good faith


: honesty or lawfulness of purpose

Examples of good faith in a Sentence

You have no right to question my good faith.
Recent Examples on the Web But the Irish public’s presumption of its government’s good faith is very poorly placed regarding this expansive and wretchedly drafted legislation. The Editors, National Review, 29 Nov. 2023 An employer that had a good faith, reasonable belief that no wages are owed may be excused from waiting time penalties. Dan Eaton, San Diego Union-Tribune, 9 Oct. 2023 This doesn’t fit the tenor of good faith or relationships. Roy S. Johnson |, al, 19 Sep. 2023 Even a nominal contribution is a show of good faith, much more so than resigning yourself to helplessness beyond telling your sib what to do. Carolyn Hax, Washington Post, 19 Sep. 2023 Wright leaves open the possibility that a group of politicians — guided by nothing more than good faith and their love of the Lone Star State — might find a way past partisan rancor and cynicism. Shawna Seed, Dallas News, 12 Sep. 2023 What has gone wrong in our collective education that liars who don’t even make a good faith effort to conceal their deceptions can command such an enduring hold on the populace? Charles McNulty, Los Angeles Times, 24 Aug. 2023 For example, some members of the Trump and Biden administrations reportedly considered unilaterally reducing U.S. tariffs or delaying sanctions on Beijing as a sign of good faith. Michael Beckley, Foreign Affairs, 22 Aug. 2023 That’s a project that would require everyone’s best efforts and good faith. Steven Litt, cleveland, 18 Aug. 2023 See More

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'good faith.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of good faith was in the 14th century

Dictionary Entries Near good faith

Cite this Entry

“Good faith.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 8 Dec. 2023.

Kids Definition

good faith

: honesty or lawfulness of purpose
bargained in good faith

Legal Definition

good faith

: honesty, fairness, and lawfulness of purpose : absence of any intent to defraud, act maliciously, or take unfair advantage
filed the suit in good faith
negotiating in good faith
see also good faith exception, good faith purchaser compare bad faith

Note: The meaning of good faith, though always based on honesty, may vary depending on the specific context in which it is used. A person is said to buy in good faith when he or she holds an honest belief in his or her right or title to the property and has no knowledge or reason to know of any defect in the title. In section 1-201 of the Uniform Commercial Code good faith is defined generally as “honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of fair dealing.” Where recent U.C.C. amendments have not been adopted, this definition is found in Article 3 on negotiable instruments (and applies to Article 4 on bank deposits and collections and Article 4A on funds transfers), while Article 2 on sales defines it as “honesty in fact and the observance of reasonable commercial standards of dealing in the trade.” Article 5 (letters of credit), as amended, defines it as “honesty in fact in the conduct or transaction concerned.” The U.C.C. imposes an obligation of good faith on the performance of every contract or duty under its purview. The law also generally requires good faith of fiduciaries and agents acting on behalf of their principals. There is also a requirement under the National Labor Relations Act that employers and unions bargain in good faith.


translation of Latin bona fides

More from Merriam-Webster on good faith

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