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See also: Good, ++good, and goods



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Etymology 1Edit

From Middle English good, from Old English gōd, from Proto-Germanic *gōdaz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰedʰ- (to unite, be associated, suit). Related to gather.

Cognate with Scots guid (good), Saterland Frisian goud (good), West Frisian goed (good), Dutch goed (good), German Low German good (good), German gut (good), Danish, Norwegian and Swedish god (good), Icelandic góður (good), Lithuanian guõdas (honor), Old Church Slavonic годъ (godŭ, pleasing time) and годенъ (godenŭ, fitting, suitable), Sanskrit गद्य (gádhya, fitting, suitable).

Not related to the word god.

Alternative formsEdit


good (comparative better, superlative best)

  1. (of people)
    1. Acting in the interest of what is beneficial; ethical.
      • 1460-1500, The Towneley Playsː
        It is not good to be alone, to walk here in this worthly wone.
      • 1500?, Evil Tonguesː
        If any man would begin his sins to reny, or any good people that frae vice deed rest ain. What so ever he were that to virtue would apply, But an ill tongue will all overthrow again.
      good intentions
    2. Competent or talented.
      a good swimmer
      • (Can we date this quote?) Robert South
        Those are generally good at flattering who are good for nothing else.
      • 1922, Michael Arlen, “3/19/2”, in “Piracy”: A Romantic Chronicle of These Days:
        Ivor had acquired more than a mile of fishing rights with the house ; he was not at all a good fisherman, but one must do something ; one generally, however, banged a ball with a squash-racket against a wall.
    3. Able to be depended on for the discharge of obligations incurred; of unimpaired credit.
      Can you lend me fifty dollars? You know I'm good for it.
    4. (US) Satisfied or at ease
      Would you like a glass of water? — I'm good.
      [Are] you good? — Yeah, I'm fine.
  2. (of capabilities)
    1. Useful for a particular purpose; functional.
      it’s a good watch;  the flashlight batteries are still good
      • 1526, Herballː
        Against cough and scarceness of breath caused of cold take the drink that it hath been sodden in with Liquorice[,] or that the powder hath been sodden in with dry figs[,] for the same the electuary called dyacalamentum is good[,] and it is made thus.
      • 2013 May-June, David Van Tassel, Lee DeHaan, “Wild Plants to the Rescue”, in American Scientist, volume 101, number 3:
        Plant breeding is always a numbers game. [] The wild species we use are rich in genetic variation, []. In addition, we are looking for rare alleles, so the more plants we try, the better. These rarities may be new mutations, or they can be existing ones that are neutral—or are even selected against—in a wild population. A good example is mutations that disrupt seed dispersal, leaving the seeds on the heads long after they are ripe.
    2. Effective.
      a good worker
      • 1915, Mrs. Belloc Lowndes, The Lodger, chapter II:
        There was a neat hat-and-umbrella stand, and the stranger's weary feet fell soft on a good, serviceable dark-red drugget, which matched in colour the flock-paper on the walls.
    3. (obsolete) Real; actual; serious.
      in good sooth
  3. (of properties and qualities)
    1. (of food)
      1. Edible; not stale or rotten.
        The bread is still good.
      2. Having a particularly pleasant taste.
        The food was very good.
        • c. 1430 (reprinted 1888), Thomas Austin, ed., Two Fifteenth-century Cookery-books. Harleian ms. 279 (ab. 1430), & Harl. ms. 4016 (ab. 1450), with Extracts from Ashmole ms. 1429, Laud ms. 553, & Douce ms. 55 [Early English Text Society, Original Series; 91], London: N. Trübner & Co. for the Early English Text Society, volume I, OCLC 374760, page 11:
          Soupes dorye. — Take gode almaunde mylke [] caste þher-to Safroun an Salt []
        • 1962 (quoting 1381 text), Hans Kurath & Sherman M. Kuhn, eds., Middle English Dictionary, Ann Arbor, Mich.: University of Michigan Press, ISBN 978-0-472-01044-8, page 1242:
          dorrẹ̅, dōrī adj. & n. [] cook. glazed with a yellow substance; pome(s ~, sopes ~. [] 1381 Pegge Cook. Recipes page 114: For to make Soupys dorry. Nym onyons [] Nym wyn [] toste wyte bred and do yt in dischis, and god Almande mylk.
      3. Being satisfying; meeting dietary requirements.
        Eat a good dinner so you will be ready for the big game tomorrow.
    2. Healthful.
      carrots are good for you;  walking is good for you
    3. Pleasant; enjoyable.
      the music, dancing, and food were very good;  we had a good time
    4. Favourable.
      a good omen;  good weather
    5. Beneficial; worthwhile.
      a good job
      • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 22, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
        Not unnaturally, “Auntie” took this communication in bad part. [] Next day she [] tried to recover her ward by the hair of the head. Then, thwarted, the wretched creature went to the police for help; she was versed in the law, and had perhaps spared no pains to keep on good terms with the local constabulary.
    6. Adequate; sufficient; not fallacious.
  4. (colloquial) With "and", extremely.
    The soup is good and hot.
  5. Holy (especially when capitalized) .
    Good Friday
  6. (of quantities)
    1. Reasonable in amount.
      all in good time
    2. Large in amount or size.
      a good while longer;  a good number of seeds;A good part of his day was spent shopping.It will be a good while longer until he's done.He's had a good amount of troubles, he has.
      • 1909, Archibald Marshall, The Squire's Daughter, chapterIII:
        The big houses, and there are a good many of them, lie for the most part in what may be called by courtesy the valleys. You catch a glimpse of them sometimes at a little distance from the [railway] line, which seems to have shown some ingenuity in avoiding them, [].
    3. Entire.
      This hill will take a good hour and a half to climb.  The car was a good ten miles away.
      • 1892, Walter Besant, “Prologue: Who is Edmund Gray?”, in The Ivory Gate: A Novel, New York, N.Y.: Harper & Brothers, Franklin Square, OCLC 16832619, page 16:
        Athelstan Arundel walked home all the way, foaming and raging. No omnibus, cab, or conveyance ever built could contain a young man in such a rage. His mother lived at Pembridge Square, which is four good measured miles from Lincoln's Inn.
Usage notesEdit
  • In informal (often jocular) contexts, best may be inflected further and given the comparative bester and the superlative bestest; these forms are nonstandard.
Derived termsEdit
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.



