Meaning of GOOD in English


I. good 1 S1 W1 /ɡʊd/ BrE AmE adjective ( comparative better /ˈbetə $ -ər/, superlative best /best/)

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ good , ↑ goodie , ↑ goody , ↑ goodness , ↑ goods ; adjective : ↑ good , ↑ goodish ; adverb : ↑ good ]

[ Language: Old English ; Origin: god ]

1 . OF A HIGH STANDARD of a high standard or quality OPP bad , poor :

a good hotel

good quality cloth

The train service is not very good.

My French is better than my Spanish.

You’ll receive the best medical treatment.

His qualifications aren’t good enough.

2 . SKILFUL able to do something well:

She’s a very good player.

Do you know a good builder?

good at (doing) something

Alex is very good at languages.

She’s good at making things.

good with

As a politician, you need to be good with words (=skilful at using words) .

He’s very good with people (=skilful at dealing with people) .

do/make a good job (of doing something) (=do something well)

Mike’s done a good job of painting the windows.

3 . WHAT YOU WANT used about something that is what you want or happens in the way that you want OPP bad :

That’s good news!

I need a bit of good luck.

4 . PLEASANT/ENJOYABLE pleasant and enjoyable

it’s good to do something

It’s good to see you again.

have a good time/day/weekend etc

Did you have a good vacation?

That was good fun.

5 . SUCCESSFUL/CORRECT likely to be successful or correct:

She’s full of good ideas.

Well, can you think of a better plan?

What’s the best way to deal with this?

The police have a pretty good idea who did it.

I’m not sure, but I could make a good guess.

6 . SUITABLE suitable or convenient:

Is this a good time to talk to you?

It was a good place to rest.

good for (doing) something

It’s a good day for going to the beach.

be good for somebody especially American English :

Ten o'clock is good for me.

7 . USEFUL useful or helpful OPP bad :

Do you want some good advice?

The best thing you can do is wait here.

You should make good use of your time.

8 . BEHAVING WELL behaving well and not causing any trouble – used especially about a child SYN well-behaved OPP naughty :

She’s such a good baby.

The kids were as good as gold (=very good) .

⇨ be on your best behaviour at ↑ behaviour (2)

9 . MAKING YOU HEALTHY likely to make you healthy, either physically or mentally OPP bad

good for

Fresh fruit and vegetables are good for you.

Watching too much TV isn’t good for you.

good to eat/drink

They have to learn which wild foods are good to eat.

10 . IMPROVING SOMETHING likely to improve the condition of something OPP bad

good for

products that are good for the environment

The publicity has been good for business.

11 . PHYSICALLY WELL [used especially in negatives and comparatives] healthy or well:

‘How are you?’ ‘Better, thanks.’

Lyn’s not feeling too good today.

12 . NOT DAMAGED OR WEAK if the condition of something is good, it is not damaged or weak

in good condition/shape

It’s in pretty good condition for an old car.

Boris had always kept his body in good shape.

The Chancellor announced that the economy is in good shape.

Once the boat’s repaired, it’ll be as good as new (=in perfect condition) .

sb’s good eye/arm/leg etc (=the one that is not damaged)

He sat up, supporting himself on his good arm.

13 . KIND kind and understanding about what other people need or want

good about

Dad lent me the money. He was very good about it.

it/that/this is good of somebody

It was good of him to offer you a lift.

The company’s always been very good to me.

14 . MORALLY RIGHT behaving correctly or being right according to accepted moral standards OPP bad :

a good man

I try to be good, but it isn’t always easy.

Well, that’s my good deed for the day (=something good you try to do for someone else every day) .

I’m on the side of the good guys (=people who behave in a morally right way, for example in a film) .

15 . LARGE large in amount, size, range etc ⇨ goodish :

We’ve had a good crop of apples.

There’s a good range of leisure facilities.

I’d been waiting a good while (=a fairly long time) .

Our team has a good chance of winning (=is fairly likely to win) .

16 . REASONABLE PRICE a good price is reasonable and not expensive:

Thirty dollars sounds like a good price to me.

