intending to be helpful, but not succeeding
A lot of problems can be caused by well-meaning friends.
He's very well-meaning, but he doesn't really understand what's going on.

Dictionary of contemporary English. 2013.


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  • well meaning — ˌwell ˈmeaning [well meaning] adjective intending to do what is right and helpful but often not succeeding Syn: ↑well intentioned • a well meaning attempt to be helpful • …   Useful english dictionary

  • well-meaning — well′ mean′ing adj. 1) meaning or intending well; having good intentions: a well meaning but tactless person[/ex] 2) Also, well′ meant′. proceeding from good intentions: well meaning words[/ex] • Etymology: 1350–1400 …   From formal English to slang

  • well-meaning — adjective trying to help, but often making things worse: WELL INTENTIONED: Her well meaning remarks just make us uncomfortable. a well meaning friend/person/group …   Usage of the words and phrases in modern English

  • Well-meaning — Well mean ing, a. Having a good intention. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • well meaning — (also well meant) ► ADJECTIVE ▪ having good intentions but not necessarily the desired effect …   English terms dictionary

  • well-meaning — [wel′ment′wel′mēn′iŋ] adj. 1. having good or kindly intentions 2. said or done with good intentions, but often unwisely or ineffectually: also well meant [wel′ment′] …   English World dictionary

  • well-meaning — index benevolent, propitious Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • well-meaning — adjective 1. not unfriendly or threatening (Freq. 1) her well meaning words were received in silence the exasperation of a...well meaning cow worried by dogs • Syn: ↑unthreatening • Similar to: ↑amicable 2. marked by go …   Useful english dictionary

  • well-meaning — also well meaning ADJ GRADED If you say that a person or their actions are well meaning, you mean that they intend to be helpful or kind but they are unsuccessful or cause problems. He is a well meaning but ineffectual leader... Even well meaning …   English dictionary

  • well-meaning — /wel mee ning/, adj. 1. meaning or intending well; having good intentions: a well meaning but tactless person. 2. Also, well meant /wel ment /. proceeding from good intentions: Her well meaning words were received in silence. [1350 1400; ME] * *… …   Universalium