From the second edition (1989):
good, a., adv., and n.
(gʊd) Forms: 1 gód, good, 2–6 god, 4–6 gode, 3–4 guod(e, 4 godd(e, goed, (gowde), 4–5 goud(e, 4–6 good(d)e, 4–8 Sc. guid(e, 4–9 Sc. and north. gud(e, (4 gwde, 5 guyd, 6 north. gewd), 4– good. [Com. Teut.: OE. gód = OFris., OS. gôd (MDu. goet, inflected goed-, Du. goed), OHG. guot, kuot, guat, kuat, etc. (MHG. guot, G. gut), ON. góð-r (Sw., Da. god), Goth. gôþ-s, gen. gôdis:—OTeut. *gôđo-. The root *gôđ- is perh. an ablaut-variant of *gađ- to bring together, to unite (see gather v.), so that the original sense of ‘good’ would be that of ‘fitting’, ‘suitable’; cf. OSl. goditi to be pleasing, godĭnŭ pleasing, godŭ time, fitting time, Russ. godnȳĭ fit, suitable.
The adj., as in the other Teut. langs., has no regular comparative or superlative, the place of these being supplied by better, best; the form goodest occurs in jocular or playful language. The corresponding adv. is well.]
The adj., as in the other Teut. langs., has no regular comparative or superlative, the place of these being supplied by better, best; the form goodest occurs in jocular or playful language. The corresponding adv. is well.]
The most general adj. of commendation, implying the existence in a high, or at least satisfactory, degree of characteristic qualities which are either admirable in themselves or useful for some purpose.
As stronger expressions of commendation than ‘good’ may be used, the latter sometimes has by comparison a modified sense = ‘fair’, ‘passable’, ‘fairly large’, etc.
In OE. (as in OS. and OHG.) the opposite of ‘good’ was regularly expressed by yfel evil, but in ME. this was supplemented by ill and bad, the latter of which is now the more general term.
I. In the widest sense, without other specialization than such as is implied by the nature of the object which the adj. is used to describe.
1. Of things: Having in adequate degree those properties which a thing of the kind ought to have. a. of material things or substances of any kind.
In early use often employed where a word of more definite meaning would now be substituted; e.g. as an epithet of gold or silver, = ‘fine, pure’; good stones = ‘precious stones’.
Beowulf (Z.) 1562 Eald sweord eotenisc‥þæt wæpna cyst‥god ond eatolic iganta e-weorc. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. vii. 17 Ælc god treow byrð gode wæstmas. c1205 Lay. 26070 Ardur‥up ahof his gode brond. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 1191 A ðhusant plates of siluer god Gaf he sarra. a1300 Cursor M. 21281 Þar es god axultreis tua. c1300 Seyn Julian 162 He let make of wode and col a strong fur and good. c1400 Destr. Troy 1366 No hede toke Of golde ne of garmenttes, ne of goode stonys. 1484 Caxton Fables of Poge ii, [She] promysed to him that she shold gyue to hym a ryght good dyner. 1562 J. Heywood Prov. & Epigr. (1867) 143 It is a good hors, that neuer stumbleth. 1597 Shakes. 2 Hen. IV, iii. ii. 42 How a good Yoke of Bullocks at Stamford Fayre? 1599 H. Buttes Dyets drie Dinner Hviijb, Veale‥Nourisheth excellently: makes verie good blood. 1639 Du Verger tr. Camus' Admir. Events 8 We thinke nothing to good for them. 1698 Fryer Acc. E. India & P. 6 A special good Anchor of 2400 weight. 1769 Mrs. Raffald Eng. Housekpr. (1778) 151 Lay over it a good cold paste. 1789 Bligh Narr. Bounty (1790) 52 One half of us slept on shore by a good fire.
b. of food or drink. (Often with mixture of senses 11a, 12.) (to keep) good: untainted, fit to eat.
805–31 in O.E. Texts 444, xxx ombra godes uuelesces aloð. 971 [see 12]. c1200 Ormin 15408 Þin forrme win iss swiþe god, Þin lattre win iss bettre. 1340 Ayenb. 51 Huet we hedde guod wyn yesteneuen and guode metes. c1440 Promp. Parv. 201/2 Goode wyne, temetum. c1450 M.E. Med. Bk. (Heinrich) 69 Boyle hem wel in good mylke. 1600 Shakes. A.Y.L. Epil., To good wine they do vse good bushes. 1609 Skene Reg. Maj. lxix. (1774) 243 And gif she makes gude-ail, that is sufficent. Bot gif she makes evill ail [etc.]. 1665 Phil. Trans. I. 49 How Meat and Drink may be kept good in very Cold Countries. 1689 Locke Governmt. ii. §46 He also bart'red away Plumbs, that would have rotted in a Week, for Nuts that would last good for his eating a whole Year. 1796 H. Glasse Cookery xviii. 288 Let your butter be good. Mod. In the cold chamber meat will keep good for an indefinite time.
c. of soil: Fertile.
1382 Wyclif Mark iv. 20 And these it ben that ben sowun on good lond. 1732 Berkeley Alciphr. vi. §18 The seed of the gospel sown in good ground. 1836 Montgomery Hymn, ‘Sow in the morn thy seed’, The good, the fruitful ground, Expect not here nor there.
d. of coin, bank-notes, etc.: Genuine, not counterfeit. In mod. use freq. as an intensive, or as an indication of adequacy, with money.
1573 J. Sandford Hours Recreat. (1576) 178 In taking a peece of false money for good, one may have small losse. a1639 W. Whately Prototypes ii. (1640) 43 Pay me what you be able, so you bring me good money, not counterfeit. 1889 Kansas Times & Star 22 May, Mr. Hammerslough is putting a lot of good money into it. 1896 Ade Artie xi. 98 They say he makes good money. 1915 Conrad Victory iii. iii. 193 Father was earning good money. 1928 E. Wallace Again Three Just Men x. 212 But for his inherent meanness, he would have gladly paid good money to be rid of her. 1966 ‘M. Renault’ Mask of Apollo x. 173 We made good money, and lingered in the pleasant places.
e. of a ship, a town. Now only as a conventional epithet in the phrases ‘the good ship A——’; ‘the good town of B——’.
c1340 Cursor M. 24862 (Fairf.) & euer-mare þai lokid doun quen þat gode ship [Cott. þe scip] sulde droun. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. xviii. 19 Men of ye Countre a fote, sent out of good townes at their wages. 1568 Grafton Chron. II. 242 Two hundred sayle of good shyppes. Ibid. 304 That the Prelates and Nobles of Fraunce, and the good townes should assemble themselves. 1577 Hogan in Hakluyt Voy. (1589) 156 Being imbarked in the goode shippe, called the Gallion of London. 1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 27 Good men of warre, though ships for traffique. 1639 Hamilton Papers (Camden) 96 It may troubill the gud toune, if they proue not gud subjects. 1709 Steele Tatler No. 144 ⁋8 There are at this Time in the good Town of Edinburgh, Beaus, Fops, and Coxcombs. 1864 Bill of Lading in Law Rep., E. & I. App. Cas. (1874) VI. 288 Shipped in good order, etc.‥in and upon the good ship called the Java.
f. of immaterial things. Of actions: Rightly or skilfully performed. good opera, good radio, good television, good theatre: said of an entertainment that is effective, or well suited to a specified medium.
1583 Hollyband Campo di Fior 225 Thou wilt never make good verse. 1604 E. G. D'Acosta's Hist. Indies i. viii. 25 S. Augustine hath confessed this to bee conformable to good Philosophie. 1735–8 Bolingbroke On Parties 108 We call This a good Government, when‥the whole Administration of publick Affairs is wisely pursued. 1793 Blackstone Comm. (ed. 12) 70 There are decisions drawn from established principles and maxims, which are good law. 1860–1 F. Nightingale Nursing 77 Good nursing consists simply in observing little things which are common to all sick, and those which are particular to each sick individual. 1861 M. Pattison Ess. (1889) I. 32 A good history of our foreign policy from the earliest period would be very useful. 1868 G. J. Whyte-Melville White Rose I. x. 121 Are you to join directly?‥ Is it a good regiment? 1889 Sat. Rev. 6 Apr. 415/1 The fight was a good fight, with many changes of fortune. 1892 Speaker 3 Sept. 294/2 M. Collignon's book, though good as far as it goes, is altogether slighter than Dr. Murray's. 1926 C. Morley (title) Good theatre. Ibid. 216 Don't be sore on them laughs, brother. Every one o' them screams is a meal ticket. That's what I call good theayter. 1928 Observer 11 Mar. 15/2 This is an excellent example of what we mean when we say that a play is ‘good theatre’. 1928 Daily Tel. 15 May 14/5 The play‥is, to use the modern phrase, ‘very good theatre’. 1958 Listener 24 July 138/1 This was not only good television: it also made sense of getting the two men there in the first place. Ibid. 140/1 It made very good radio. 1962 Ibid. 7 June 1009/3 It may be that this sincere, searching composer has developed an abstract theory in this case into good theatre. Whether it is good opera is another matter. 1971 Times 18 Nov. 15/2 There is the temptation for producers to seek what they regard as ‘good television’, which can mean a search for drama as such and for conflict in the studio no matter how unnecessary it may be for the presentation of a case.
g. that's a good one (or 'un): used ironically to characterize a statement that is incredibly mendacious or absurdly exaggerated. (Cf. ‘I like that’.) slang.
1813 J. K. Paulding J. Bull & Br. Jonathan v. 26 Now this was a good one, for every body knew [etc.]. 1869 Punch 30 Jan. 44 Medical-Attendance, Two-an'-Six! Well, that's a good 'un! Why, I attended on 'im. 1914 Concise Oxf. Dict. Addenda s.v., That's a good 'un (slang), what a lie. 1920 C. Sandburg Smoke & Steel 45 That's a good one.
h. In the colloq. U.S. phrase to look good or listen good = to look or sound promising.
1911 R. D. Saunders Col. Todhunter iii. 43 It looks good to me, suh. 1916 H. L. Wilson Somewhere in Red Gap vi. 252 That listens good to her till she finds she has to give fifty-two dollars for the deck first. 1923 R. D. Paine Comrades of Rolling Ocean xii. 215 ‘Thanks, you look good to us,’ yelled Judson. 1932 Kansas City Star 1 Mar., It listened good.
2. a. Of persons, as a term of indefinite commendation. In early use chiefly implying distinguished rank or valour. Now rare, the adj. as applied to persons having chiefly a moral signification (see II); exc. in phrase good men and true (now arch.), and predicatively in comparative expressions, as good as, good enough for, too good for.
O.E. Chron. an. 871 Þær wærþ Heahmund biscop ofslæen and fela godra monna. 1154 Ibid. an. 1124 Þes kinges stiward of France‥& fela oðer godre cnihte. c1275 Lay. 56 Nu biddeþ Laweman echne godne [c1205 æðele] mon þat þes boc redeþ [etc.]. 1387 [see 5a]. ?1483 Caxton Dialogues 10 Be ye buxom‥Vnto your seruaunts: Thynke that they be As good as ye. 1513 More in Grafton Chron. (1568) II. 768 That sacred Sanctuarie, that hath bene the safegarde of so many a good mans lyfe. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. VII, 5 So by this politique wisdome and ingenious meanes of the good duke. 1591 Shakes. 1 Hen. VI, iii. i. 41 But he shall know I am as good. Glost. As good? Thou Bastard of my Grandfather. 1607 —— Cor. iv. v. 193, I do not say thwacke our Generall, but he was alwayes good enough for him. a1634 Randolph Muses Looking-gl. iv. iv. (1638) 79, I had rather‥haue his twelve Godvathers, good men and true, contemne him to the Gallowes. 1825 Jamieson s.v. Gud, ‘You are no sae gude as me’; i.e. ‘You are not so well-born.’ 1897 A. T. Mahan Nelson II. xv. 43 On one occasion‥Nelson took too much champagne.‥ Such a thing has happened on isolated occasions to many a good man and true. Mod. His wife is far too good for him.
