well up

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Etymology 1[edit]


well up (third-person singular simple present wells up, present participle welling up, simple past and past participle welled up) (intransitive)

  1. To gradually or steadily flow upwards or outwards so as to begin to fill or overflow something.
    Oil was welling up out of the borehole.
    As soon as I heard news of his death, tears started to well up in my eyes.
  2. (figuratively, by extension, chiefly of an emotion) To accumulate within one, to the point of overwhelming one.
    Emotion welled up inside me.

Etymology 2[edit]


well up (comparative more well up, superlative most well up)

  1. (colloquial) Well versed; well acquainted (in or on).
    How well up are you on algebra?