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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.
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.
In such contexts as
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.
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.