†b. As a conventional epithet prefixed to titles of high rank. So (one's) good lord or lady, a patron or patroness (cf. goodlordship). Also in forms of address, as good my lord, good your ladyship, etc.
11‥ O.E. Chron. an. 1093 Þa seo gode cwen Margarita þis ehyrde [etc.]. 1458 MS. in Turner's Dom. Archit. III. 43 The gode lorde of Abendon left of his londe, For the breed of the brige xx⁄iiii· fote large. 1463 Marg. Paston in P. Lett. No. 472 II. 132, I am afferd‥of these materys‥but if he wyl don for ȝou and be your godelord. 15‥ Adam Bel & Clym of Clough 507 in Ritson Anc. P.P. 24 Then good my lord, I you beseche, These yemen graunt ye me. c1530 L. Coxe Rhethoryke (1899) Aija, Consyderyng my specyall good lorde howe greatly‥I am bounden to your lordeshippe [etc.]. 1611 Shakes. Wint. T. i. ii. 220 At the good Queenes entreatie. —— Cymb. ii. iii. 158 She's my good Lady. 1688 Sir C. Lyttelton 6 Nov. in Hatton Corr. (Camden) II. 99 Good my Lord, give me free advise in this matter. 1742 Richardson Pamela III. 83 Good your Ladyship, let not my honour'd Master see this Letter. 1819 Shelley Cenci ii. ii. 41 You, my good Lord Orsino, heard those words.
c. In wider application, as an epithet of courteous address or respectful reference. Now often jocular or depreciatory. See also goodman, goodwife. Also your (his) good lady, your (his) wife (see lady n. 7). your good self (or selves), a commercial form of polite address or reference.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 11 Gode men, nu beoð icumen þa bicumeliche daȝes [etc.]. a1300 Cursor M. 11853 Godd men he said quat es your sight O mi fader þat þus es dight. 1340 Ayenb. 190 He acsede ate guode wyfman‥hou moche hi hedde him y-lete. c1420 Sir Amadace (Camden) xxx, Gode Sirs, take noȝte on greue, For ȝe most noue take ȝour leue. 1529 More Dyaloge cxix. a/2 And what hath hurt it, good father? 1601 Holland Pliny II. 384 Some good body tell me, I pray, how he could feele the smell thereof. 1652 Culpepper Eng. Physic. 15 It is very safe, and very fit to be kept in every good bodies house. 1705 Vanbrugh Confed. i. ii. (1730) 23 Who is this good woman, Flippanta? 1768 Goldsm. Good-n. Man iii, Two of my very good friends, Mr. Twitch and Mr. Flanigan. 1796 H. Hunter tr. St. Pierre's Stud. Nat. (1799) III. 146 My good friend, your sister shall remain with us. 1798 C. Smith Yng. Philos. IV. 1 The good lady was in her dressing-room. 1839 Dickens Nich. Nick. i, This good lady bore him two children. 1840 —— Barn. Rudge xix, My good soul,‥you are quite mistaken. 1850 Scoresby Cheever's Whaleman's Adv. ii. (1859) 23, I was here presented with a couple of rolls of white kapa by the good woman of the house. 1860 G. H. Lewes Let. 6 Mar. in Geo. Eliot Lett. (1954) III. 269 ‘My good lady’ (style choisi!)‥is reddening her eyes‥over the foolish sorrows of two foolish young persons of her imaginary acquaintance. 1923 Daily Mail 20 Feb. 3 It is more than probable our next orders will be placed with your good-selves. 1931 Ch. Times 8 May 569/3 The kindness and consideration shown by your good self to me. 1957 Partridge English gone Wrong i. 17 Then there are such monstrosities as your good self or selves; of recent date; [etc.]. 1967 Daily Tel. 30 Aug. 7, I have always understood that the words ‘goodself’ and ‘goodselves’ related to credit-worthiness.
d. the good neighbours, people: (euphemistically) the fairies; also occas. = witches. Cf. also good neighbour.
1588 in Pitcairn Crim. Trials Scot. I. iii. 162 For hanting and repairing with the gude nychtbouris and Quene of Elfame. a1605 Montgomerie Flyting w. Polwart 275 On Alhallow euen, When our good nighbours doe ryd. 1810 Scott Minstr. Scott. Border (ed. 4) II. 169 Fairies [in Ireland]‥are termed ‘the good people’. 1854 H. Miller Sch. & Schm. vi. (1860) 59/1 Walter believed in the fairies; and though psalmody was not one of the reputed accomplishments of the ‘good-people’ in the low country, he [etc.]. 1889 Froude Two Chiefs of Dunboy vi, Babies had been changed in the cradles by the ‘good people’. 1951 C. S. Lewis Let. (1966) 234 The desolate coast on which it stands is haunted by ‘the good people’. There is also a ghost but‥the faeries are a more serious danger. 1959 K. M. Briggs Anat. Puck 192 People of Peace‥is the Highland name for the fairies, corresponding to the Lowland ‘Good Neighbours’. 1966 G. E. Evans Pattern under Plough xiii. 128 The countryman in Ireland poured out a little of his draught as a compliment to the ‘good people’ or the fairies.
e. good Samaritan: see Samaritan b. f. good buddy, a term of address among users of a Citizen's Band or similar radio system; another CB user. slang (chiefly U.S.).
1976 N.Y. Times Mag. 25 Apr. 64/5 ‘Hey, there, eastbounders. You've got a Smokey in the grass at the 93-mile marker‥he's takin' pictures.’ ‘Aaay, we definitely thank you for that info, good buddy. We'll back 'em down a hair.’ 1976 M. Machlin Pipeline xiii. 151 What's your handle, Good Buddy? 1979 Amer. Speech LIV. 307 A phrase like good buddy (the CB term for another CBer) is now used even by those who are unaware of its origin among truckers. 1981 Times 5 Mar. 16/8 Good buddy—hello.
3. Of qualities or attributes. a. of a quality generally: Commendable, conducing to the value or merit of the subject.
1600 Shakes. A.Y.L. i. i. 150 An enuious emulator of euery mans good parts. 1601 —— All's Well iii. vi. 12 Hee's a most notable Coward,‥the owner of no one good qualitie, worthy your Lordships entertainment. 1674 [see 5a]. 1897 Sears, Roebuck Catal. 289/1 A Good Quality White Marseilles Bed Spread. a1900 Mod. The author's style is not without some good qualities. 1936 Discovery Dec. 375/1 A good quality silk. 1956 Nature 11 Feb. 289/1 A common method [of improving food intake] has been to give a concentrate feed containing about 10 per cent of good-quality protein. 1962 P. Strevens Papers in Lang. (1965) xii. 146 Equipment now exists for making good-quality recordings.
b. of birth, family, social station: More or less elevated; not humble or mean.
971 Blickl. Hom. 211 Wæs he for worlde swiðe æþelra ebyrda and godra. a1674 Clarendon Hist. Reb. viii. §3 A gentleman of a good family. 1719 De Foe Crusoe i. i, I was born in the Year 1632‥of a good Family. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. iii. I. 294 Many of them were of good families, and had held commissions. 1872 Geo. Eliot Middlem. I. i. i. 2 The Brooke connections, though not exactly aristocratic, were unquestionably ‘good’. 1892 G. & W. Grossmith Diary of Nobody xxiii. 287 Lupin‥has taken furnished apartments at Bayswater.‥ Lupin says one never loses by a good address. 1942 D. Powell Time to be Born (1943) x. 227 West Thirteenth?‥ Are you sure that's a good neighbourhood? 1956 J. D. Carr P. Butler for Defence vi. 61 Monnie wanted Jim‥to be elected to a ‘good’ club and join a ‘good’ golf-club where he might find useful contacts.
c. of state or condition, health, order, etc.: Such as should be desired or approved, right, satisfactory; sound, unimpaired. Of state of mind, courage, spirits: Not depressed or dejected. good cheer (see cheer n.1 3b). to feel good: to feel oneself to be in good spirits or health (U.S. colloq.).
c1175 etc. [see goder-heal]. c1384 Chaucer H. Fame ii. 96 So that thou take Good herte, and not for fere quake. 1398 Trevisa Barth. De P.R. v. i. (1495) 101 A membre that is in gode hele. 1483 Caxton Gold. Leg. 197/2 Many vexyd by Spyrytes were delyuerd & remysed in to theyr good mynde. 1513 More in Grafton Chron. (1568) II. 759 Albeit that this discention‥somewhat yrked him, yet in his good health he somewhat the lesse regarded it. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. VI, 106 Sir Jhon Fastolfe and his companions, set all their company in good ordre of battaill. 1576 Fleming Panopl. Epist. 276, I hearing this noyse, exhorted them to have good hearts. 1583 Hollyband Campo di Fior 243 Now he is not in his good minde. 1711 Steele Spect. No. 96 ⁋2 Tom, Tom have a good Heart. 1839 Marryat Diary Amer. 1st Ser. II. 224, I have heard a lady say, ‘I don't feel at all good, this morning.’ 1854 H. C. Kimball Address 17 Sept. in Jrnl. Discourses (1855) II. 224/1 You will see how good we will make the transient residents feel. 1855 Macaulay Hist. Eng. xviii. IV. 119 The health of the crews had‥been‥wonderfully good. 1865 Mrs. Carlyle Lett. III. 244, I don't feel in such good heart about the Devonshire visit as I did. 1883 [see frolicky a.]. 1888 Texas Siftings 15 Sept. (Farmer), The saloons are going Saturday afternoons, and the men feel pretty good before they come abroad. 1904 N.Y. Even. Post 23 June 3 The Captain himself said, ‘I feel good’, but he did not look well. 1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 1 Aug. 438/5 [In Amer. novel] Even Bunny Muldoon, the golf professional, is kept on not because he teaches anyone golf but ‘because he makes people feel good’.
d. of fame, reputation: Honourable.
c1470 Henry Wallace i. 26 His systir fair, off gud fame and ranoune. 1484 Surtees Misc. (1888) 41 Forto restore hym into his gude name and fame. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. VIII, 25b, Men of good estimacion. 1604 Shakes. Oth. iii. iii. 155 Good name in Man, & woman‥Is the immediate Iewell of their Soules. a1732 Gay Fox dying i. 46 A lost good name is ne'er retriev'd. 1832 Austin Jurispr. (1879) I. xv. 400 A man's right or interest in his good-name. 1847 Emerson Poems (1857) 84 Estate, good-fame, Plans, credit.
e. of appearance, shape, complexion, etc.: Satisfactory with regard to beauty. Hence occas. of a part of the body.
1608 Shakes. Per. iv. ii. 51 She has a good face. 1618 in Crt. & Times Jas. I (1848) II. 109 Her good face is the best part of her portion. 1848 Thackeray Van. Fair vii, A handsome gentleman with a trim beard and a good leg. 1870 Dickens E. Drood ii, His face and figure are good.
4. a. Of a state of things, a purpose, a proposed course of action, etc.: Commendable, desirable, right, proper. Chiefly predicative, with inf. or clause as virtual subject.
971 Blickl. Hom. 139 Hu good is & hu wynsum þæt [etc.] a1300 Cursor M. 4790 Þar of es god we ta consail. c1460 Fortescue Abs. & Lim. Mon. xii. (1885) 138 Sythen it were god thai hade non harnes. 1513 More in Grafton Chron. (1568) II. 764 All which thinges‥were done for good purposes, and necessary. 1626 Bacon Sylva §14 For handsomnesse sake‥ it were good you hang the vpper Glasse vpon a Naile. a1632 Herbert Jacula Prudent. 170 Hell is full of good meanings and wishings. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. i. I. 47 It was‥good that they should be respected and obeyed. 1870 Max Müller Sci. Relig. (1873) 62 The inhabitants of Great Britain were persuaded that it was not good to be without an ancestor.
b. In phrases to appear good, †like good, or seem good, to think or †see (it) good.
