mean well

(redirected from means well)
Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Encyclopedia.

mean well

To have good intentions. The phrase implies that despite such intentions, one is inept, unhelpful, or a nuisance. Gerri means well, but honestly she usually just ends up getting in the way when we're trying to do work.
See also: mean, well

mean well

to intend to be nice, polite, helpful, etc., but fail in the effort. I know you mean well, but your comments are sort of insulting.
See also: mean, well

ˈmean well

(usually disapproving) have good intentions, although their effect may not be good: Your father means well, I know, but I wish he’d stop telling us what to do.She’s always suggesting ways I could improve my cooking. I know she means well but it really annoys me. ▶ ˌwell-ˈmeaning adj.: She’s very well-meaning, but she only makes the situation worse.
See also: mean, well