good

1 of 3

adjective

better ˈbe-tər How to pronounce good (audio) ; best ˈbest How to pronounce good (audio)
1
a(1)
: of a favorable character or tendency
good news
(2)
: bountiful, fertile
good land
(3)
: handsome, attractive
good looks
b(1)
: suitable, fit
good to eat
(2)
: free from injury or disease
one good arm
(3)
: not depreciated
bad money drives out good
(4)
: commercially sound
a good risk
(5)
: that can be relied on
good for another year
good for a hundred dollars
always good for a laugh
(6)
: profitable, advantageous
made a very good deal
c(1)
: agreeable, pleasant
had a good time
(2)
: salutary, wholesome
good for a cold
(3)
: amusing, clever
a good joke
d(1)
: of a noticeably large size or quantity : considerable
won by a good margin
a good bit of the time
(2)
: full
waited a good hour
(3)
used as a word that gives force or emphasis to a statement
a good many of us
e(1)
: well-founded, cogent
good reasons
(2)
: true
holds good for society at large
(3)
: deserving of respect : honorable
in good standing
(4)
: legally valid or effectual
good title
f(1)
: adequate, satisfactory
good care
often used in faint praise
his serve is only good Frank Deford
(2)
: conforming to a standard
good English
(3)
: liking only things that are of good quality : choice, discriminating
good taste
(4)
: containing less fat and being less tender than higher grades
used of meat and especially of beef
g sports
(1)
of a serve or shot : landing in the proper area of the court in tennis and similar games
The serve was good.
(2)
of a shot or kick : successfully done
(basketball) The first foul shot was good but she missed the second one.
(American football) The kick was good from 45 yards.
The kick was no good. [=was missed]
h
informal : having everything desired or required : content and not wanting or needing to do anything further
"Do you want anything else to drink?" "No thanks, I'm good."
"I have had girlfriends say, 'Hey, you wanna go walking?' And I'm just not interested. I'm like 'Uh, no, I'm good.' But they keep inviting me!" Laila Ali
2
a(1)
: virtuous, right, commendable
a good person
good conduct
(2)
: kind, benevolent
good intentions
b
: upper-class
a good family
c
: competent, skillful
a good doctor
d(1)
: loyal
a good party man
a good Catholic
(2)
: close
a good friend
e
: free from infirmity or sorrow
I feel good
goodish adjective
Good vs. Well: Usage Guide

An old notion that it is wrong to say "I feel good" in reference to health still occasionally appears in print. The origins of this notion are obscure, but they seem to combine someone's idea that good should be reserved to describe virtue and uncertainty about whether an adverb or an adjective should follow feel. Today nearly everyone agrees that both good and well can be predicate adjectives after feel. Both are used to express good health, but good may connote good spirits in addition to good health.

good

2 of 3

noun

1
a
: something that is good
b(1)
: something conforming to the moral order of the universe
(2)
: praiseworthy character : goodness
c
: a good element or portion
2
a
: advancement of prosperity or well-being
the good of the community
it's for your own good
b
: something useful or beneficial
it's no good trying
3
a
: something that has economic utility or satisfies an economic want
b
goods ˈgu̇dz How to pronounce good (audio) plural : personal property having intrinsic value but usually excluding money, securities, and negotiable instruments
c
goods plural : cloth
d
goods plural : something manufactured or produced for sale : wares, merchandise
canned goods
e
goods plural, British : freight
4
: good persons
used with the
5
goods plural
a
: the qualities required to achieve an end
b
: proof of wrongdoing
didn't have the goods on him T. G. Cooke

good

3 of 3

adverb

1
: well
he showed me how good I was doing Herbert Gold
2
used as an intensive
a good long time
Good vs. Well: Usage Guide

Adverbial good has been under attack from the schoolroom since the 19th century. Insistence on well rather than good has resulted in a split in connotation: well is standard, neutral, and colorless, while good is emotionally charged and emphatic. This makes good the adverb of choice in sports.

"I'm seeing the ball real good" is what you hear Roger Angell

In such contexts as

listen up. And listen good Alex Karras
lets fly with his tomatoes before they can flee. He gets Clarence good Charles Dickinson

good cannot be adequately replaced by well. Adverbial good is primarily a spoken form; in writing it occurs in reported and fictional speech and in generally familiar or informal contexts.