1362 Langl. P. Pl. A. i. 57 Glosynge the gospel as hem good liketh. 1413 Pilgr. Sowle (Caxton 1483) iv. v. 60 That other shalle answere as hyr semeth good. c1460 Towneley Myst. xxiii. 642 Do with hym what thou thynk gud. c1500 Melusine xx. 108 Madame, yf it lyke you good they doo soo, I assent gladly therto. 1548–9 (Mar.) Bk. Com. Prayer, Offices 9 It is thought good that none hereafter shall be confirmed, but such [etc.]. 1573 J. Sandford Hours Recreat. (1576) 76 Kill, if you thinke good, all the dogges that are here. 1632 J. Hayward tr. Biondi's Eromena 95 To charge the enemie by land‥if it seemed good to her Highnesse so to doe. 1663 Butler Hud. i. iii. 275 Others may do as they see good. c1680 Beveridge Serm. (1729) I. 112 Thus much I thought good to premise. 1793 Burke Corr. (1844) IV. 185 It has not yet appeared good to the politics of ministers here or abroad, to permit [etc.].
c. absol. as an exclamation, expressing satisfaction. Also (chiefly Austral. and N.Z.) good-oh!, good-o!, goodo!, etc., when the same words are used as adjs. = good (sense 4) and advs. = ‘well’.
c1410 Sir Cleges 424 Good, he seyd‥Thowe haddyst [etc.]. c1590 Marlowe Faust. x. 81 But, good, are you remembered how [etc.]. 1603 Shakes. Meas. for M. ii. i. 163 Good, then; if [etc.]. 1807–8 W. Irving Salmag. (1824) 246 Good, thought I‥there could not be a more important subject of investigation. 1826 Disraeli Viv. Grey v. xii, It is a promise, good. 1829 Marryat F. Mildmay xxiii, Very good, my lord. 1916 ‘Anzac’ On Anzac Trail 34 The rain came down good-oh. 1917 Chrons. N.Z.E.F. 31 Oct. 133 Belting her about goodo. 1926 I. M. Peacocke His Kid Brother x. 158 ‘Goodo!’ said Dal. 1928 A. Waugh Last Chukka 85 ‘Good-oh!’ she [an Australian] said, ‘that'll be bonzer!’ 1930 V. Palmer Passage ii. x. 184 This is goodo! 1934 T. Wood Cobbers 210 You'll be good-O there. 1944 in Coast to Coast 1943 122 ‘How's young Jim getting along?’‥‘Good-o,’ she said. ‘I've had a letter only this morning.’ 1946 F. Sargeson That Summer 118 Yes, good-oh, I said, and thanks very much. 1958 D. Niland Call me when Cross turns Over v. 136 It sounds good-o the way he tells it. 1964 Navy News Dec. 1/2 What I really thought were goodo were those films on Religion and Science with that chap Erwin A. Moon.
d. good for you (him, etc.)!: a colloquial expression of approval of something said or done by the person addressed or spoken of.
1861 in M. W. Disher Cowells in Amer. (1934) 297 Sam's share $43.33.—Good for him. 1870 L. M. Alcott Old-fash. Girl (1874) iii. 35 Good for you, Polly! 1896 C. M. Yonge Release ii. xvi. 234 ‘Old Sukey Shrimper,‥has orders to call every Friday!’ ‘Good for Sukey,’ quietly observed Mr. Darpent. 1904 H. James Golden Bowl I. x. 193 ‘Good for you!’ Maggie smiled. 1922 D. H. Lawrence England, my England 142 ‘And did she take it in?’ he asked. ‘As much as she took anything else.’ He stood grinning fixedly. Then he broke into a short laugh. ‘Good for her!’ he exclaimed cryptically. 1925 ‘D. Yates’ As Other Men Are 111 ‘Good for you,’ she said. ‘You've put it uncommonly well.’ 1949 E. H. W. Meyerstein Let. 8 Jan. (1959) 355 Typical ex-Service husband with his reiterated ‘good-for-you’. 1956 A. L. Rowse Early Churchills 74 Good for Sir Winston, we may say.
e. good on you (him, etc.)! = prec. Chiefly Austral. and N.Z.
1914 A. M. N. Lyons Simple Simon i. v. 84 ‘What ho!’ she exclaimed. ‘You've biffed him. Good on you, my lad!’ 1944 L. Glassop We were Rats ii. xi. 65 ‘What a bloke believes is his own business.’ ‘Good on you, mate,’ said somebody behind me. ‘Give it to him.’ 1949 H. Wadman Life Sentence i. i. 8 Good on you. Of course, I oughtn't to care twopence about your opinion, but it's nice to know you agree with me. 1953 K. Tennant Joyful Condemned xxvii. 268 Vance laughed thunderously. ‘Good on you, Rose.’ 1959 N.Z. Listener 21 Aug. 8/4 ‘Good on you!’ said Dad, smacking my new leg approvingly, ‘that's the spirit.’ 1961 P. White Riders in Chariot xiii. 456 ‘Goodonya, mate!’ called the heartier of the females.
f. good man!: an exclamation of approbation.
1887 Murray's Mag. Jan. 97 She held out her hand. ‘Good man! that is what I call a friend!’ 1913 F. L. Barclay Broken Halo ii. 21 Good man! The very thing! 1933 A. G. Macdonell England, their England vi. 82 You can keep your mouth shut. Good man. 1955 L. P. Hartley Perfect Woman ix. 85 Oh, so you did go?‥ Good man.
II. With reference to moral character, disposition, or conduct.
5. Morally excellent or commendable. a. of persons, with reference to their general character: Virtuous.
1387 Trevisa Higden (Rolls) I. 323 [The Danes] beeþ to gode men and trewe boþe esy and mylde. 1388 Wyclif Rom. v. 7 For a good man peraduenture summan dar die. a1450 Knt. de la Tour (1868) 91 The whiche Ama was a worthi lady and a good. 1603 Shakes. Meas. for M. iii. i. 185 The hand that hath made you faire, hath made you good. 1667 Milton P.L. ix. 465. 1674 Temple Let. to Lady Essex Wks. 1731 I. 129 He is a good Man that is better than Men commonly are, or in whom the good Qualities are more than the bad. 1734 Pope Ess. Man iv. 92 And grant the bad what happiness they would, One they must want, which is, to pass for good. 1852 Mrs. Stowe Uncle Tom's C. xi, She is as good as she is beautiful. 1876 Mozley Univ. Serm. ii. (1877) 28 Particular virtues, whether they are natural virtues or virtues of imitation, do not make the being good.
b. of conduct, life, actions, words, feelings, etc. good deed: spec., an act of service for others. (Adapted from the Scout Law 3.)
O.E. Chron. an. 959 God him eunne, þæt his gode dæda swyðran wearðan þonne misdæda. 971 Blickl. Hom. 97 Ælc man þara þe her wile mid godum willan Godes bebodu healdan. c1270 S. Eng. Leg. I. 17/546 I-cristned he was sone, And guod lijf ladde. 1340 Hampole Pr. Consc. 2494 Our gude dedys we shuld noght prayse. c1380 Wyclif Serm. Sel. Wks. II. 33 Alle men shulde take hede to þere wordis þat þei ben goode. c1420 Sir Amadace (Camden) xxxix, A mon that geuees him to gode thewis. 1508 Dunbar Poems v. 23 Thar ȝeris sevin Scho lewit a gud life. 1631 Massinger Beleeve as you list iii. ii, Nor shall or threates or prayers deter mee from Doeinge a good deed in it selfe rewarded. 1670 Clarendon Ess. Tracts (1727) 167 No man hath a good conscience, but he who leads a good life. 1766 Goldsm. Vic. W. xv, I have ever perceived, that where the mind was capacious, the affections were good. 1879 H. Spencer Data of Ethics iii. §10. 30 If we call good every kind of conduct which aids the lives of others‥then [etc.]. 1928 R. Knox Footsteps at Lock v. 42 This‥was the spot where the boy scouts were encamped;‥fourteen good deeds were registered. 1951 J. C. Fennessy Sonnet in Bottle viii. ii. 253 You've done your Good Deed for the Day, visiting the sick. 1965 J. Potter Death in Office xiii. 127 He was wearing a frank open expression, like a Boy Scout anxious to do his good deed.
6. a. Applied to God, sometimes in the wide sense, as connoting moral perfection generally, and sometimes with more restricted reference to His benevolence (cf. sense 7).
c1000 Ags. Gosp. Luke xviii. 19 Þa cwæð se hælend hwi sest þu me godne, nis nan man god buton god ana. a1300 E.E. Psalter cvi. 1 Schriues to lauerd, for gode he is, For in werld es merci his. c1420 Avow. Arth. lxxi, Gud Gode, that is grete, Gif him sory care! 1719 Watts Psalm lxiii. ii, Thou Great and Good, Thou Just and Wise, Thou art my Father and my God! 1817 Coleridge Sibyll. Leaves 225 It was a wicked woman's curse—God's good, and what care I?
b. Hence in exclamations containing the name of God or some substituted expression, as good God! good gracious! good hallow! good heavens! good lack! good Lord! good me! for which see the different words. good grief! (see grief n. 8a); good iron! (chiefly Austral.); also as adj. phr.
c1386 Chaucer Clerk's T. 852 O gode god! how gentil and how kinde Ye semed. 1566 J. Alday tr. Boaystuau's Theat. World Mvji, But good God, the Divell hath so entred into men at this daye. 1568 North Gueuara's Diall Pr. iv. xviii. 163 Good lord yt is a wonder to see what sturr there is in that mans house. 1638 Cowley Love's Riddle v. i, Your Son! good lack. a1765 Chield Morice x. in Child Ballads iv. (1886) 270/2 Good hallow, gentle sir and dame, My errand canna wait. 1782 Cowper Gilpin 61 ‘Good lack!’ quoth he, ‘yet bring it me’. 1798 in Spirit Publ. Jrnls. (1799) II. 216, I am ready to faint! Dear me! O la! Good me! 1843 Haliburton Attaché II. i. 8 Good Heavens, Mr. Slick, how can you talk such nonsense? 1862 Burgon Lett. fr. Rome 51 The impression made in a block of marble by our Saviour's feet, (and good gracious! such feet!). 1890 Besant Demoniac v. 60 ‘Good Lord! What Fools!’ said the Physician. 1895 Bulletin (Sydney) 9 Feb. 15/4 Oh, she's good iron, is my little clinah; She's my cobber an' I'm 'er bloke. 1899 Ibid. 22 Apr., Ringer and good iron are both derived from the game of quoits.‥ Good iron corresponds to good ball at cricket. 1909 J. Masefield Tragedy of Nan ii. 41 Good iron! A old chanti-cleer. Balm in Gilead, as the saying is. 1936 M. Franklin All that Swagger xi. 100 Good iron! I don't rob little boys. 1965 J. S. Gunn Terminol. Shearing Indust., Pt. ii. s.v. Quoits. This term‥‘good iron’ for the shed's best shearer.
7. Kind, benevolent; gentle, gracious; friendly, favourable. a. of persons. Const. to. Phrase, to be good enough (or so good as) to (do something).
