
serious or intellectual: good music
used in a traditional description: the good ship “America”
used in polite or patronizing phrases or to express anger (often intended ironically): how is your good lady?, look here, my good man!
a good one

an unbelievable assertion
a very funny joke

as good as, virtually; practically: it’s as good as finished
as good as gold, excellent; very good indeed
be as good as to, be so good as to, would you please
come good, to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback
(informal) good and, (intensifier): good and mad
(intensifier; used in mild oaths): good grief!, good heavens!
an exclamation of approval, agreement, pleasure, etc
moral or material advantage or use; benefit or profit: for the good of our workers, what is the good of worrying?
positive moral qualities; goodness; virtue; righteousness; piety
(sometimes capital) moral qualities seen as a single abstract entity: we must pursue the Good
a good thing
(economics) a commodity or service that satisfies a human need
for good, for good and all, forever; permanently: I have left them for good
make good

to recompense or repair damage or injury
to be successful
to demonstrate or prove the truth of (a statement or accusation)
to secure and retain (a position)
to effect or fulfil (something intended or promised)

good on you, good for you, well done, well said, etc: a term of congratulation
(Irish) get any good of, get some good of

to handle to good effect: I never got any good of this machine
to understand properly: I could never get any good of him
to receive cooperation from


Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing. [“As You Like It”]

A deep hole or shaft sunk into the Earth to tap a liquid or gaseous substance such as water, oil, gas, or brine. If the substance is not under sufficient pressure to flow freely from the well, it must be pumped or raised mechanically to the surface. Water or pressurized gas is sometimes pumped into a nonproducing oil well to push petroleum resources out of underground reservoirs. See also artesian well.

better half
better late than never
better off
better part of
better safe than sorry
better than


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