One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
1Of a substance or material: thoroughly or properly subjected to a particular process or operation; well shaped, kneaded, pressed, etc.; specifically (of land or soil) thoroughly or repeatedly cultivated.
2Skilfully or finely made or executed.
Mid 17th century; earliest use found in Nicholas Culpeper (1616–1654), physician and astrologer. Partly from well + work + -ed.
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