Idiom:  mean well


Idiom:  mean well

  • to have a good or helpful intention, even though the result is bad

Note:  The past tense of the verb mean is "meant" (not "meaned" - it's irregular)

Example sentences

— The teacher meant well but she should have pulled you aside to talk about hygiene instead of embarrassing you in front of the class.

I’m sure your daughter meant well when she tried to wash your phone.

— I know you mean well but I prefer doing my own ironing.

— My mother meant well bringing us up in an extremely strict household but it made us rebel against her and other authority figures.

— Don't assume anything negative by his comment. I'm sure he meant well.

— Although you mean well, always asking her about her health makes her focus on the pain.

— My brother meant well when he told me there are other fish in the sea but I still think Shawn is my soulmate and I want him back.

— You mean well but you're always giving unsolicited advice instead of really listening.

— He said something really rude but I know he meant well. His English is getting better every day and I don't want to discourage him.

— I really feel awful that you felt insulted.  I meant well and apologize for the misunderstanding.


  • have good intentions
  • have the best /right intentions
  • have one's heart in the right place
  • try to do the right thing

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