1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1137 Þa the suikes underæton ðet he milde man was and softe and god, and na iustise ne dide, þa diden hi alle wundor. a1310 in Wright Lyric P. xxxvii. 105 Thench that he the nes nout god, He wolde have thyn huerte blod. 1382 Wyclif Ps. lxxii[i]. 1 How good the God of Irael; to hem that ben in riȝt herte. c1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon xxii. 490 How meke is Reynawde, and good of kynde, to have made peas in this maner of wyse. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. VIII, 102b, Let him resorte to me and I will be secrete and good to him. 1602 Marston Ant. & Mel. iii. Wks. 1856 I. 39 Tis even the goodest Ladie that breathes, the most amiable. 1607 Shakes. Cor. iv. vi. 112 If they Should say be good to Rome. 1610 B. Jonson Alch. ii. vi, It is the gooddest soule. 1652 H. Cogan tr. Scudery's Ibrahim ii. iii. 45 He besought her to be so good as to relate to him all that had arrived unto her. 1656 Stanley Hist. Philos. vi. (1701) 230/1 One to the Gods so pious, good to Men. 1694 Dryden Love Triumph. ii. ii, The goodest old man! he drank my health to his daughter. 1701 Rowe Amb. Step-Moth. iv. iii, Will you be good And think with Pity on the lost Cleone? 1806 Simple Narrative I. 140 They say the devil is always good to his own. 1876 Trevelyan Macaulay I. i. 27 If she [Hannah More] would be good enough to come in, he [etc.]. 1891 E. Peacock N. Brendon I. 256 They were always good to me. 1895 C. Kernahan God & Ant Ded. (ed. 4) 8 [They] were so good as to let me associate books of mine with their names.
b. of actions, dispositions, feelings, words. Of wishes: Tending to the happiness or prosperity of a person. good offices, good turn (see office, turn). †good words: used ellipt. (= L. bona verba) for ‘do not speak so fiercely’.
a1000 Andreas 480 (Gr.) Wolde ic freondscipe‥þinne, if ic mehte, beitan godne. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 3 Heo urnen on-ȝein him‥mid godere heorte and summe mid ufele þeonke. c1205 Lay. 665 Heo hine gretten mid godene heore worden. a1400 Octouian 62 The holy pope Seynt Clement Weddede hem with good entent. 1548 Hall Chron., Edw. IV, 201 Kyng Edwarde‥sente good woordes to the Erle of Pembroke. 1563 Homilies ii. For Rogation Week i. (1859) 218 In some testification of our good hearts for his deserts unto us. 1576 Fleming Panopl. Epist. 31 A multitude innumerable, whose good harts and well wishing you have wun. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 15b, Let him geve them a good countenance, and encourage them with rewardes. 1586 Hunsdon in Border Papers (1894) I. 367 Sondrie cawses that leades me greatlie to mistrust the Kinges good meaning towards her Majesty. c1592 Marlowe Jew of Malta v. Wks. (Rtldg.) 175/2 Governor, good words; be not so furious. 1617 Moryson Itin. i. 25, I remember the good offices you did towards me a stranger. a1632 Herbert Jacula Prudent. 155 Good words are worth much and cost little. 1633 R. Hall Ded. to Bp. H.'s Medit. & Vows, I obtained of him good leave to send them abroad. 1719 De Foe Crusoe i. xvii, Being likewise assured by Friday's father, that I might depend upon good usage from their nation on his account. 1892 Pall Mall G. 19 Jan. 1/2 The New‥University of London appears to be in that parlous state when no impartial person can be found to say a good word for it.
c. In mildly depreciative sense implying weakness or trustful simplicity.
1581 Savile Tacitus, Hist. iii. xx. (1591) 126 Shall we not then be forced to stand like good silly fooles gazing and gaping at the height of their towers? 1613 Shakes. Hen. VIII, iii. ii. 357 And when he thinkes, good easie man, full surely His Greatnesse is a ripening.
8. a. Pious, devout; worthy of approbation from the religious point of view.
11‥ O.E. Chron. an. 1086 He wæs milde þam godum mannum þe God lufedon. 1530 Tindale Answ. More Wks. (1573) 274/1 If I be good for the offering of a Doue, and better for a shepe [etc.]. 1581 Lambarde Eiren. i. vi. (1588) 35 Under the word Good, it is meant also that hee loue and feare God aright, without the which he cannot be Good at all. a1661 Fuller Worthies (1811) I. 14 He is called‥a Good Man in the Church, who is pious and devout in his conversation.
b. of books, etc.: Tending to spiritual edification. the good book: spec. the Bible.
1876 A. Trollope Autobiogr. iii. (1883) I. 68 A young man should no doubt‥spend the long hours of the evening in reading good books and drinking tea. 1896 J. Skelton Summers & W. at Balmawhapple I. 160 In spite of the Gude Book and a bit sang at times the house feels lonely.
†c. of a day or season observed as holy by the church. good tide: (a) Christmas; (b) Shrove Tuesday. Cf. Good Friday.
c1420 Liber Cocorum 37 Fro Martyn messe to gode tyde evyne. 1547 Salesbury Welsh Dict., Ynyd‥shrovetide, Good tyde. 1620 Frier Rush 10 Vpon a good night, all the whole Convent assembled together in the Quier. [1820 Wilbraham Chesh. Gloss., Guttit‥Shrovetide.]
9. a. Of a child: Well-behaved, quiet and obedient, not giving trouble (= F. sage, G. artig). Also of adults (converging with sense 5a). Phr. as good as gold.
1695 Congreve Love for Love ii. iii, But come, be a good Girl, don't perplex your poor Uncle. 1727 Boyer Dict. Angl.-Fr. s.v., A good (or sober) Boy, un garçon sage. a1845 Hood Lost Heir 30 Sitting as good as gold in the gutter. 1886 F. H. Burnett Lit. Ld. Fauntleroy x. (1892) 191 She was as good as gold. 1932 N. Royde-Smith Incredible Tale 100 Here we are as good as gold. 1951 M. McLuhan Mech. Bride 118/2 Coke ads concentrate on the ‘good girl’ image. Ibid., The ‘good girl’ is the nineteenth-century stock model which has long been merged with the mother image. 1955 L. P. Hartley Perfect Woman xxiv. 219 ‘Good girl,’ he commented. 1958 Hayward & Harari tr. Pasternak's Dr. Zhivago i. vii. 212 As soon as a few were bumped off by way of example, all the others became as good as gold.
b. be good!; if you can't be good, be careful!, as jocular exhortations to good behaviour, esp. at parting.
1908 S. E. White Riverman iii. 29 Well, good-bye, boys.‥ Be good! 1908 ‘O. Henry’ Gentle Grafter 119 I'll drop in on you‥and we'll have dinner together. Be good. 1911 MacLean's Mag. Mar. 96/2 Well, old man, if you can't be good, be careful. 1929 J. B. Priestley Good Companions i. v. 185 I'm off then! Be good! 1951 T. Rattigan Who is Sylvia? iii. 267 Good night, ladies. Be good.
III. Gratifying, favourable, advantageous.
10. a. Corresponding to one's desires; marked by happiness or prosperity; fortunate. Of news: Welcome, pleasing.
c825 Vesp. Psalter xxxiii. [xxxiv.] 13  Hwelc is mon se wile lif & willað esian dæas gode. a1000 Body & Soul 38 Nis nu se ende to god. a1310 in Wright Lyric P. xix. 59 Jesu Crist, heovene kyng, ȝef us alle god endyng. c1470 Henry Wallace ii. 312 Thomas ansuerd; ‘Thir tithingis ar noucht gud’. 1481 Caxton Godfrey clxxxii. 268 Alle theyr good ewr and fortune. 1535 Coverdale 2 Sam. xx. 18 So came it to a good ende. 1573 J. Sandford Hours Recreat. (1576) 23 A joyfull feaste was to bee made in Florence, for some good newes. 1600 E. Blount tr. Conestaggio (ed. 2) 40 Let them goe in a good hower. 1768 Boyer Dict. Angl.-Fr. s.v., She's so high, that she looks for the good hour every moment. 1770 Langhorne Plutarch (1879) II. 828/2 Ptolemy of Cyprus, as Cato's good stars would have it, took himself off by poison. 1776 Foote Bankrupt i. Wks. 1799 II. 102 Never fear, things are in a very good way. 1843 Dickens Christmas Carol iv. 140 When she asked him faintly what news‥he appeared embarrassed how to answer. ‘Is it good’, she said, ‘or bad?’
b. of a wind: Favourable.
a1400 Octouian 613 Good wynd and whedyr God hem sente. c1485 Digby Myst. (1882) iii. 1744 Þe wynd is good. 1568 Grafton Chron. II. 280 And had so good winde, that‥she arrived before Calice [etc.]. 1625 J. Glanvill Voy. Cadiz 10 That every shipp might be apt to come forth with the first good winde. 1780 Falconer Dict. Marine, Sourdre au vent, to hold a good wind.
c. good afternoon! good evening! †good morn! good morning! †good time of day! elliptical forms of salutation used at meeting or parting. Hence good-morning v., nonce-wd., to say ‘good morning’. See also good day, good even, good morrow, good night.
?a1400 Morte Arth. 3476 The gome graythely hym grette, and bade gode morwene. c1460 Towneley Myst. xii. 82 How, gyb, goode morne, wheder goys thou. c1500 Yng. Childr. Bk. 20 in Babees Bk., To whom þou metys come by þe weye, Curtasly ‘gode morne’ þou sey. 1535 Stewart Cron. Scot. II. 636 The Thane of Caldar, Schir, God ȝow gude morne! 1594 Shakes. Rich. III, i. i. 122 Good time of day vnto my gracious Lord. 1611 —— Cymb. ii. iii. 66 Our deere Sonne, When you haue giuen good morning to your Mistris, Attend the Queene and vs. 1802 G. Colman Br. Grins, Knt. & Friar i. xxxvi, She met them every day, Good morninging, and how d'ye doing. 1865 Dickens Mut. Fr. i. vii, Wegg nods to the face, ‘Good evening’.
d. (to have) a good time (of it): a period of enjoyment. See note s.v. time n. 6.
1666 Pepys Diary 7 Mar., So thither I went, and had as good a time as heart could wish. 1681 Hickeringill Wks. (1716) II. 121 The Orthodox and Protestants had a good time of it. 1845 Carlyle Cromwell (1850) IV. 11 There they had a moderately good time of it. 1863 Trollope Rachel Ray II. vi. 109 Eating cake and drinking currant wine, but not having, on the whole, what our American friends call a good time of it. 1891 Stevenson & L. Osbourne Wrecker (1892) 14 To enrich the world with things of beauty, and have a fairly good time myself while doing so.
e. to have a good night: to sleep undisturbedly and restfully. (So F. une bonne nuit.)
1701 W. Penn in Pa. Hist. Soc. Mem. IX. 47 My daughter‥has had a good night and is better.
f. the good news‥the bad news‥: a formula based on a type of schoolchild's joke (see quot. 19721), in which a piece of good news is undermined by concomitant bad news; also in extended use.
1972 F. Knebel Dark Horse (1973) xii. 186 ‘There are a couple of things I want to talk to you about. From your standpoint, some bad news and some good news, we might say.’‥ ‘Is this like that story of the school principal who calls a father and says I've got some bad news and some good news for you? The bad news is that we've discovered your son is a fag. The good news is that he's just been elected queen of May.’ 1972 N.Y. Times 22 Oct. iv. 6 From the Mayor on down there is good news‥in the fact that the concept of Federal revenue sharing without the inevitable tangle of governmental strings is now law. Now for the bad news. 1977 C. McFadden Serial (1978) xiv. 35/1 What happened next was a particularly humiliating version of a ‘good news/bad news’ joke. Harvey was given a clean bill of health…the doctor on duty‥of course just had to be a tennis friend. 1979 New York 9 Apr. 10 The market has already all of the bad news and‥when the good news arrives in the form of a Mideast peace treaty or record corporate-earnings reports, the market shrugs or retreats. 1985 Observer 22 Sept. 20/7 The good news is that the state‥would ask all prostitutes to take screening tests for the AIDS virus. The bad news is that those who fail will not be banned from working.
11. Said of things which give pleasure. a. Pleasant to the taste. †Also of odours.
971 Blickl. Hom. 73 Nardus & spica, seo is brunes heowes & godes stences. c1000 Ags. Ps. cxviii. [cxix.] 103 Me is on gomum god & swete þin aen word. c1350 Leg. Rood (1871) 73 So gude sauore gan þai fele, Þat [etc.]. 1599 H. Buttes Dyets drie Dinner Cb, Drinke old wine of good savour upon them. 1653 Walton Angler ii. 58 You wil find him very good [to eat]. 1670–1 Narborough Jrnl. in Acc. Sev. Late Voy. i. (1694) 124 Small Blackberries, good and well-tasted. 1684 Yorksh. Dial. 484, I think you heve nut din'd, here's a good smell. 1755 Hay Martial's Epigr. ii. xlviii. 110 Wine, and good fare. 1756–82 J. Warton Ess. Pope (ed. 4) I. iv. 221 His ruling passion of good-eating.
b. Agreeable, amusing, entertaining. Of a jest, speech: Smart, witty. Also in phrase as good as a play. good company (see company 4c).
