let well alone

Well is normally considered here as a noun (‘what is well’), rather than an adverb. The proverb is also frequently found in the form leave well alone.

c 1570 Scoggin’s Jests (1626) 76 The shomaker thought to make his house greater... They pulled downe foure or fiue postes of the house... Why said Scoggin, when it was well you could not let it alone.

1740 G. CHEYNE Essay on Regimen p. xxxvi. When a Person is tolerably well, and is subject to no painful or dangerous Distemper, I think it his Duty..to let Well alone.

1822 M. EDGEWORTH Letter 12 Jan. (1971) 317 Joanna quoted to me the other day an excellent proverb applied to health: ‘Let well alone.’

1829 T. L. PEACOCK Misfortunes of Elphin ii. This immortal work..will stand for centuries... It is well: it works well: let well alone.

1985 R. R. IRVINE Ratings are Murder xx. I don’t think it’s ever a good idea to tamper with tradition. Leave well enough alone, I say.

2002 Washington Post 17 May B6 From what I can tell, most people are members of the ‘Let’s Leave Well Enough Alone’ and ‘If It Ain’t Broke, Don’t Fix It’ clubs.


Proverbs new dictionary.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • let well alone — To let things remain as they are from fear of making them worse • • • Main Entry: ↑let * * * leave/let/well alone phrase to avoid trying to improve or change something that is satisfactory Sometimes it’s better to just leave well alone …   Useful english dictionary

  • let well alone — leave/let well alone British, American & Australian, American to leave something the way it is, because trying to improve it might make it worse. In cases of back trouble, it s difficult to know whether to operate or leave well alone. I m not… …   New idioms dictionary

  • let well alone — ► leave (or let) well alone refrain from interfering with or trying to improve something. Main Entry: ↑well …   English terms dictionary

  • let well alone — leave things as they are, not try to change something …   English contemporary dictionary

  • let well enough alone — or[leave well enough alone] {v. phr.} To be satisfied with what is good enough; not try to improve something because often that might cause more trouble. * /John wanted to make his kite go higher, but his father told him to let well enough alone… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • let well enough alone — or[leave well enough alone] {v. phr.} To be satisfied with what is good enough; not try to improve something because often that might cause more trouble. * /John wanted to make his kite go higher, but his father told him to let well enough alone… …   Dictionary of American idioms

  • let\ well\ enough\ alone — • let well enough alone • leave well enough alone v. phr. To be satisfied with what is good enough; not try to improve something because often that might cause more trouble. John wanted to make his kite go higher, but his father told him to let… …   Словарь американских идиом

  • let well enough alone — leave/let well aˈlone idiom (BrE) (NAmE let well enough aˈlone) to not get involved in sth that does not concern you • When it comes to other people s arguments, it s better to leave well alone …   Useful english dictionary

  • let well enough alone — Synonyms and related words: abstain, abstain from, avoid, be blind to, be caught out, be conservative, be content, be inattentive, be pleased, be reconciled to, be unwary, blink at, butt out, connive at, disregard, do nothing, do without, eschew …   Moby Thesaurus

  • let well enough alone — leave things as they are, if it isn t broken don t fix it …   English contemporary dictionary

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