- (Received Pronunciation) IPA(key): /ˈəʊ wɛl/
- (General American) IPA(key): /ˈoʊ wɛl/
Audio (GA) (file) Audio (AU) (file)
- (idiomatic) An expression of mild disappointment or resignation; too bad, it's a pity.
- Synonym: ah well
- I didn’t know the store closes at five on Thursdays. Oh well, I’ll have to come back tomorrow.
- 1912 July, Henry Kitchell Webster, “The Ingredients”, in The Atlantic Monthly. A Magazine of Literature, Science, Art, and Politics, volume CX, number 1, Boston, Mass.: Ticknor and Fields, […], OCLC 612185692, page 21:
- It was not until he heard a ring at the bell that he wondered how he should address her. Countess? That would seem like rubbing it in. Oh, well, it was n't really necessary to call people anything, if one used a little management.
- 1922 December, Harold Avery, “A Sixth Form Feud. A Public School Story.”, in The Boy’s Own Paper, volume XLV, part 2, London: "Boy's Own Paper" Office, […], OCLC 870086995, chapter VII (Waylaid), page 125:
- "Oh well, it can't be helped," returned Teal. "We'll get him yet. By the way, walk down to the lecture with me this afternoon?"
- 1924 November, “Physical Diagnosis by Richard C. Cabot, M.D., Professor of Medicine in Harvard University, Formerly Chief of the West Medical Service at the Massachusetts General Hospital. Eighth Edition, Revised and Enlarged with Six Plates and 279 Figures in the Text. New York, William Wood and Company, MDCCCCXXIII. Price, $5.00. [book review]”, in The Medical Herald and Physiotherapist: Incorporating The Medical Fortnightly & Laboratory News, St. Louis Clinique, General Practitioner and The Kansas City Medical Index-Lancet, volume XLIII, number 11, Kansas City, Mo.: Medical Herald Pub. Co., OCLC 11745944, page 265, column 2:
- The meager X-ray facts are woefully inadequate and there is nothing upon modern roentgen-cardiography. And this book comes out of Boston where Holmes and George practice the art of roentgenology? Oh, well—Prophets without honor, etc.
- 1938 (film premiere), 1988 (book), Howard Hawks, director; [Hagar Wilde, screenwriter], “Bringing Up Baby: The Continuity Script”, in Gerald Mast, editor, Bringing Up Baby (Rutgers Films in Print; 10), New Brunswick, N.J.: Rutgers University Press, published 1994, →ISBN, page 138:
- Hello? Hello? Is that zoo? … Well, nobody's talking baby talk. Well, I'm the man that called up about the leopard. You don't have to do anything about it. It's all been a mistake. Yes. Uh … Oh, well, stop them.
- oh, well (dated)
expression of mild disappointment or resignation