goodwill

noun

good·​will ˌgu̇d-ˈwil How to pronounce goodwill (audio)
1
a
: a kindly feeling of approval and support : benevolent interest or concern
people of goodwill
b(1)
: the favor or advantage that a business has acquired especially through its brands and its good reputation
(2)
: the value of projected earnings increases of a business especially as part of its purchase price
(3)
: the excess of the purchase price of a company over its book value which represents the value of goodwill as an intangible asset for accounting purposes
2
a
: cheerful consent
accepted the terms of the contract with goodwill
b
: willing effort
good-willed adjective
or less commonly goodwilled

Examples of goodwill in a Sentence

She has goodwill toward all her coworkers. They allowed him to keep the extra money as a gesture of goodwill.
Recent Examples on the Web State media was quick to note that goodwill from embracing Chinese food culture will only get the United States so far. Christian Shepherd, Washington Post, 8 Apr. 2024 Their temple — formed last summer in the affluent neighborhood of Woodland Hills when two synagogues merged — would be a beacon of goodwill and understanding, a place where L.A. Jews and Muslims could gather in mutual toleration, appreciation and grace. Jenny Jarvie, Los Angeles Times, 4 Apr. 2024 There’s something about Craig’s generosity and goodwill that is inspiring. Linda McIntosh, San Diego Union-Tribune, 24 Mar. 2024 And the brand had barely won back goodwill before being embroiled in more drama that May, after a Black creator accused the company of prioritizing white creators with larger followings and disregarding her feelings while on a brand trip to Miami. Ct Jones, Rolling Stone, 8 Mar. 2024 The gesture won goodwill among parents and teachers and gave Byju’s—by then backed by the Chan Zuckerberg Initiative, Tencent, and Tiger Global—a jolt into the mainstream. Pallavi Pundir, Fortune Asia, 1 Mar. 2024 Instead of pushing Biden on the long list of deliverables Brazil wants for the G-20 and the climate conference, Lula squandered his goodwill by blaming the war in Ukraine on President Volodymyr Zelensky, NATO, and ultimately the United States. Matias Spektor, Foreign Affairs, 28 Feb. 2024 The year after taking delivery, Crowninshield and his crew sailed for Europe and, as a goodwill gesture, opened the vessel to the public. The Editors, Robb Report, 28 Mar. 2024 Tyler, the Creator says Pharrell Williams has always left doors open for him, and that gesture of goodwill has led the multi-hyphenate to Louis Vuitton for a new capsule collection that debuted on Thursday. Chris Gardner, The Hollywood Reporter, 21 Mar. 2024

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'goodwill.' 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

before the 12th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1a

Time Traveler
The first known use of goodwill was before the 12th century

Dictionary Entries Near goodwill

Cite this Entry

“Goodwill.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/goodwill. Accessed 18 Apr. 2024.

Kids Definition

goodwill

noun
good·​will -ˈwil How to pronounce goodwill (audio)
1
: kindly feeling : benevolence
2
: the value of the trade a business has built up
3
a
: cheerful consent
b
: willing effort

Legal Definition

goodwill

noun
good·​will ˈgu̇d-ˌwil How to pronounce goodwill (audio)
1
: an intangible asset that is made up of the favor or prestige which a business has acquired beyond the mere value of what it sells due to the personality or experience of those conducting it, their reputation for skill or dependability, the business's location, or any other circumstance incidental to the business that tends to draw and retain customers
2
a
: the value of projected increases in the earnings of a business especially as part of its purchase price
b
: the excess of the purchase price of a business above the value assigned for tax purposes to its other net assets

Note: The Internal Revenue Code requires the purchaser of a business to allocate the purchase price among the various types of assets. Frequently the purchase price is greater than the sum of the values of the individual assets. The excess is labeled goodwill. Because of its indefinite life, goodwill is not amortizable as an asset. The purchaser will therefore usually try to keep the allocation to goodwill as small as possible.

More from Merriam-Webster on goodwill

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