17 . COMPLETELY/THOROUGHLY [only before noun] doing something for a long time, so that you do it completely and thoroughly:

You need a good rest.

Take a good look at it.

She sat down and had a good cry.

This time he waited until he was good and ready (=completely ready) .

18 . a good deal a lot:

It cost a good deal, I can tell you.

a good deal of trouble/time/work etc

I went to a good deal of trouble to get this ticket.

a good deal bigger/better etc

He was a good deal older than her.

19 . good value (for money) British English something that is good value is not expensive, or is worth what you pay for it:

The three-course menu is good value for money.

20 . good for something

a) able to be used for a particular period of time SYN valid

good for one month/a year etc

Your passport is good for another three years.

b) likely to continue living or being useful for a particular time or distance, even though old or not in good condition

good for some time/a hundred miles etc

This old truck is good for another 100,000 miles.

c) informal likely to give you something or provide something:

Dad should be good for a few bucks.

21 . a good three miles/ten years etc at least three miles, ten years etc, and probably more:

It’s a good mile away.

He’s a good ten years younger than her.

22 . as good as almost

as good as done/finished etc

The summer’s as good as over.

as good as dead/ruined/useless etc

This carpet’s as good as ruined.

23 . a good few/many a fairly large number of things or people:

I’ve done this a good few times now.

A good many people were upset about the new tax.

24 . too good to be true/to last informal so good that you cannot believe it is real, or you expect something bad to happen:

Their relationship had always seemed too good to be true.

25 . sb’s too good for somebody used to say that you think the second person does not deserve to have a relationship with the first:

George is a good lad, too good for you!

26 . in your own good time informal if you do something in your own good time, you do it only when you are ready to do it, rather than when other people want you to:

I’ll tell him in my own good time.

27 . in good time (for something/to do something) British English if you do something in good time, you do it early enough to be ready for a particular time or event:

Ben arrived in good time for dinner.

28 . hanging/shooting etc is too good for somebody spoken used to say that someone has done something so bad that they deserve the most severe punishment available

29 . as good a time/place etc as any used to say that although a time etc is not perfect, there will probably not be a better one:

I suppose this is as good a place as any to stay.

30 . be as good as your word to do something that you promised to do

31 . a good word for somebody/something something good that you say about someone or something:

Dan put in a good word for you at the meeting.

have/find a good word (to say)

No one had a good word to say for her.

32 . be in sb’s good books informal if you are in someone’s good books, they are pleased with you or your work:

I’ll ask my boss for the day off – I’m in her good books just now.

33 . have a good thing going to have or be doing something that is successful:

They’ve got a good thing going with that little shop of theirs.

34 . be onto a good thing British English informal to have found an easy way of being successful or getting what you want:

Andrew knew when he was onto a good thing.

35 . make good ( also make it good ) to become successful and rich after being poor – used especially in newspapers:

a country boy who made good in New York

36 . make good a debt/loss etc to pay someone money that you owe, or to provide money to replace what has been lost – used especially in business:

The loss to the company was made good by contributions from its subsidiaries.

37 . make good your escape literary to succeed in escaping

38 . the good life an expensive way of living with good food, fast cars etc:

his weakness for women and the good life

39 . the good old days the good times in the past:

We talked for hours about the good old days.

40 . good works things that someone does to help other people, especially people with problems

41 . sb’s good offices formal help that someone provides, especially someone in a position of power

42 . good Samaritan someone who gives help to people in trouble

43 . the good book old-fashioned the Bible ⇨ so far so good at ↑ far 1 (8), ⇨ give as good as you get at ↑ give 1 (34), ⇨ while the going’s good at ↑ going 1 (4), ⇨ hold good at ↑ hold 1 (14), ⇨ for good measure at ↑ measure 2 (8), ⇨ pay good money for something at ↑ money (5), ⇨ bad/good sailor at ↑ sailor (2), ⇨ that’s/it’s all well and good at ↑ well 3 (4)

• • •


44 . good

a) used to say that you are pleased about something:

Good. I’m glad that’s finished.