1530 Palsgr. 867/1 God sende you good company, Dieu vous doynt bon encontre. 1660 Pepys Diary 18 Sept., Here some of us fell to handicap, a sport that I never knew before, which was very good. 1667 Ibid. 26 June, He answered: ‘That is a good one, in faith! for you know yourself to be secure’. 1694, 1775 [see good thing 18c]. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) III. 304 Are they not as good as a play, trying their hand at legislation?
12. a. Conducive to well-being, health, or advantage; beneficial, profitable, salutary, wholesome. Const. for, †to.
971 Blickl. Hom. 57 Þæt man godne mete ete. c1175 Lamb. Hom. 71 Ne wille ic noht þet þe sunfulle beo ded, ac libbe and nime godne red. c1205 Lay. 5432 Hit wes god þat he spec. c1320 Seuyn Sag. (W.) 1676 Sire,‥Thou dost bi a god counseil. a1340 Hampole Psalter cxviii. 11 Disciplyne of silence is goed. 1384 Wyclif Sel. Wks. III. 505 If I erre in þis sentense, I wil mekely be amendid, ȝhe by þo deth, if hit be skilful, for þat I hope were gude to me. 1483 Caxton G. de la Tour Fiv, Therfor this ensample is very good to euery woman to see. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. VII, 7 Before that this evell newly planted wede should straye and wander over the good herbes of his whole realme. 1565 Cooper Thesaurus, Cecubum,‥a kinde of wyne good to digestion. 1573 J. Sandford Hours Recreat. (1576) 95 A parable shewing that Malmesey is good at all tymes of ones meale. 1573 Tusser Husb. ii. (1878) 9 Ceres‥with hir good lessons told me, that [etc.]. 1599 H. Buttes Dyets drie Dinner Eivb, Very good for the short winded, and splenaticke. 1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 209 It is an Ile abounding with all good things requisite for mans use. 1711 H. Lamp Autobiog. iii. (1895) 27 Good counsel was dead, To go home I sham'd. 1891 C. Lowe in 19th Cent. Dec. 858 Knowing much better what is good for its children than these latter themselves.
b. Useful as a remedy. Const. for, †against.
c1450 ME. Med. Bk. (Heinrich) 101 Hit is good for al maner vices of sore yen. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 12 Beside, the pargetting or seeling, is a good safetie against fyre. 1599 H. Buttes Dyets drie Dinner Cijb, Their smell is wondrous good in cordiaque passions. Ibid. Fijb, Good against the paulsie and quivering of the joints. 1626 Bacon Sylva §767 The Water of Nilus‥is excellent Good for the Stone. 1711 Steele Spect. No. 156 ⁋1 A Woman's Man‥is not at a loss what is good for a Cold. 1744 Berkeley Siris §9 Tar was by the ancients esteemed good against poisons. 1883 Gilmour Mongols xxiii. 280 A Mongol‥asked in an earnest whisper if I had any medicine good for wounds.
13. a. Of an opinion, an interpretation, an account: Favourable, approving, laudatory. a good press, a favourable reception in newspapers and journals.
1601 Shakes. Jul. C. ii. i. 145 His Siluer haires Will purchase vs a good opinion. 1617 Moryson Itin. ii. 57 With promise to make good construction of his actions. Ibid. iii. 6 Our very God is in a good sence said to be jelous. 1622 Wither Philarete (1633) 594 To purchase either credit to my name, Or gaine a good Opinion. 1665 Boyle Occas. Refl. iv. iv. (1848) 192 As the Apostles were Fishers of men in a good sense, so their and our grand adversary is a skilful Fisher of men in a bad sense. 1813 Shelley Q. Mab v. 213 Whose applause he sells‥for a cold world's good word. 1908 Times Lit. Suppl. 99/1 Mr. Leaf‥has not had a good press lately. 1915 Truth 25 Aug. 301/2, I suppose he knew that was the sort of thing that would ensure a good press for him when he got back to Berlin. 1928 Observer 22 Jan. 14/6 The new Measure has not, upon the whole, such a ‘good Press’ as that which the House of Commons rejected in December. 1928 Sunday Dispatch 8 July 22/7 A considerable time has passed since a Scotch boxer received such a good Press in the South.
b. to take in good part (see part n.). †Hence ellipt., to take in good (cf. L. boni consulere).
1544 in Lodge Illust. Br. Hist. (1791) I. xxxix. 91 His Maiestie taketh in good your diligence.
IV. With reference to a purpose or effect.
14. a. Adapted to a proposed end; efficient, useful; suitable. Const. for, †to (a purpose or function), to with inf. in good †hour, good time: see the ns.
a1000 Juliana 102 He is to freonde god. c1000 Sax. Leechd. II. 92 Sio biþ god to dolhsealfe. c1205 Lay. 521 He nom his kene men þa to compe weren gode. 1461 Paston Lett. No. 408 II. 35 He and I thought that Richard Bloumvyle were good to that occupacion. 1484 Caxton Fables of Poge iv, What are thoos that folowe the & wherto ben they good. 1551 Turner Herbal i. Fvb, The same [birch] is good to make hoopis of. 1573 J. Sandford Hours Recreat. (1576) 49 Saying proverbially, that they [advocates, etc.] were good men to draw water to his mill. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 29b, The roote of it is good for nothing. 1590 Spenser F.Q. i. i. 8 The Aspine good for staves. 1599 H. Buttes Dyets drie Dinner Civb, The juyce is good sauce to provoke appetite. 1617 Moryson Itin. ii. 101 Like a Quince, requiring great cost ere it be good to eat. 1700 T. Brown tr. Fresny's Amusem. Ser. & Com. 70 What are they good for else but Hanging, or Starving? 1738 Swift Pol. Conversat. 88 Ah, Colonel! you'll never be good.‥ Which of the Goods d'ye mean? good for something, or good for nothing? 1865 Carlyle Fredk. Gt. xv. iii. (1872) V. 294 He was not now good for much; alas, it had been but little he was ever good for.
†b. Easy. Const. to with inf. (Cf. evil a. 4b.)
c1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon iii. 95 Traitours ben good to overcom; they shall not now endure longe agaynst us. Ibid. ix. 224 The foure sones of Aymon were good to knowe by thother.
c. a good question, one that requires careful consideration before answering; one that is very difficult or awkward to answer.
1918 F. von Hügel Let. 11 Dec. (1927) 259 What is the precise meaning of Thekla's insistence upon religion as primarily an is-ness, not an ought-ness? A good question. 1945 C. S. Lewis That Hideous Strength ix. 235 ‘That's a very good question,’ said MacPhee. 1960 G. W. Target Teachers 64 ‘I'd write something right across their arse.’‥‘Wouldn't do any good.’ ‘What would?’ said Bert. ‘That's a good question, Bert.’
15. Chiefly of persons: Having the characteristics or aptitudes required or becoming in a specified or implied capacity or relationship. a. in concord with a n. denoting function, relationship, creed, or party.
a1000 Cædmon's Dan. 11 Wæs him hyrde god, heofonrices weard. c1200 Trin. Coll. Hom. 39 Þe gode herdes wakieð on faire liflode ouer here orf. c1205 Lay. 25475 Cniht he wes wunder god & he hafde swiðe muchel mod. a1300 Cursor M. 7761 Mani gode archer þan was þar. 13‥ E.E. Allit. P. A. 1200 To pay þe prince‥Hit is ful eþe to þe god krystyin. 1548 Hall Chron., Hen. VII, 23b, Furnished with .lxx. thousand good fightyng men. 1613 Purchas Pilgrimage (1614) 250 He had heard even good Saracens affirme with griefe, that‥they could finde no Reason in it [the Koran]. 1632 J. Hayward tr. Biondi's Eromena 84 For there have we good Chirurgions. 1697 Dryden Virg. Georg. iii. 680 Good Shepherds after Sheering drench their Sheep. 1738 Swift Pol. Conversat. 102 A good Wife must be bespoke, for there is none ready made. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. iii. I. 396 Good Latin scholars were numerous.
b. esp. with agent-noun: Thorough or skilful in the action indicated.
971 Blickl. Hom. 207 Se bisceop þa ðær esette gode sangeras & mæssepreostas. 1500–20 Dunbar Poems lxiii. 42 Monsouris of France, gud clarat-cunnaris. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 14b, That the Bailiffe be a good riser, and that‥he may be the fyrst up in the mornyng. 1586 A. Day Eng. Secretary i. (1625) 7 Here is the which‥a phrase never with us accustomed, nor with any good Writer. a1784 [see hater]. 1837 Dickens Pickw. ii, ‘The Doctor, I believe, is a very good shot’, said Mr. Winkle.
c. Competent, skilful, clever at or in (formerly also †for, †of, to) a certain action or pursuit. Sometimes used simply. So of a ship: †good under or with sail.
1340–70 Alex. & Dind. 23 Þe gentil genosophistiens þat goode were of witte. c1400 Sowdone Bab. 67 The maister sende a man to londe, Of diuers langages was gode and trewe. 1548 Hall Chron., Edw. IV, 209 The kynges shyp was good with sayle. 1561 Becon Sick Mans Salve Pref. (1572) Aiij, ‘My dayes’, saith Job‥‘are passed away as the ships that be good vnder saile, & as the Egle that flyeth vnto the pray’. c1566 J. Alday tr. Boaystuau's Theat. World Tb, Cais Cesar was so good on horsebacke that [etc.]. 1617 Moryson Itin. iii. 51 The Florentines‥good at the needle. 1656 Wood Life 22 July, He was very good for the treble violl, and also for the violin. 1700 T. Brown tr. Fresny's Amusem. Ser. & Com. 71 Brave Men indeed, if they were half as good at Praying, and Fighting, as they are at Cursing and Swearing. 1712 Steele Spect. No. 497 ⁋1 Such whom he observed were good at a Halt, as his phrase was. 1776 Foote Bankrupt i. Wks. 1799 II. 100 Are you good at a riddle? 1782 Nelson in Nicolas Disp. (1845) I. 64 He does his duty exceedingly well as an Officer: indeed I am very well off. They are all good. 1808 Sporting Mag. XXXII. 76 He‥shewed good, but fell on his knees on one of his adversary's blows. 1813 Scott Rokeby i. xiii, Good I am called at trumpet's sound, And good when goblets dance the round. 1849 Thackeray Pendennis i. xx, I am not good at descriptions of female beauty. 1855 Macaulay Hist. Eng. xiii. III. 330 All comely in appearance, and good men of their hands.
16. Reliable, safe. In various specific uses, chiefly a. Comm. Of a trader: Able to fulfil his engagements; financially sound. Of a life, with reference to insurance: Likely to continue a long time, free from exceptional risks. good debts: those which are expected to be paid in full.
1570 Foxe A. & M. (ed. 2) 1131/2 Many‥passyng it ouer one to an other for good debt, as if it had bene ready money in their purses. 1596 Shakes. Merch. V. i. iii. 15 My meaning in saying he is a good man, is to haue you vnderstand me that he is sufficient. 1605 Marston Dutch Courtezan iii. ii. E2b, Gar. Your bill had ben sufficient, y'are a good man. 1632 Massinger City Madam iii. iii, Fair household-furniture, a few good debts‥I find. a1661 Fuller Worthies (1840) I. iv. 20 He is called‥a Good Man upon the exchange, who hath a responsible estate. 1755 N. Magens Insurances I. 403 These Contracts are sold and re-sold at Pleasure‥when they are signed by good and known People. 1788 Wesley Wks. (1872) VII. 219 The whole city of London uses the words rich and good as equivalent terms. 1805 Sporting Mag. XXV. 193, I stood firm, and upon 'Change, was universally reported to be a good man. 1828 D. le Marchant Rep. Claims to Barony Gardner 78 It was a sufficiently good life within the meaning of the terms of that insurance office. 1831 T. L. Peacock Crotchet Castle iii. 34 Good and respectable, sir, I take it, means rich?
b. good for (a certain amount): (a) of a person, that may be relied on to pay so much; (b) of a promissory note, draft, etc., drawn for so much (cf. F. bon pour); hence in S. African use good-for n. (see quot. 1879); (c) capable of producing; valid for, etc. orig. U.S.