Phrases
as good as
: in effect : virtually
as good as dead
as good as gold
1
: of the highest worth or reliability
his promise is as good as gold
2
: well-behaved
the child was as good as gold
good and \ ˌgu̇d-​ᵊn How to pronounce good (audio) \
: very, entirely
was good and mad
for good or less commonly for good and all
: forever, permanently
She's gone for good.
in good with
: in a favored position with
to the good
1
: for the best : beneficial
efforts to restrict credit were all to the good Time
2
: in a position of net gain or profit
wound up $10 to the good

Example Sentences

Adjective You'll need better tools for this job. The car is in good condition. There are some good restaurants in this neighborhood. I'm afraid your work is just not good enough. Keep up the good work. “Would you hire her again?” “Yes, I would. She does good work.” The food was good but not great. He has done good but not outstanding work. Did you have a good time at the party? We're expecting good weather for the weekend. Noun the battle of good versus evil Teachers can be a strong force for good. the difference between good and bad They had to sacrifice lesser goods for greater ones. What is life's highest good? Parents must teach their children the difference between the good and the bad. She believes that the good go to heaven when they die and the bad go to hell. Only the good die young. She believes there is some good in everyone. Adverb Things have been going good lately. The team is doing good this year. “How did you hit the ball today?” “Good.” The other team whipped us good. See More
Recent Examples on the Web
Adjective
Now his good friend Charles Barkley has weighed in. J.t. Keith, USA TODAY, 19 Nov. 2022 After all, your makeup is only as good as your base. Sarah Han, Allure, 19 Nov. 2022 My good friend and I each have three children in the same classes who also participate in some of the same extracurricular activities. Amy Dickinson, oregonlive, 18 Nov. 2022 My good friend and I each have three children in the same classes who also participate in some of the same extracurricular activities. Amy Dickinson, cleveland, 18 Nov. 2022 My good friend and I each have three children in the same classes who also participate in some of the same extracurricular activities. Amy Dickinson, Chicago Tribune, 18 Nov. 2022 The retailer's online selects are just as good, with styles that range from Sam Edelman staple booties to the coziest Ugg house slippers around. Sarah Madaus, SELF, 18 Nov. 2022 Marmai is equally good as the loving father, while Mottet-Klein and Becker make vivid impressions in their supporting roles. Frank Scheck, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Nov. 2022 Puffer jackets by The North Face and Abercrombie & Fitch are just as good sans the splurge. John Thompson, Men's Health, 18 Nov. 2022
Noun
Think wildlife sightings, Relais & Châteaux meals, acclaimed spas, and the pleasures of both doing good and dressing up for dinner. Klara Glowczewska, Town & Country, 18 Nov. 2022 The film underscores the idea that doing good for others has its own rewards and that wealth doesn’t necessarily bring happiness. Common Sense Media, Washington Post, 11 Nov. 2022 How will Musk reconcile these warnings with his stated intention to run a Twitter that promotes the common good? John Cassidy, The New Yorker, 28 Oct. 2022 For his part, Musk, despite having to be dragged through the chancery court in Delaware to buy the company, issued reassurances that his motivation is to maintain a digital public square for the common good. Matt Pearce, Los Angeles Times, 28 Oct. 2022 They’re chosen to inspire fear and revulsion—mysterious creatures that lurk in the dark and are clearly up to no good. Helen Czerski, WSJ, 28 Oct. 2022 But life is simple, and the rewards for finding courage and doing good are substantial. Nick Stoico, BostonGlobe.com, 24 Oct. 2022 That’s all to the good, but there’s a more critical matter that’s going uncovered. Meredith Shiner, The New Republic, 7 Oct. 2022 Brothers said an unwillingness to participate in research programs reflects larger trends, including more emphasis on the individual and less on contributing to the general good. Michelle Andrews, CBS News, 13 Sep. 2022
Adverb
Whitby still doesn't have that college degree, which might help her land a good-paying job. Susan Tompor, Detroit Free Press, 11 Nov. 2022 Up front, experienced linemen like Abel Estrada (6-2, 270) and Shelden Dorame (6-2, 270) anchor a good-sized line. Steve Brand, San Diego Union-Tribune, 18 Aug. 2022 The organization’s new home is far better suited to its goals of aiding manufacturing firms and providing entrée to good-paying jobs and careers that don’t require four years of college, Karp said. Steven Litt, cleveland, 23 Oct. 2022 Biden promises the new semiconductor plants will mint good-paying blue-collar jobs. David J. Lynch, Washington Post, 16 Oct. 2022 Investing in clean energy will not only positively impact our environment, but will also create good-paying clean energy jobs. Sam Kmack, The Arizona Republic, 13 Oct. 2022 The corridor, between 27th and 35th streets from Hampton Avenue to Highland Avenue, was once home to manufacturing giants like A.O. Smith, Badger Meter and Briggs & Stratton with good-paying jobs that fueled stable middle class neighborhoods. Chelsey Lewis, Journal Sentinel, 7 Oct. 2022 The number of manufacturing jobs, traditionally the source of good-paying middle-class opportunities, continue to decline in Illinois, and many now require technological skills. Charles Selle, Chicago Tribune, 31 Aug. 2022 People take jobs for different reasons, but there are structural barriers in place that keep certain people from aspiring to have good-paying jobs that don’t depend on the carceral state, jobs that don’t involve ripping children away. Fidel Martinez, Los Angeles Times, 11 Aug. 2022 See More

