Good Meaning: Here’s What It Means and How To Use It

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John Wooden — one of the greatest NCAA basketball head coaches of all time — once said, “Good things take time.” Still, what exactly does the word good mean? Sure, it’s the opposite of bad, but do you know the true definition behind the word good?

In this post, we’re exploring the word good to uncover its definition, origin, synonyms, antonyms, and more. So if you’ve ever wondered about the meaning behind good (/gʊd/ /ɡʊd/), keep reading. 

What Is the Definition of Good?

Good is primarily used as an adjective, as per the Collins English Dictionary, but it can also be used as a noun and even an adverb (though informal). Below we have listed a few of the various meanings and usages of good:

  • Adjective: virtuous; pious; morally excellent; righteous — for example. “a good man” or “a good woman.”
  • Adjective: in good standing; worthy or honorable — for example, “She comes from a good family.”
  • Adjective: friendly, kind, or beneficent — for example, “They always do a good deed.”
  • Adjective: satisfactory in degree, quantity, or quality — for example, “They were in good health, he gave good advice, and she was a good friend.”
  • Adjective: of high quality and/or excellent 
  • Noun: merchandise, articles of trade or wares; textile or cloth wares — for example, “We have plenty of canned goods.” 
  • Adverb: Primarily used in an informal setting — for example, “He did really good on his math test this time.”

What Is the Word Origin of Good?

The Middle English good was first noted well before 900 and is a derivative of both the Old English gōd and the Old High German guot.

What Are the Synonyms and Antonyms of Good?

Below you will find all synonyms, antonyms, and idioms of the word good, which have been provided by the Cambridge American English Thesaurus


  • Exceptional 
  • Excellent
  • Likable
  • Positive 
  • Comforting
  • Fetching
  • Fun
  • Choice
  • Show-stopping
  • Well favored
  • Fine
  • Nice
  • Virtuous
  • Great
  • Right
  • Worthy
  • Moral
  • Benefit
  • Decent
  • Respectable 
  • Sound
  • Benevolent
  • Just
  • Delicious
  • Fair
  • Honorable
  • All right
  • Finest
  • Happy
  • Lovely
  • Ethical
  • Alright 
  • Pleasing 
  • Helpful
  • Kind
  • Sweet
  • Splendid 
  • Correct
  • Positive 


  • Bad 
  • Evil
  • Dark
  • Two left foot
  • Rotten
  • Piss poor
  • Naughty
  • Wrong
  • Atrocious
  • Foul
  • Run of the mill
  • Unpleasant
  • Dreadful
  • Like a bull in a china shop
  • Poor
  • Obnoxious
  • Awful
  • Horrible
  • Inferior
  • Fair to middling 
  • Vicious
  • All fingers and thumbs 
  • Improper
  • Shameful
  • Vile
  • Mediocre
  • Devil
  • Graceless
  • Inconsequential 
  • Noxious
  • Would be
  • Outrageous 


  • Squeaky clean
  • Fair and square
  • Hunky-dory
  • Fine and dandy
  • Right as rain
  • Up to snuff
  • Above board
  • Hale and hearty
  • On the up and up
  • On the level
  • Nice as pie

How Can You Use Good in a Sentence?

By now, you likely have an improved understanding of our word of the day, but do you know how to use it in a sentence? Not to worry; here are some sentence examples for you to review:

Good Heavens! You almost made me have an accident— you scared me so good with that one! 

If you’re trying to get a good night’s rest, you may want to try a sleeping aid like melatonin.

We were hoping for good weather this weekend during our family outing, but alas, we got goodish weather at best. 

Many people are trying to live the good life, but I’m trying to live a great life.

Since you’re thinking about purchasing the property, be sure to take a good look around the house.

Are you trying to work for the common good?

I have a really good dog, but trust me when I tell you that these good manners didn’t happen overnight!

Good grief, you’re moving so slow!

If you’re looking for a good job that pays good money, I suggest asking for some recommendations from your pals.

Do you have any recommendations for a good book that I can read on my six-hour flight to Paris?

While it’s true that both good and evil exist, I find that good always tends to prevail.

I said good day, sir!

Becky has really good taste so if you need some fashion advice, I highly recommend getting with her.

What Are Translations of Good?

Good is a fairly versatile word with its many various meanings and uses! That said, a good way to talk with your pals from all over the globe is with translations of the popular adjective. 

Below you will find two different translations for the adjective good — both of which have been provided by Collins English Dictionary:

Translations of good when used as an adjective meaning “well behaved” include:

  • American English — good  
  • Arabic — لَطِيف
  • Brazilian Portuguese — bom 
  • Chinese (simplified) — 听话的
  • Croatian — dobar
  • Czech — hodný
  • Danish — sød
  • Japanese — 行儀のよい
  • Korean — 모범적인
  • Norwegian — snill
  • Polish — grzeczny
  • European Portuguese — bem 
  • Romanian — cuminte
  • Russian — хороший
  • Spanish — bueno, comportamiento
  • Swedish — snäll
  • Thai — ทำตัวดี, ประพฤติดี
  • Turkish — uslu
  • Ukrainian — добрий
  • Vietnamese — tốt
  • Dutch — lief
  • British English — good
  • European Spanish — bueno 
  • Finnish — kunnollinen
  • French — bien éduqué 
  • German — brav 
  • Greek — καλός
  • Italian — buono

Translations of good when used as an adjective synonymous with “talented” include:

  • American English — good  
  • Arabic — مَاهِر
  • Brazilian Portuguese — bom 
  • Chinese (simplified) — 擅长的
  • Croatian — dobar
  • Czech — dobrý v čem
  • Danish — god
  • Japanese — うまい
  • Korean — 잘 하는
  • British English — good
  • Norwegian — flink
  • Polish — dobry
  • European Portuguese — bom 
  • Romanian — priceput
  • Russian — мастерский
  • Spanish — buen, desempeño
  • Swedish — bra
  • Thai — เก่ง
  • Turkish — iyi
  • Ukrainian v вмілий
  • Vietnamese — giỏi
  • Dutch — goed
  • European Spanish — bueno 
  • Finnish — hyvä
  • French — bon, bon en quelque chose
  • German — gut 
  • Greek — καλός
  • Italian — bravo


To sum it all up, good is not only an adjective that many of us may have already been well acquainted with (meaning favorable, pleasing, and/or nice). Good can also be used as a noun referencing an item that can be sold.


Good definition and meaning | Collins English Dictionary 

good with synonyms and examples | Cambridge English Thesaurus 

John Wooden | Biography, Record, Books, & Facts | Britannica