Learn English – comparative form of “well”


Is there a word that means "more well", in the same way that "better" means "more good"? In common parlance most people just use "better" for this purpose, but this sounds wrong and is a nagging irritation for me. "Better" is an adjective while "well" is an adverb, and so they're strictly incompatible in how they can be used.

I realise there isn't a commonly used word for this but I'm interested to know if there's something archaic that and has fallen into disuse.

Best Answer

The Oxford English Dictionary says the following. Historically, the comparative of the adverb “well” was “bet” (the link requires subscription) whereas the comparative of the adjective “good” has been “better”. The use of the word “better” as an adverb appeared around the 13th century, and it superseded “bet” by around 1600.

As Kosmonaut writes in a comment on the question, in modern English, the word “better” is used as both an adjective and an adverb. The Merriam-Webster dictionary agrees on this.

Related Topic