copacetic

adjective
co·pa·cet·ic | \ˌkō-pə-ˈse-tik \
variants: or less commonly copasetic or copesetic

Definition of copacetic 

: very satisfactory And his smile told him that everything was copacetic.— Robert Bloch

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The Mysterious Origin of Copacetic

Theories about the origin of copacetic abound, but the facts about the word’s history are scant: it appears to have arisen in African-American slang in the southern U.S., possibly as early as the 1880s, with earliest known evidence of it in print dating only to 1919. Beyond that, we have only speculation. One theory is that the term is descended from Hebrew kol be sedher (or kol b’seder or chol b’seder), meaning “everything is in order.” That theory is problematic for a number of reasons, among them that in order for a Hebrew expression to have been adopted into English at that time it would have passed through Yiddish, and there is no evidence of the phrase in Yiddish dictionaries. Other theories trace copacetic to Creole coupèstique (“able to be coped with”), Italian cappo sotto (literally “head under,” figuratively “okay”), or Chinook jargon copacete (“everything’s all right”), but no evidence to substantiate any of these has been found. Another theory credits the coining of the word to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson, who used the word frequently and believed himself to be the coiner. Anecdotal recollections of the word’s use, however, predate his lifetime.

Examples of copacetic in a Sentence

don't worry, because I assure you that everything's copacetic

Recent Examples on the Web

In George Lucas’ original Star Wars films, the Rebellion was a pretty copacetic bunch, but Johnson wanted a different vibe with his Resistance. Brian Truitt, USA TODAY, "'Star Wars': New 'Last Jedi' boss Laura Dern takes control of a conflicted Resistance," 14 Dec. 2017 With Baumbach, even aching desire (the siblings’ inability to be copacetic) seems smug. Armond White, National Review, "The Meyerowitz Stories," 20 Oct. 2017 The problem is that faced with this trouble, the White House has, rather than acknowledging the challenges and offering comforting words, simply insisted that everything is copacetic. David A. Graham, The Atlantic, "Why Did FEMA Remove Stats About Puerto Rico's Recovery?," 6 Oct. 2017 My marriage solidified something that was already incredibly copacetic and supportive and powerful. Randee Dawn, latimes.com, "'Homeland's' Rupert Friend found much to admire in Peter Quinn," 25 May 2017

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'copacetic.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of copacetic

1919, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for copacetic

origin unknown

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Dictionary Entries near copacetic

cop

copa

Copacabana Beach

copacetic

copa de oro

copaene

cop a feel

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Time Traveler for copacetic

The first known use of copacetic was in 1919

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