‘I got an A in biology, Mum.’ ‘Oh, good.’

b) used to tell someone that you think their work or what they are doing is good:

‘Is the answer five?’ ‘Yes, good.’

45 . that’s good used to say that you approve of something:

‘I’ve booked a table.’ ‘Oh, that’s good.’

46 . (that’s a) good idea/point/question used to say that someone has just said or suggested something interesting or important that you had not thought of before:

‘But it’s Sunday, the bank will be closed.’ ‘Good point.’

47 . good luck used to say that you hope that someone is successful or that something good happens to them:

Good luck in your exams.

48 . good luck to him/them etc used to say that you hope someone is successful, even if you think this is unlikely:

‘They’re hoping to finish it by November.’ ‘Good luck to them.’

49 . good for somebody used to say that you approve of something that someone has done:

‘I’ve decided to accept the job.’ ‘Good for you.’

50 . it’s a good thing ( also it’s a good job British English ) used to say that you are glad something happened, because there would have been problems if it had not happened:

It’s a good thing you’re at home. I’ve lost my keys.

and a good thing/job too British English :

She’s gone, and a good thing too.

51 . that’s/it’s not good enough used to say that you are not satisfied with something and that you are annoyed about it:

It’s just not good enough. I’ve been waiting an hour!

52 . be good and ready to be completely ready:

We’ll go when I’m good and ready and not before.

53 . that’s a good one used to tell someone that you do not believe something they have said and think it is a joke or a trick:

You won $50,000? That’s a good one!

54 . be good for a laugh ( also be a good laugh British English ) to be enjoyable or amusing:

It’s Hazel’s party tomorrow. Should be good for a laugh.

55 . good old John/Karen etc used to praise someone, especially because they have behaved in the way that you expect them to:

Good old Ed! I knew he wouldn’t let us down.

56 . good grief/God/Lord/heavens/gracious! used to express surprise or anger:

‘It’s going to cost us £500.’ ‘Good grief!’

57 . good job American English used to tell someone that they have done something well

58 . good girl/boy/dog etc used to tell a child or animal that they have behaved well or done something well:

Sit! Good dog.

59 . if you know what’s good for you used in a threatening way to tell someone to do something or something bad will happen to them:

Do as he says, if you know what’s good for you!

60 . would you be good enough to do something? ( also would you be so good as to do something? ) formal used to ask someone very politely to do something:

Would you be good enough to help me with my bags?

61 . all in good time British English used when someone wants to do something soon but you want to wait a little:

‘When can we open our presents, Mum?’ ‘All in good time, Billy.’

62 . have a good one American English used to say goodbye and to wish someone a nice day

63 . be good to go American English informal to be ready to do something:

I’ve got my shoes and I’m good to go.

64 . be as good as it gets spoken if a situation is as good as it gets, it is not going to improve:

Enjoy yourself while you can. This is as good as it gets.

65 . it’s all good especially American English informal used to say that a situation is good or acceptable, or that there is not a problem:

Don’t worry about it, man – it’s all good.

66 . very good British English old-fashioned used to tell someone in a position of authority that you will do what they have asked:

‘Tell the men to come in.’ ‘Very good, sir.’

67 . (jolly) good show British English old-fashioned used to say that you approve of something someone has done

• • •


good, well

Good is not used as an adverb in standard English. Use well :

He speaks English extremely well (NOT extremely good).

The comparative form of both good and well is better :

His first book was better. (adj)

We’ll play better next time. (adv)

The superlative form of both good and well is best :

Who is the best singer? (adj)

How could this best be achieved? (adv)

• • •


▪ good of a high standard or quality:

I’ve just read a really good book.


My French is not very good.

▪ nice pleasant and enjoyable. Nice is very common in spoken English. In written English, it is better to use other words:

I hope you have a nice vacation.


It will be nice to see you again.

▪ good quality/high quality well made from good materials:

If you buy good quality shoes, they last much longer.


high-quality wallpapers

▪ fine used for describing things of a very high quality, or weather with no rain and clear skies:

The restaurant serves the finest food in Florence.