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

Word History

Etymology

Adjective, Noun, and Adverb

Middle English, from Old English gōd; akin to Old High German guot good, Middle High German gatern to unite, Sanskrit gadhya what one clings to

First Known Use

Adjective

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

Noun

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

Adverb

13th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near good

Cite this Entry

“Good.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/good. Accessed 1 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition

good 1 of 3

adjective

better ˈbet-ər How to pronounce good (audio) ; best ˈbest How to pronounce good (audio)
1
a
: of a favorable character or tendency
good news
b
: fertile sense 1
good land
c
d
: agreeable sense 1, pleasant
a good place to live
e
: suitable sense 1, fit
good to eat
a remedy good for a cold
f
: reliable
a good friend in a pinch
g
: sound entry 1 sense 1a
one good arm
2
a
: certain to last or live
good for another year
b
: certain to provide or produce
always good for a laugh
3
a
: of a noticeably large size or quantity
present in good numbers
b
: full entry 1 sense 2a
waited a good hour
4
a
: based on sound reasoning, information, judgment, or grounds
good reasons
b
: true entry 1 sense 2
holds good for society as a whole
c
: deserving of respect or honor
a member in good standing
d
: legally valid
has a good title
5
b
: conforming to a standard
good English
c
: showing or favoring high quality
good taste
6
a
: virtuous, just
a good person
b
: right entry 1 sense 2
good conduct
c
: kind entry 2 sense 1, benevolent
good intentions
d
: being of the upper class
of good family
e
: skillful sense 1
a good doctor
f
: loyal sense 2
a good party member
as good as
: in effect : virtually
as good as dead
good and
: very entry 2 sense 1, entirely
was good and mad
goodness noun

good

2 of 3

noun

1
: something good, useful, or desirable
health and prosperity are goods
2
: benefit entry 1 sense 1a, welfare
the good of the community
3
plural : cloth sense 1
4
plural : manufactured articles or products of art or craft
5
: good persons
used with the
6
plural : proof of wrongdoing
got the goods on them

Legal Definition

good 1 of 2

adjective

better; best
1
: commercially sound or reliable
a good risk
2
a
: valid or effectual under the law
b
: free of defects
3
a
: characterized by honesty and fairness
b
: conforming to a standard of virtue
shall hold their offices during good behavior U.S. Constitution art. III
also : characterized by or relating to good behavior

good

2 of 2

noun

1
: advancement of prosperity and well-being
for the good of the community
2
: an item of tangible movable personal property having value but usually excluding money, securities, and negotiable instruments
usually used in pl.
: as
a
plural : all things under section 2-103 of the Uniform Commercial Code that are movable at the time of identification to the contract for sale other than information, the money that is to be paid, investment securities, the subject matter of foreign exchange transactions, and choses in action
b
plural : all things under section 9-102 of the Uniform Commercial Code that are movable at the time that a security interest in them attaches or that are fixtures but excluding money, documents, instruments, accounts, chattel paper, general intangibles, commercial tort claims, deposit accounts, investment property, letter-of-credit rights, letters of credit, and minerals or the like before extraction
consumer goods
: goods purchased primarily for personal, family, or household uses
durable goods
: consumer goods that last and are used for a number of years : durables
fungible goods
: goods of which any unit is by nature or by usage of trade the equivalent of any other like unit especially as defined by section 1-201 of the Uniform Commercial Code
future goods
: goods that are the subject of a contract but are not yet existing or specified
hard goods
: durable goods in this entry
household goods
: goods used in connection with the home
specifically : furniture, furnishings, and personal effects used in a dwelling as defined by section 7-209 of the Uniform Commercial Code
mobile goods
: goods as formerly defined in section 9-103 of the Uniform Commercial Code that are mobile, are of a type (as vehicles) usually used in more than one jurisdiction, are not covered by a certificate of title, and are either the equipment of a debtor or inventory leased by a debtor
ordinary goods
: goods as formerly defined by section 9-103 of the Uniform Commercial Code that are anything other than those covered by a certificate of title, mobile goods, or minerals
producer goods
: goods (as tools and raw materials) used to produce other goods and satisfy human wants only indirectly
soft goods
: consumer goods that are not durable goods

More from Merriam-Webster on good

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