Open main menu




do well

  1. Used other than with a figurative or idiomatic meaning: see do,‎ well.
    He tries hard to tell a good joke but, alas, he does not do it well.
    I did well on the first part of the exam, but totally messed up on the essay question.
    • 2006, Jerry Weissman, Presenting to Win: The Art of Telling Your Story, →ISBN:
      A File Server does one thing and does it well: It manages data on networks.
  2. (followed by an infinitive) To take the prudent approach; to be advised.
    He would do well to listen more carefully to his wife.
    • 1858, John Willox, Practical hints to intending emigrants for our Australian colonies:
      Those who possess skill in handicrafts must be prepared to turn that skill into numerous channels; and in most instances men of that stamp would do well to make up their minds before starting, that, in case of need, each must turn mason, joiner, blacksmith, or painter, as circumstances require; of course it is not expected that he should be an adept in all those branches, but a handy fellow who can turn himself into a decent make-shift in such matters, will prove infinitely more useful and more welcome than one who is tied to the routine of mechanical departments.
    • 1982, Richard A. Gardner, The parents book about divorce, →ISBN, page 81:
      However, such a mother does well to tell the children when they get older.
    • 2008, Baruch J. Schwartz, ‎Naphtali S. Meshel, ‎& Jeffrey Stackert, Perspectives on Purity and Purification in the Bible, →ISBN, page 95:
      Third, we may do well to put history of religion on the back-burner and focus for a while on the meanings of our texts.
    • 2011, Rick Wartzman, What Would Drucker Do Now?: Solutions to Today’s Toughest Challenges, →ISBN:
      Indeed, as Prahalad remarked, Drucker had a trait that all of us, whether we're college professors or corporate managers, would do well to emulate: communicating clearly.
  3. (with a prepositional phrase headed by by or for) To benefit, to favour
    The company did well by his family after he died.
    • 1816, Daniel Defoe, The Life and Most Surprising Adventures of Robinson Crusoe:
      My next concern was, where I should lodge him ; and that I might do well by him, and yet be perfectly easy myself, I erected a tent for him in the vacant place between my two fortifications...
    • 1879, A. Wilson Norris, Pennsylvania State Reports Containing Cases Decided by the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania, Volume 4:
      If she lived after him he would do well by her at his death.
    • 1990, Giovanni Reale, History of Ancient Philosophy II, A: Plato and Aristotle, →ISBN, page 332:
      And if it is more characteristic of a friend to do well by another than to be well done by, and to confer benefits is characteristic of the good man and of excellence, and it is nobler to do well by friends than by strangers, the good man will need people to do well by.
    • 2013, Matthew Berry, Fantasy Life, →ISBN:
      I wanted to do well for guys like Geoff Kloske and Matt Boyd and everyone at Riverhead Books who believed in me and convinced Penguin to write a check.
  4. To succeed; to flourish.
    • 1998, National Research Council, ‎Commission on Life Sciences, ‎Institute for Laboratory Animal Research, The Psychological Well-Being of Nonhuman Primates, →ISBN, page 58:
      Prosimians make good use of shelves, ropes, or swings and do well with natural substrates—such as vines, bamboo, and branches—to climb on or jump among.
    • 1999, Peter Geiger, ‎Ray Geiger, & ‎Sondra Duncan, Farmer's Almanac:
      Cabbage, lettuce, and other leafy vegetables will do well.
    • 2012, Cleon E. Spencer, THEY Cripple Society Who Are THEY and How Do They Do It?:, →ISBN:
      Before long Vita found a job with a very good corporation whose employees were mostly female office staff and therefore there was ample opportunity for a woman to do well.

Further readingEdit