1865 Trollope in Fortn. Rev. 1 Oct. 419 The porter‥had taken his luggage eagerly, knowing that Mr. Belton was always good for sixpence. 1873 J. H. Beadle Undevel. West xviii. 337 From thirty to forty tons of ore‥, good for an average profit of a hundred and fifty dollars per ton. 1879 R. J. Atcherley Boerland 232, I halted in order to cash a ‘good for’ I held of the owner. These ‘good fors’, which answer to an English IOU, are common enough in South Africa. 1882 Rider Haggard Cetywayo 133 As there was no cash in the country this was done by issuing Government promissory notes, known as ‘goodfors’. 1901 Merwin & Webster Calumet ‘K’ vi. 104 ‘How's it coming out?’ he asked. ‘Do we know how much we're good for?’ 1903 N.Y. Tribune 20 Sept., A 50-cent combination ticket good for every amusement on the island. a1916 H. James Middle Years (1917) i. 12 In possession of a return ticket ‘good’, as we say, for a longer interval than I could then dream about. 1967 Listener 14 Sept. 326/1, I look at a person and I say well, he's good for £5 or £6 for one watch, which cost me 30 shillings.
c. good for (a period of time, an amount of exertion): safe to live or last so long, well able to accomplish so much.
1859 G. W. Dasent Popular Tales fr. Norse 205 The lassie said she was good to spin a pound of flax in four and twenty hours. 1893 F. M. Crawford Marion Darche I. 140 There is nothing in the world the matter with him; he is good for another twenty years. Mod. Are you good for a ten miles' walk?
d. To †make, †become, come good for: to be surety for. Obs. exc. Sc.
1502 Ord. Crysten Men (W. de W. 1506) i. iv. 45 The godfader and godmoder ben pledges & maketh good for hym. 1591 Percivall Sp. Dict., Abono, making good, or under~taking for another, vadimonium. 1645 Rutherford Tryal & Tri. Faith (1845) 79 He is become good to the Father for us. 1892 W. Ramage Last Words xxxiv. 322 Having come good for the transgressor the surety could be spared no part of the punishment.
†e. Predicatively, of a space of time: Available (for a purpose).
1711 Budgell Spect. No. 77 ⁋1 Will‥pulled out his Watch, and told me we had seven Minutes good. 1749 Chesterfield Lett. (1792) II. ccix. 295 You have still two years good, but no more, to form your character. 1749 Fielding Tom Jones xvi. x, I suppose he hath not many Hours to live. As for you, Sir, you have a Month at least good yet.
V. Adequate, effectual, valid.
17. a. Of personal actions or activities: Adequate to the purpose; sufficient in every respect; thorough. good heed, good speed: see the ns.
1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1153 Al folc him luuede for he dide god iustise & makede pais. a1310 in Wright Lyric P. xxv. 75 Jesu‥send mi soule god weryyng That y ne drede non eovel thing. Ibid. xxxvii. 103 Ȝef thou nymest wel god keep [etc.]. 1548 Hall Chron., Edw. IV, 240b, The which desyre, if the Fleminges had but geven good care to. 1584 R. Scot Discov. Witchcr. x. i. 177 The Prophet giueth vs good warning. 1617 Moryson Itin. ii. 66 [He] made a very good stand. Ibid. 156 So that except they steale their passage (which I feare most) I make no doubt but my Lord President will giue a very good accompt of them. 1639 T. Brugis tr. Camus' Mor. Relat. 356 Who did them good and speedy justice. 1726 Swift Gulliver iv. i, I drew my Hanger, and gave him a good Blow with the flat Side of it. 1820 Shelley Œdipus i. 147, I have taken good care That shall not be. 1849 Macaulay Hist. Eng. ii. I. 195 He admitted that the House‥had done good service to the crown. 1878 S. Walpole Hist. Eng. I. 371 Society did not see anything either unseemly or unmanly in a man administering a good beating to his wife.
b. of a belief, conviction, feeling, will. For the phrases (obs. or arch.) in good earnest, good faith, good sadness, good sooth, good truth, see the ns.
c1175 Lamb. Hom. 5 We sulen habben ure heorte and habben godne ileafe to ure drihten. c1305 St. Lucy 43 in E.E.P. (1862) 102 Þi bileue þat is so god: helpeþ þi moder iwis. 1530 Tindale Answ. More's Dial. Gj, As if a man said, the boyes will was good to haue geuen his father a blowe. 1617 Moryson Itin. ii. 203 Wee are in good hope they are all gone.
18. Of a right, claim, reason, plea, proposition: Valid, sound. Of a legal decision, a contract, an act of any kind: Valid, effectual, in force; not vitiated by any flaw. to hold good, stand good: see the vbs.
a1000 Azarias 109 A þin dom sy god & genge. c1230 Hali Meid. 13 Þu of earnest meiden to beo engle euening‥& wið god rihte hwen þu hare liflade‥leadest. c1315 Shoreham 129 Ich dar segge mid gode ryȝte, That [etc.]. 1340 Ayenb. 6 Ine guode skele me may zuerie wyþ-oute zenne. c1550 Cheke Matt. xx. 4 Whatsoever is good reason I wil give iou. 1560 J. Daus tr. Sleidane's Comm. 78b, Ferdinando‥affirmed the kyngdome to be his by good right. 1562 Act 5 Eliz. c. 12 §4 Licences‥shall have Continuance and be good only for one Year. 1568 Grafton Chron. II. 100 Stood foorth and proved the former election to be good. 1574 tr. Littleton's Tenures 7a, If‥the land is geven to the sonne, and to the heire of the bodye of his father engendred, this is a good taile. 1594 Hooker Eccl. Pol. i. (1676) 69 Under this fair and plausible colour, whatsoever they utter passeth for good and currant. 1596 Harington Metam. Ajax (1814) 107 And this stands with good reason. 1599 Massinger, etc. Old Law iii. i, It is good in law too. 1617 Moryson Itin. iii. 28 Having the Lawes‥together with a good cause on his side. 1689 Locke Governmt. i. §149 Every Father of a Family‥had as good a claim to Royalty as these. a1732 Atterbury (J.), He is resolved now to shew how slight the propositions were which Luther let go for good. 1755 N. Magens Insurances I. 406 Goods not proved to be neutral Property might be condemned as good Prize. 1818 Cruise Digest (ed. 2) V. 509 Although a recovery be a good bar to a remainder for years [etc.]. 1855 Macaulay Hist. Eng. xi. III. 29 Was not a letter written by the first Prince of the Blood‥at least as good a warrant as a vote of the Rump? 1871 Morley Voltaire (1886) 8 The impression that the hearer, for good reasons or bad, happens to have formed. 1885 Sir F. North in Law Rep. 29 Ch. Div. 541 That part of the appointment being bad, did not prevent the limitation over being good. 1898 Murison Sir W. Wallace v. 91 He promptly hanged such as failed to furnish a good excuse.
19. a. Satisfactory or adequate in quantity or degree; sufficiently ample or abundant; considerable, rather great. Freq. in a good way (dial. and U.S. ways), a considerable distance; also transf. of time. For a good deal, few, many, see those words. to have a good mind to (see mind).
a1000 O.E. Chron. an. 913 Him bea god dæl þæs folces to. a1000 Rood 70 (Gr.) We ðær reotende gode hwile stodon on staðole. c1220 Bestiary 404 Ne stereð ȝe noȝt of ðe stede a god stund deies. c1300 Beket 69 Heo wende forth with wel god pas. 1382 Wyclif Luke vi. 38 Thei schulen ȝyue in to ȝoure bosum a good mesure, and wel fillid. c1450 ME. Med. Bk. (Heinrich) 72 Let þe seke vse þer of‥a good qwantite at ones. 1526 Tindale Acts ix. 23 After a good while. 1568 Grafton Chron. II. 22 These thynges were done a good space after. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 1b, Being nowe of good yeeres and sickely. Ibid. iv. 163 Beside, you must have‥good plentie of duste, wherein they may bathe and proyne themselves. 1634 Sir T. Herbert Trav. 81 And having obtained a good force from the relieving Turkes and Tartars, he easily advanced. 1646 Sir T. Browne Pseud. Ep. i. viii. 30 An Author of good Antiquity. 1551, 1662 [see way n.1 8]. 1588, 1594 [way n.1 23c]. 1665 Sir T. Herbert Trav. (1677) 356 Persons of such ingenuity and so good a purse as [etc.]. 1687 A. Lovell tr. Thevenot's Trav. i. 34 To play and sing a good part of the day. 1759 B. Martin Nat. Hist. Eng. II. Cardigan 364 There are a good Plenty both of River and Sea-fish. 1799 G. Smith Laboratory I. 20 Fill one rocket shell with a good charge, quite full. 1809 M. L. Weems Life of Marion xiii. 116 Yes, by jing, does he live a good way up!‥a matter of seventy miles. 1851 Dixon W. Penn xvi. (1872) 138 The composition of this work kept Penn at home a good part of the year. 1862 O. W. Norton Army Lett. (1903) 125 That day may be a good way off but still I do not get homesick in the least. 1864 T. L. Nichols 40 Yrs. Amer. Life I. 250 It's a good way, and you will be out late. 1877 A. B. Horton in Moloney Forestry W. Afr. (1887) 38 The planting must be during the rainy season, as it requires a good quantity of water. 1885 World 1 Sept. 11 A good number of deer have been shot during the last fortnight.
b. Preceding another adj. (expressing either large size, strength, resisting power, or the like) to which it serves as a moderate intensive. Similarly †good pretty = pretty good. (Cf. B. b.)
c1300 Havelok 2554 Hand-ax, syþe, gisarm, or spere, Or aunlaz, and god long knif. 1535 Coverdale 2 Macc. iv. 41 Some gat stones, some good stronge clubbes. 1548 Udall etc. Erasm. Par. Luke 149b, A good preatie waie of. 1565 Jewel Repl. Harding (1611) 269 He hath some good prety skill in peeuish Arguments. 1586 Earl of Leicester in Leycester Corresp. (Camden 1844) 254 A good sharp warr. 1593 G. Gifford Dial. Conc. Witches (1843) 12 We have a schoolemaister that is a good pretie scholler (they say) in the Latine tongue. 1646 H. Hammond in Ld. Falkland's View 25 A good large Province. 1787 ‘G. Gambado’ Acad. Horsem. (1809) 35 A good smart cut over his right cheek. 1885 Daily News 16 July 4/7 It will take a good long time to bring them right. Mod. He writes a good bold hand.
20. Qualifying a definite statement of quantity, to indicate an amount not less, and usually greater, than what is stated. Often following its n., and so approaching an adv. (Cf. full a. 8, full adv.)
c1000 Sax. Leechd. II. 292 Genim giðcornes leafa gode hand fulle. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. iii. (1586) 144 Geve to every one three spoonefulles good. 1598 Stow Surv. 349 More than a goode flight shot towards Kings Land. 1626 Bacon Sylva §17 Take Violets, and infuse a good Pugill of them in a Quart of Vineger. 1662 J. Davies tr. Olearius' Voy. Ambass. 17 A good quarter of an ell high. 1690 Child Disc. Trade (1694) 7 It is a good man's work all the year to be following vintners and shopkeepers for money. 1834 L. Ritchie Wand. by Seine 26 We have three quarters good to a voyage of half an hour. 1842 Mrs. Carlyle Lett. I. 166 The Post-office, which is a good two miles off. 1876 Geo. Eliot Dan. Der. I. xii. 231 He‥played a good hour on the violoncello.
VI. Idiomatic phrases.
21. as good. a. Orig. in phr. such as (me) were as good = it were as good for me (etc.); where good is the adj. In later developments, I were as good, I had as good (= I might as well), good tends to be felt as adverbial: cf. have v. 22. Hence occas. such uses as I may or might as good, where as good is purely adverbial = as well.