If it’s fine tomorrow, we’ll go for a walk.

▪ neat American English spoken good – used when you like something:

That’s a neat idea.


They sell some really neat stuff.

▪ attractive an attractive offer, course of action etc seems good and makes you want to accept it or do it:

Going home for dinner was a more attractive proposition than completing his run.


Buying direct from the manufacturer seems the most attractive option.

▪ impressive something that is impressive is good in a way that makes people admire it:

an impressive achievement


It was a very impressive performance.

■ extremely good

▪ excellent/superb extremely good:

Your English is excellent.


She’s a superb teacher.

▪ great/wonderful/terrific/fantastic especially spoken extremely good:

It’s a great film.


Her cooking is wonderful.


That’s a terrific idea!

▪ brilliant British English especially spoken extremely good:

The play was absolutely brilliant.

▪ amazing/incredible extremely good, in a surprising and exciting way:

New York is an amazing place.


The skating has been incredible in this competition.

▪ beautiful/glorious used about weather that is very pleasant and sunny:

It’s a beautiful day.


The weather was just glorious.

▪ outstanding/first-class/top-quality much better than other places, people etc:

an outstanding performance


The service is always first-class.

▪ exceptional unusually good:

Occasionally, we get a student with exceptional talent.


a woman of exceptional beauty

▪ awesome especially American English informal very good:

The movie was awesome.

▪ be out of this world spoken to be extremely good:

Their chocolate cake is just out of this world!

II. good 2 BrE AmE noun

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ good , ↑ goodie , ↑ goody , ↑ goodness , ↑ goods ; adjective : ↑ good , ↑ goodish ; adverb : ↑ good ]

1 . no good/not much good/not any good

a) not useful or suitable:

One lesson’s not much good – you need five or six.

‘I could come next week.’ ‘That’s no good. I’ll be away.’

no good/not much good/not any good for

The land here isn’t any good for agricultural crops.

no good/not much good/not any good to

You’re no good to me if you can’t drive a car.

b) of a low standard or level of ability:

The movie wasn’t much good.

Is the new headteacher any good?

no good at (doing) something

I’m no good at speaking in public.

c) morally bad:

Stay away from Jerry – he’s no good.

2 . it’s no good (doing something) used to say that an action will not achieve what it is intended to achieve:

It’s no good telling him – he won’t listen.

3 . do some good/do somebody good to have a useful effect:

She works for a small charity where she feels she can do some good.

I’ll talk to him but I don’t think it will do any good.

A bit more exercise would do you good.

⇨ do more harm than good at ↑ harm 1 (1)

4 . what’s the good of ...?/what good is ...? used to say that it is not worth doing or having something in a particular situation:

What’s the good of buying a boat if you’re too busy to use it?

What good is money when you haven’t any friends?

5 . for good permanently:

The injury may keep him out of football for good.

6 . for the good of somebody/something in order to help someone or improve a situation:

We must work together for the good of the community.

Take the medicine – it’s for your own good!

7 . [uncountable] behaviour, attitudes, forces etc that are morally right:

She is definitely an influence for good on those boys.

There’s a lot of good in him, in spite of his rudeness.

the struggle between good and evil

⇨ ↑ do-gooder

8 . be up to no good informal to be doing or planning something wrong or dishonest:

Those guys look like they’re up to no good.

9 . the common/general good formal the advantage of everyone in society or in a group:

countries united for the common good

10 . be (all) to the good used to say that something that happens is good, especially when it is in addition to or as the result of something else:

If further improvements can be made, that would be all to the good.

11 . three goals/£200 etc to the good used to say that someone has more of something than before or than someone else:

With United two goals to the good, the result seemed a certainty.

III. good 3 BrE AmE adverb American English spoken informal

[ Word Family: noun : ↑ good , ↑ goodie , ↑ goody , ↑ goodness , ↑ goods ; adjective : ↑ good , ↑ goodish ; adverb : ↑ good ]

well. Many teachers think this is not correct English:

The business is doing good now.

Listen to me good!

Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English.      Longman - Словарь современного английского языка.