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adverb or adjective

ō-ˈkā How to pronounce OK (audio)
 in assenting or agreeing also  ˈō-ˌkā
variants or okay or less commonly ok
: all right
OK, Doctor, I'll let you knowJohn Hersey


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variants or okay


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variants or okay
OK'd or okayed; OK'ing or okaying


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Examples of OK in a Sentence

Adverb or adjective you did OK on that last test OK, fine, I'll go to the party that dinner was OK, but I liked yesterday's better this latest draft of the essay is OK but could be better Noun We need her OK on this before we place the order. The boss gave his okay. Verb The boss needs to OK this before we place the order. a judge will have to OK the search warrant

Word History


Adverb or adjective, Noun, and Verb

abbreviation of oll korrect, facetious alteration of all correct

First Known Use

Adverb Or Adjective

1839, in the meaning defined above


1841, in the meaning defined above


1888, in the meaning defined above

Time Traveler
The first known use of OK was in 1839

Dictionary Entries Near OK

Cite this Entry

“OK.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/OK. Accessed 22 May. 2024.

Kids Definition


1 of 3 adverb or adjective
variants or okay
: all right


2 of 3 noun
variants or okay
: approval
gave their OK to start the project


3 of 3 verb
variants or okay
OK'd or okayed; OK'ing or okaying

Adverb or adjective

an abbreviation of oll korrect, an altered form of all correct

Word Origin
In the late 1830s Boston newspapers were filled with abbreviations. Abbreviation was apparently the fashion at that time. Any phrase might be shortened. The fad even went so far as to produce abbreviations for intentional misspellings. Such popular expressions as N.G. (no go) and A.R. (all right) gave way to K.G. (know go) and O.W. (oll wright). The abbreviation O.K. stood for oll korrect, a deliberate misspelling of all correct. Several of these abbreviated misspellings became popular for a time, but O.K. was the only one to gain a lasting place in the language.
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