?a1450 Thomas & Fairy Q. in Halliwell Illustr. Fairy Mythol. (1845) 66 Me had been as good to goo To the brynnyng fyre of hell. 1480 Robt. Devyll 343 in Hazl. E.P.P. I. 233 A man had ben as good to have be smytten with thonder. ?14‥ in Utterson Sel. E.P.P. (1817) II. 36 One were, in a maner, as good be slayne. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. (1812) I. 754 We were as good to go towardes Flaunders as to Boloyne. 1573 G. Harvey Letter-bk. (Camden) 44 Thai miht as good eate whot Coales as deni me agajn. 1591 Lyly Endym. iii. i. 31 As good sleepe and doe no harme, as wake and doe no good. 1605 A. Wotton Answ. Pop. Articles 59 Were not Christ as good have a troubled Church as none at all? 1647 Trapp Comm. 1 Cor. xiv. 2 As good he may hold his tongue, for God needs him not. 1668 Shadwell Sullen Lovers i. i. Wks. 1720 I. 27 She had as good have thrown her money into the dirt. 1671 J. Flavel Fount. Life ii. 31 As good no Law as No Penalty. 1697 Collier Ess. Mor. Subj. ii. 138 His Gold might as good have stay'd at Peru, as come into his Custody. 1789 Mrs. Piozzi Journ. France I. 299 It were as good live at Brest or Portsmouth‥as here. 1816 Scott Antiq. xv, ‘I had as gude gang back to the town, and take care o' the wean’. 1843 Haliburton Attaché II. xii. 209, I do suppose we had as good make tracks, for I don't want folks to know me yet.
b. as good as: advb. phr. = Practically, to all intents and purposes.
1436 Libel Eng. Pol. in Pol. Songs (Rolls) II. 187 But if Englond were nyghe as gode as gone. 1530 Palsgr. 861/1 As good as doone, quasi. 1535 Coverdale Neh. iv. 12 The Iewes‥tolde vs as good as ten tymes. 1577 Hanmer Anc. Eccl. Hist. viii. vii. (1585) 149 A fierce bull which tossed‥and left them as good as dead. a1614 Donne Βιαθανατος (1644) 147 She was brought very neer the fire, and as good as thrown in. a1687 Petty Pol. Arith. i. (1691) 17 The Seamen have as good as 12s. in Wages, Victuals [etc.]. 1699 Bentley Phal. 491 Scipio‥and Cicero‥do both as good as declare, that [etc.]. 1711 Lond. Gaz. No. 4806/2 The Marriage‥is look'd upon to be as good as concluded. 1817 Byron Beppo xxxv, In law he was almost as good as dead. 1871 Carlyle in Mrs. Carlyle's Lett. III. 19 We had intended to make no visits this year, or as good as none. 1891 L. B. Walford Mischief of Monica viii, I as good as said you would.
c. to be as good as (one's word): to act up to the full sense of, to carry out fully.
1577 Stanyhurst Descr. Irel. in Holinshed (1587) II. (K.O.). 1638 Cromwell in Carlyle Lett. & Sp. App. ii, I doubt not but I shall be as good as my word for your money. 1661–2 Pepys Diary 28 Feb., To be as good as my word, I bade Will get me a rod. 1713 Addison Guardian No. 136 ⁋3 He has been as good as his promise. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) III. 305.
22. make good. a. trans. To make up for; to compensate for, atone for; to supply (a deficiency), to pay (an expense). †Also (rarely) intr., to make up or compensate for.
1377 Langl. P. Pl. B. xvii. 77 What he speneth more I make the good here-after. 1389 in Eng. Gilds 7 Þat alle þe costages that be mad aboute hym be mad good of the box. 1573–80 Baret Alv. S823 If anie thing was stolne awaie, I euer made it good. a1704 R. L'Estrange (J.), Every distinct being has somewhat peculiar to itself, to make good in one circumstance what it wants in another. 1719 De Foe Crusoe ii. xi, If you will make good our pay to us. 1757 in Scrafton Indostan (1770) 67 What has been plundered by his people [shall be] made good. 1810 Splendid Follies II. 7, I like to make good for the trumpeters, and blow up such a tune as would collect a gaping multitude from a mile distant. 1846 Trench Mirac. vii. (1862) 196 Making good at least a part of the error by its unreserved confession. 1884 Manch. Exam. 29 May 4/7 Any deficiency in repayment shall be made good out of the county cess.
b. To fulfil, perform (a promise, etc.); to carry out, succeed in effecting (a purpose).
1535 Coverdale 2 Chron. vi. 16 Make good vnto my father Dauid‥that which thou hast promysed him. 1657 North's Plutarch Notes 512. 42 The ten thousand Grecians‥made good their retreat through Asia into Europe. 1701 W. Wotton Hist. Rome 208 His Men would make good his Attempt. 1712 Budgell Spect. No. 404 ⁋2 Nature makes good her Engagements. 1736 Butler Anal. i. v. (Tegg) 80 Keeping upon his guard in order to make good his resolution. 1793 Smeaton Edystone L. §129 She might‥make her course good to land us at Fowey. 1823 Scott Quentin D. xxxiii, Will you make good your promise? 1854 H. Miller Sch. & Schm. (1858) 522 Making good his upward way from his original place at the compositor's frame, to the editorship of a provincial paper. 1866 J. Martineau Ess. I. 174 A discredited prophet unable to make good his word. 1893 Earl Dunmore Pamirs I. 314 The rebels managed to make good their retreat.
c. To prove to be true or valid; to demonstrate the truth of (a statement), to substantiate (a charge). to make it good upon any one, his person: to enforce one's assertion by combat, or the infliction of blows.
1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. clxi. 196, I shulde make it good on you incontynent that ye haue no right to bere my deuyce. 1592 Shakes. Rom. & Jul. v. iii. 286 This letter doth make good the Friers words. 1596 Harington Metam. Ajax 104, I‥wil make it good on their persons from the pin to the pike. 1607–12 Bacon Ess., Seeming Wise (Arb.) 216/1 Some‥take by admittance that, which they cannot make good. 1663 Gerbier Counsel Fviijb, You will‥make good‥that you are not of those who content themselves with‥outsides of books. 1772 Junius Lett. lxviii. 334, I am now to make good my charge against you. 1820 Scott Ivanhoe xii, I should like to hear how that is made good? 1875 E. White Life in Christ iii. xxi. (1878) 303 His general argument has been made good on other grounds.
d. To make sure of; to secure (prisoners); to hold, to gain and hold (one's ground, a position).
1606 G. W[oodcocke] tr. Justin's Hist. 116b, His own kingdom‥he long honorably had made good against his enemies. 1617 Moryson Itin. ii. 166 This Fort his Lp. and his Company made good, till he was relieved from the Lord Deputie. 1643 Declar. Comm., Reb. Irel. 42 But being un~armed‥they could not make good their Prisoners. 1663 Butler Hud. i. i. 700 The Bear‥being bound In Honour to make good his Ground. 1804 W. Tennant Ind. Recreat. (ed. 2) I. 326 The invaders have hardly any opportunity of making good a livelihood in the field. 1843 Arnold Hist. Rome III. 117 The walls‥of Rome were ordered to be made good against an attack.
†e. to make one's part or party good: to make a successful resistance (see part, party). Obs.
f. To repair; to replace or restore (what is lost or damaged).
1568 Grafton Chron. II. 128 If any were perished by keping, then the Abbot to make them good. 1726 Leoni Alberti's Archit. II. 129/2 In making good this break you must not work it up quite to the rest of the building. 1793 Smeaton Edystone L. §121 The space which had been previously occupied by the rock so cut down must have been made good by fresh Matter. 1884 Law Times Rep. LI. 161/2 The appellants undertook‥to make good any damage done to the property. 1889 Yorksh. Archæol. Jrnl. X. 556 They have been entirely removed and the place made good with plain stonework.
g. absol. To fill up even or level.
1793 Smeaton Edystone L. §38 A set of short balks were laid‥upon the next step‥so as to make good up to the surface of the third step.
h. intr. (See sense 16d.)
i. To succeed; to achieve success; to satisfy expectations; to fulfil a promise or obligation. orig. U.S.
1901 Merwin & Webster Calumet ‘K’ ii. 20 It'll play the devil with us if we can't make good. 1908 G. H. Lorimer J. Spurlock v. 89, I need work and I need it quick. Give me a show and I'll make good. 1908 Daily Chron. 25 Feb. 6/7, I made good, as the Yankees say, with my songs. 1909 H. G. Wells Tono-Bungay iii. i. 214 They couldn't for a moment ‘make good’ if the quarter of what they guarantee was demanded of them. 1910 W. M. Raine B. O'Connor 55 All I ask of you is to make good. 1914 G. Atherton Perch of Devil i. 58 Ability and talent make good as always. 1927 Daily Tel. 7 Mar. 2 The board consider that the company will now make good. 1946 E. B. Thompson Amer. Daughter 225 You go on and make good. 1958 House & Garden Mar. 111 (Advt.), To record certain extracts from the Schweppshire Roll, wherein are recorded the names of Schweppshire Lads who have Made Good.
j. Poker. (See quots.)
1882 Poker; how to play It 8 When all who wish to play have gone in, the person putting up the ante‥can play like the others who have gone in, by ‘making good’,—that is putting up in addition to the ante as much more as will make him equal in stake to the rest. 1895 ‘Templar’ Poker Man. 4 If he determines to play on, he ‘makes good’, as the expression is; that is, he adds to his ante as much as will make his total stake equal to that of each of the other players. 1904 R. F. Foster Pract. Poker 232 Make Good.—Adding enough to the blind or straddle to make it equal to the ante. 1929 Arnold & Johnston Poker 150 Make good. To add sufficient to an ante or bet to meet a raise. 1950 L. H. Dawson Hoyle's Games Modernized i. 122 B‥does not fancy his chance of improving as worth another yellow, so refuses to ‘make good’, and retires.
23. good old: see old a. 8b.
24. Proverbial phr. too good to be true.
[1578 G. Whetstone Promos & Cassandra B3, I thought thy talke was too sweete to be true.] 1580 T. Lupton (title) Siuquila. Too good to be true. 1594 J. Lyly Mother Bombie iv. ii, in Wks. (1902) III. 208 It was too good to be true. a1691 J. Flavel Method of Grace (1699) vii. 133 They thought it was too good to be true. 1849 Geo. Eliot Let. May (1954) I. 282 There is a sort of blasphemy in that proverbial phrase ‘too good to be true’. 1908 W. S. Churchill My African Journey v. 90 It is too good to be true. One can hardly believe that such an attractive spot can be cursed with malignant attributes. 1961 New English Bible Lk. xxiv. 41 They were still unconvinced, still wondering, for it seemed too good to be true.
B. adv. a. qualifying a vb. In a good manner; well; properly. Now chiefly U.S. exc. in vulgar or slang phrases. Also in phrase †as good as = ‘as well as’. †b. qualifying an adj. or adv., with intensive force: In a high degree, ‘right’. Obs. (Cf. A. 19b.) c. In the phrase as good (see A. 21) the adj. sometimes becomes an adv. through change of construction.
In good cheap the word is not originally an adverb: see cheap n. 8, 9.
13‥ K. Alis. 6267 Thikke and schort and gud sette. c1380 Wyclif Sel. Wks. III. 130 And gode marke how Crist‥bad his gostly knyghtes go into al þo world. 1422 tr. Secreta Secret., Priv. Priv. (E.E.T.S.) 146 Thes goodes byth comyn als good to willde bestis as to men. a1655 Sir N. L'Estrange in W. J. Thoms Anecd. & Traditions (Camden 1839) 50 Having a fellow before him good refractorie and stubborne. Ibid. 59 They‥good fiercely began to trusse up. Ibid. 74 A sturdie vagrant‥begged good-saucily on Sir Drue Drurie. 1834 D. Crockett Narr. Life xii. 86, I‥shot him [sc. a bear] the third time, which killed him good. 1838 C. Gilman Recoll. Southern Matron 32 We will behave. We will behave good. 1840 Southern Lit. Messenger VI. 386/1 She used to tap her with it on the hands, when she behaved bad, or did not say her lesson good. 1859 Bartlett Dict. Amer. (ed. 2) s.v., English travellers have repeatedly noticed the adverbial use of this word. ‘He cannot read good.’ ‘It does not shoot good.’ 1865 in S. E. Morison Oxf. Hist. U.S. (1927) II. 318 Columbia!— pretty much all burned; and burned good. 1885 W. L. Alden Adv. Jimmy Brown 90 The bee‥lit on Tom's hand and stung him good. 1887 F. Francis, Jr. Saddle & Mocassin vii. 131 I'll fix them—and fix them good while I'm about it. 1901 S. E. White Westerners xv. 113 He'd have trimmed th' little cuss good. 1904 W. N. Harben Georgians 119, I stayed all day an' looked about good before I traded. 1946 K. Tennant Lost Haven (1947) vi. 89 We're doing pretty good. 1962 J. Ludwig in R. Weaver Canad. Short Stories 2nd Ser. (1968) 258 She stunk up that ritzy dress shop good. 1971 Observer (Colour Suppl.) 21 Nov. 65/1 If he makes it [sc. steel] good, it rolls good. [Steelworks in Cumberland.]
d. good and, as an intensive. colloq. (orig. U.S.).
