(Hongou is an aspiring writer and Yamagishi is the teacher.)

Yamagishi: Looks like Sonezaki-san and Onodera-san are winning.

Hongou: Winning?

Yamagish: When someone feels as if they are ahead of the game, they act as if they have discovered some truth. At first, it would appear as if they have become more kind, more tolerant, but in truth, their ability to exercise their imagination on their surroundings is greatly impaired.

Hongou: I suppose that would mean well for the creative efforts of the so-called "losers."

Yamagishi: Personally, I would believe that. Works of fiction written when one is "losing" are filled with more hunger and are far more powerful.

Hongou: Then I'll be able to write something incredible right now.

Based on dictionaries, "mean well" means to have good intentions. I believe "that" as in that would mean well is "a thing" not a person. So I'm so confused, not being sure of whether "a thing" itself can have good intentions. I would say: I suppose that would mean the creative efforts of the so-called "losers" are likely to pay off.


"mean well" = an indicator of something potentially deemed good or beneficial.

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AlpheccaStars"mean well" = an indicator of something potentially deemed good or beneficial.

Is it different from "mean well" as in "I know you mean well, but I don't want to live here"?

mean well

To have good intentions. The phrase implies that despite such intentions, one is inept, unhelpful, or a nuisance. Gerri means well, but honestly she usually just ends up getting in the way when we're trying to do work.Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

mean well

to intend to be nice, polite, helpful, etc., but fail in the effort. I know you mean well, but your comments are sort of insulting.McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

mean well

(usually disapproving) have good intentions, although their effect may not be good: Your father means well, I know, but I wish he’d stop telling us what to do. ♢ She’s always suggesting ways I could improve my cooking. I knowshe means well but it really annoys me. ▶ ˌwell-ˈmeaning adj.: She’s very well-meaning, but she only makes the situation worse.Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

mean well

Have good intentions, but not always the ability to carry them out.

‘he means well and is anxious to rule wisely’https://www.lexico.com/en/definition/mean_well

mean well

to do what you think will be helpful, although by doing it you might cause problems without intending to:

I know he means well, but he just gets in the way.


You were asking about a context in which the phrase "mean well" was used anthropomorphically. The usage is not literal, but figurative. Figurative uses may be covered in the unabridged OED, but not in free online dictionaries.