  1. That is good; an elliptical exclamation of satisfaction or commendation.
    Good! I can leave now.


Etymology 2Edit

From Middle English goode (good, well, adverb), from the adjective. Compare Dutch goed (good, well, adverb), German gut (good, well, adverb), Danish godt (good, well, adverb), Swedish godt (good, well, adverb), all from the adjective.


good (comparative better, superlative best)

  1. (nonstandard) Well; satisfactorily or thoroughly.
    • 1906, Zane Grey, The Spirit of the Border: A Romance of the Early Settlers in the Ohio Valley
      If Silvertip refuses to give you the horse, grab him before he can draw a weapon, and beat him good. You're big enough to do it.
    • 2007 April 19, Jimmy Wales, “Jimmy Wales on the User-Generated Generation”, Fresh Air, WHYY, Pennsylvania [1]
      The one thing that we can't throw out the baby with the bathwater.... We know our process works pretty darn good and, uh, it’s really sparked this amazing phenomenon of this...high-quality website.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 3Edit

From Middle English good, god, from Old English gōd (a good thing, advantage, benefit, gift; good, goodness, welfare; virtue, ability, doughtiness; goods, property, wealth), from Proto-Germanic *gōdą (goods, belongings), from Proto-Indo-European *gʰedʰ-, *gʰodʰ- (to unite, be associated, suit). Compare German Gut (item of merchandise; estate; property).


good (countable and uncountable, plural goods)

  1. (uncountable) The forces or behaviours that are the enemy of evil. Usually consists of helping others and general benevolence.
    • 1918, W. B. Maxwell, chapter 13, in The Mirror and the Lamp:
      And Vickers launched forth into a tirade very different from his platform utterances. He spoke with extreme contempt of the dense stupidity exhibited on all occasions by the working classes. He said that if you wanted to do anything for them, you must rule them, not pamper them. Soft heartedness caused more harm than good.
  2. (countable) A result that is positive in the view of the speaker.
  3. (uncountable) The abstract instantiation of goodness; that which possesses desirable qualities, promotes success, welfare, or happiness, is serviceable, fit, excellent, kind, benevolent, etc.
    • Bible, Psalms iv. 6
      There be many that say, Who will show us any good?
    • Jay
      The good of the whole community can be promoted only by advancing the good of each of the members composing it.
    The best is the enemy of the good.
  4. (countable, usually in the plural) An item of merchandise.
  • (forces of good): bad, evil
  • (positive result): bad
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 4Edit

From Middle English goden, godien, from Old English gōdian (to improve, get better; make better; endow, enrich), from Proto-Germanic *gōdōną (to make better, improve), from Proto-Germanic *gōdaz (good, favourable).


good (third-person singular simple present goods, present participle gooding, simple past and past participle gooded)

  1. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To thrive; fatten; prosper; improve.
  2. (transitive, now chiefly dialectal) To make good; turn to good; improve.
  3. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To make improvements or repairs.
  4. (intransitive, now chiefly dialectal) To benefit; gain.
  5. (transitive, now chiefly dialectal) To do good to (someone); benefit; cause to improve or gain.
  6. (transitive, now chiefly dialectal) To satisfy; indulge; gratify.
  7. (reflexive, now chiefly dialectal) To flatter; congratulate oneself; anticipate.
Derived termsEdit

Etymology 5Edit

From English dialectal, from Middle English *goden, of North Germanic origin, related to Swedish göda (to fatten, fertilise, battle), Danish gøde (to fertilise, battle), ultimately from the adjective. See above.


good (third-person singular simple present goods, present participle gooding, simple past and past participle gooded)

  1. (transitive, now chiefly dialectal, Scotland) To furnish with dung; manure; fatten with manure; fertilise.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of Bishop Hall to this entry?)
Derived termsEdit

Further readingEdit


Most common English words before 1923 in Project Gutenberg: after · first · down · #98: good · never · shall · most

Dutch Low SaxonEdit



  1. good



From Middle Dutch goet, from Old Dutch guot, from Proto-Germanic *gōdaz, from Proto-Indo-European *gʰedʰ-.


  • IPA(key): [ʝoː˦d], [ʝoː˦t]


good (comparative baeter, superlative bès, predicative superlative 't 't bès)

  1. good


Middle EnglishEdit


From Old English gōd, from Proto-Germanic *gōdaz.


good (comparative beter, superlative beste)

  1. Good (of good quality).
  2. Good (morally right).