good (adj.)

Old English gōd (with a long "o") "excellent, fine; valuable; desirable, favorable, beneficial; full, entire, complete;" of abstractions, actions, etc., "beneficial, effective; righteous, pious;" of persons or souls, "righteous, pious, virtuous;" probably originally "having the right or desirable quality," from Proto-Germanic *gōda- "fitting, suitable" (source also of Old Frisian god, Old Saxon gōd, Old Norse goðr, Middle Dutch goed, Dutch goed, Old High German guot, German gut, Gothic goþs). A word of uncertain etymology, perhaps originally "fit, adequate, belonging together," from PIE root *ghedh- "to unite, be associated, suitable" (source also of Sanskrit gadh- "seize (booty)," Old Church Slavonic godu "favorable time," Russian godnyi "fit, suitable," Lithuanian goda "honor," Old English gædrian "to gather, to take up together").

Irregular comparative and superlative (better, best) reflect a widespread pattern in words for "good," as in Latin bonus, melior, optimus.

Sense of "kind, benevolent" is from late Old English in reference to persons or God, from mid-14c. of actions. Middle English sense of "holy" is preserved in Good Friday. That of "friendly, gracious" is from c. 1200. Meaning "fortunate, prosperous, favorable" was in late Old English. As an expression of satisfaction, from early 15c. Of persons, "skilled (at a profession or occupation), expert," in late Old English, now typically with at; in Middle English with of or to. Of children, "well-behaved," by 1690s. Of money, "not debased, standard as to value," from late 14c. From c. 1200 of numbers or quantities, "large, great," of time or distance, "long;" good while "a considerable time" is from c. 1300; good way "a great distance" is mid-15c.

Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing. ["As You Like It"]

As good as "practically, virtually" is from mid-14c.; to be good for "beneficial to" is from late 14c. To make good "repay (costs, expenses), atone for (a sin or an offense)" is from late 14c. To have a good mind "have an earnest desire" (to do something) is from c. 1500. Good deed, good works were in Old English as "an act of piety;" good deed specifically as "act of service to others" was reinforced early 20c. by Boy Scouting. Good turn is from c. 1400. Good sport, of persons, is from 1906. The good book "the Bible" attested from 1801, originally in missionary literature describing the language of conversion efforts in American Indian tribes. Good to go is attested from 1989.

Origin and meaning of good

good (n.)

Old English god (with a long "o"), "that which is good, a good thing; goodness; advantage, benefit; gift; virtue; property;" from good (adj.). Meaning "the good side" (of something) is from 1660s. Phrase for good "finally, permanently" attested from 1711, a shortening of for good and all (16c.). Middle English had for good ne ylle (early 15c.) "for good nor ill," thus "under any circumstance."

updated on October 13, 2021

Definitions of good from WordNet
good (adj.)
exerting force or influence;
a warranty good for two years
Synonyms: effective / in effect / in force
good (adj.)
resulting favorably;
it's a good thing that I wasn't there
it is good that you stayed
Synonyms: well
good (adj.)
having desirable or positive qualities especially those suitable for a thing specified;
a good dress for the office
good news from the hospital
a good joke
a good check
a good exterior paint
a good report card
when she was good she was very very good
a good knife is one good for cutting
this stump will make a good picnic table
a good secretary
good (adj.)
having the normally expected amount;
a good mile from here
gives good measure
Synonyms: full
good (adj.)
morally admirable;
good (adj.)
deserving of esteem and respect;
ruined the family's good name
good (adj.)
promoting or enhancing well-being;
the experience was good for her
Synonyms: beneficial
good (adj.)
agreeable or pleasing;
good manners
we all had a good time
good (adj.)
of moral excellence;
a genuinely good person
Synonyms: just / upright
good (adj.)
having or showing knowledge and skill and aptitude;
a good mechanic
Synonyms: adept / expert / practiced / proficient / skillful / skilful
good (adj.)
had a good workout
gave the house a good cleaning
good (adj.)
with or in a close or intimate relationship;
a good friend
Synonyms: dear / near
good (adj.)
financially safe;
a good investment
Synonyms: dependable / safe / secure
good (adj.)
most suitable or right for a particular purpose;
a good time to plant tomatoes
Synonyms: right / ripe
good (adj.)
capable of pleasing;
good looks
good (adj.)
appealing to the mind;
good music
Synonyms: serious
good (adj.)
in excellent physical condition;
I still have one good leg
good teeth
Synonyms: sound
good (adj.)
tending to promote physical well-being; beneficial to health;
a good night's sleep
Synonyms: salutary
good (adj.)
not forged;
a good dollar bill
Synonyms: honest
good (adj.)
not left to spoil;
the meat is still good
Synonyms: unspoiled / unspoilt
good (adj.)
generally admired;
good taste
good (n.)
what's the good of worrying?
for your own good
good (n.)
moral excellence or admirableness;
there is much good to be found in people
Synonyms: goodness
good (n.)
that which is pleasing or valuable or useful;
weigh the good against the bad
among the highest goods of all are happiness and self-realization
Synonyms: goodness
good (n.)
articles of commerce;
Synonyms: commodity / trade good
good (adv.)
(often used as a combining form) in a good or proper or satisfactory manner or to a high standard (`good' is a nonstandard dialectal variant for `well');
the baby can walk pretty good
Synonyms: well
good (adv.)
completely and absolutely (`good' is sometimes used informally for `thoroughly');
we beat him good
Synonyms: thoroughly / soundly
Etymologies are not definitions. From, not affiliated with etymonline.