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The book "Moneyball: The Art of Winning an Unfair Game by By Michael Lewis" says

But the idea for the book came well before I had good reason to write it – before I had a story to fall in love with.

What does well mean here? Does that mean "already", "exactly" or some other meaning?

  • As a reminder, you are expected to demonstrate your initial research efforts, such as consulting references. The second dictionary definition of well in Macmillan, for instance, explicitly offers the sense of used for emphasizing that a period of time or a distance is long. – choster Aug 7 at 17:21
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"Well before" is "before", and not just "before", but "quite a bit before", or "significantly before." In other words, there was enough time between the idea for the book and the storyline, that there can be no doubt which came first.

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