[1834 C. A. Davis Lett. J. Downing 6 Don't forgit my face, and the Gineral's face; and let the likenesses be good and natural.] 1885 W. L. Alden Adv. Jimmy Brown 88 So I got out the needle, and jammed it into his leg with both hands, so that it would go in good and deep. 1889 Kansas Times & Star 18 Mar., The shamrock doubtless will be wet often, and the tyrannical lion's tail twisted good and plenty. 1892 Kipling Barrack-room Ballads 43 We met them good and large. 1896 Ade Artie xvi. 146, I was good and sore. 1901 Merwin & Webster Calumet ‘K’ i. 14 We got the letter the same day the red-headed man came here. His hair was good and red. 1904 J. London Let. 17 Nov. (1966) 165 The lawyers‥waded into me good and hard for the cash. 1923 R. D. Paine Comrades of Rolling Ocean iv. 57 I'll roll out there when I get good and ready. 1926 Publishers' Weekly 15 May 1593 That made me good and provoked. 1928 Daily Express 2 Feb. 9/2 Colonel Ernest Cassell Maxwell‥said‥‘She went through it‥good and proper, and I am sorry for her.’ 1931 Galsworthy Maid in Waiting iii. 18 Castro got it good and strong this morning. 1954 Encounter Nov. 16/2 The American Machiavelli is tethered good and fast to the pole of Communism. 1969 B. Knox Tallyman ii. 22 [It] can wait until we're good and ready.
C. quasi-n. and n. I. 1. a. The adj. used absol. as pl.: Good persons. Now only in the moral sense, and always with the (exc. occas. in good and bad).
c1300 Cursor M. 25249 (Cott. Galba) On domesday‥þe euill sall fra þe gude be drawn. a1450 Le Morte Arth. 2157 Grete pyte was on eyther syde So fele goode ther were layd downe. a1592 H. Smith Serm. (1637) 422 The good are knowne, because none but they which are good, strive to be better. 1613 Shakes. Hen. VIII, v. v. 28 All Princely Graces‥With all the Vertues that attend the good, Shall still be doubled on her. a1721 Prior Henry & Emma 713 With power invested, and with pleasure cheer'd, Sought by the good, by the oppressor fear'd. 1746 Smollett Reproof 97 Sworn foe to good and bad, to great and small. 1810 Shelley Death, a Dial. 4 Where‥the good cease to tremble at Tyranny's nod.
b. sing., referring to God. rare—1.
1814 Cary Dante, Par. viii. 103 The Good, that guides And blessed makes this realm which thou dost mount.
II. The neuter adj. used absol., passing into n.: That which is good.
2. a. In the widest sense: Whatever is good in itself, or beneficial in effect.
Beowulf (Z.) 955 Alwalda þec gode forylde! c1000 Ags. Gosp. Matt. xii. 35 God mann soðlice of godum goldhorde, bringð god forð. c1200 Vices & Virtues (1888) 27 Na þing ne mai ðe ȝelimpen ne to-cumen neiðer ne euel ne god‥bute [etc.]. a1300 Cursor M. 27675 Quere þe es for ill or god. 1435 Misyn Fire of Love ii. ix. 90 Betwyx guyd and betwix euyll. 1590 Shakes. Two Gent. v. iv. 156 They are reformed, ciuill, full of good, And fit for great employment. 1623 W. Capps in E. D. Neill Virginia Vetusta (1885) 129, I thinke God hath sent him in mercie for good to us. 1688 Miege Fr. Dict. s.v. Bring, To bring a Child to know Good from Evil. 1748 Butler Serm. Wks. 1874 II. 304 A person may make amends for the good he has blamably omitted. 1813 Shelley Q. Mab iii. 153 He who leads Invincibly a life of resolute good. 1841 Lane Arab. Nts. I. 117 Remote from virtue or good. 1873 W. S. Tyler Hist. Amherst Coll. 444 A prayer-meeting on Sunday evening which‥ has become a power for good in the College.
b. The good portion, side, or aspect (of anything). (Cf. sense 4.)
1670 G. H. Hist. Cardinals ii. iii. 182 Having grown to a capacity of penetrating into the good and bad of an affair. 1858 J. B. Norton Topics 152 The absence of necessity for the measure, its many evils, and its little good. 1884 Ruskin Pleas. Eng. 22 True knowledge of any thing or creature is only of the good of it.
3. The well-being, profit, or benefit (of a person, community, or thing).
971 Blickl. Hom. 75 Swylce eac on oþres gode beon swiþe efeonde. a1300 Cursor M. 25274 Þe ferth bon þou askes fode, bath for lijf and saul gode. 1340 Hampole Pr. Consc. 5210, I was hanged upon þe rode, Bytwen twa thefes for yhour gode. 1611 Bible Transl. Pref. 1 Zeale to promote the common good. 1611 B. Jonson Catiline iv. ii, If he had employ'd Those excellent gifts‥Vnto the good, not ruin, of the State. 1677 A. Yarranton Eng. Improv. 100, I shall‥joyn in any thing that may be for all our goods. 1773 Goldsm. Stoops to Conq. iv, Were you not told to drink freely‥for the good of the house? 1773 Mrs. Chapone Improv. Mind (1774) II. 34 Be thankful to the kind hand that inflicts [pain] for our good. 1786 Burns Twa Dogs 148 In‥some gentle Master…thrang a parliamentin, For Britain's guid his saul indentin. 1823 Keble Serm. iv. (1848) 86 Those who invent any project for the good of mankind, commonly entertain high hopes of the success of their invention. 1863 Geo. Eliot Romola ii. xxviii, Love does not aim simply at the conscious good of the beloved object.
4. The resulting advantage, benefit, or profit of anything. (Cf. sense 2b.)
1701 Rowe Amb. Step-Moth. iv. i. 1744 What is the good of Greatness but the Power. 1737 Bracken Farriery Impr. (1756) I. 288 What is the Good of putting down a long Train of Recipes? 1826 E. Irving Babylon II. viii. 265 No one will believe, in fact, more than he can understand; and that is generally as much as he can see the good of. 1878 Jevons Prim. Pol. Econ. 24 There could be no good in building docks unless there were ships to load in them. 1883 Gilmour Mongols xxvi. 311, I began by asking them what good they supposed the repetition was calculated to effect. 1885 Howells Silas Lapham (1891) I. 148 The Colonel laughed all the more. He was going to get all the good out of this.
5. Phrases. (See also agood.) a. to do good: (a) to act rightly, fulfil the moral law; (b) to show kindness to; (c) to employ oneself in philanthropic work; (d) to improve the condition of, be beneficial to (const. to or dat.); so in much good may it do you (and shortened forms: see esp. dich), often ironically. to do any good: to effect any good result; also, to make progress, ‘get on’, improve, thrive. †to speak, say to (a person) good: to address kindly. to speak, say, †think good of: to praise, report or think well of.
c825 Vesp. Psalter xiii[i]. 1 Nis se ðe doe god nis oð enne. 971, c1000 [see evil n. 2]. 1154 O.E. Chron. an. 1135 Wua sua bare his byrthen gold & sylure durste nan man sei to him naht bute god. a1200 Moral Ode 17 Erȝe we beoð to done god. a1225 Ancr. R. 116 Þe put deð muche god to moni ancre. a1300 Cursor M. 11806 Hu had he hert to sced þair blod þat neuer did til him bot godd? c1430 Syr Gener. 9219 Lucas him goode spake and honoured, And vnto his deliueraunce he procured. c1489 Caxton Sonnes of Aymon ix. 217, I cowde nother ete nor drynke ony thyng that dyde me goode. 1535 Coverdale Acts x. 38 Iesus‥wente aboute & dyd good. Ibid. 1 Tim. vi. 18 Charge them whiche are riche‥That they do good. 1577 B. Googe Heresbach's Husb. i. (1586) 18b, Some of them doo good to the grounde the yeere folowyng. a1631 Donne Lett. (1651) 64 Much good do it you. 1640 Shirley St. Patrick v. i. H3b, I cannot doe good upon water and sallads. 1658 W. Burton Comm. Antoninus 142 Whose opinion Camden at first thought good of. 1698 Fryer Acc. E. India & P. 314 He finding no good to be done with me, began [etc.]. 1783 Hist. Miss Baltimores II. 59 Well, much good may do you! a1784 Johnson in Mrs. Piozzi Anecd. of J. (1786) 208 His learning does no good, and his wit‥gives us no pleasure. 1842 Ld. Houghton in T. W. Reid Life (1891) I. vii. 287 His pretty, dressy wife, too, does him no good, as she does nothing to please or attach the people. 1855 Jrnl. R. Agric. Soc. XVI. i. 29 The animal‥falls out of condition; he appears ‘to do no good’, to use a familiar‥phrase. 1879 E. Garrett House by Wks. II. 102 Sometimes I doubt if she will be as ready to begin doing good again.
b. to the good: as a balance on the right side; e.g. as net profit, as excess of assets over liabilities, or the like. all to the good, generally advantageous.
1882 Spectator 29 Apr. 552 Boasting that he‥had so much heavier a balance at the bank to the good, in consequence. 1895 Ld. Watson in Law Times Rep. LXXIII. 37/1 They have sold their patent‥for‥30,000l., and‥allowing a reasonable deduction for those items which they have disbursed, there still remains to the good a very considerable sum of money. 1898 Pall Mall Mag. Christmas No. 584 He was two wins to the good. a1900 Mod. I finished the work in time, with two days to the good. 1943 E. Glasgow Let. 25 June (1958) 323 This is all to the good, I think. 1955 D. Murray Species Revalued p. xi, It is a kind of revolt against the stark materialism of the present day; this is all to the good. 1962 P. Gregory Like Tigress at Bay v. 49 The fact that you're wealthy and high up in society may attract certain people, and that's all to the good.
c. to good: †(a) gratuitously, kindly (obs.); (b) so as to secure a good result.
832 Charter of Lufu in O.E. Texts 446 For mine saule and minra frienda and mea ðe me to gode efultemedan. c1250 Gen. & Ex. 2890 Hemseluen he fetchden ðe chaf, ðe men ðor hem to gode ȝaf, And ðoȝ holden ðe tiȝeles tale. 1839 W. E. Forster in T. W. Reid Life (1888) I. 112, I have disposed of all my copies [of the book] but one; I hope to good.
d. to come to good (cf. come v. 48g): in early use of a dream, †to come true; in later, to yield a good produce or result. †to turn to good (const. dat.): to prove to a person's advantage.
a1300 Cursor M. 5070 Al was for i tald a drem Þat cummen es now to godd, i tem. 1573 Tusser Husb. xiii. (1878) 29 It is an ill wind turnes none to good. 1623 W. Balcanqual Spittle Serm. (1634) 58 The seed that came to no good in the thirteenth of Matthew. 1850 Tait's Mag. XVII. 708/1 The marriages of English people with foreigners seldom come to good. 1884 Sat. Rev. 7 June 731/2 The scheme‥could not‥have come to good.
†e. to can or know one's good: to know how to behave. to can mikel good: to be highly accomplished. to can no good: to be untrained.
c1369 Chaucer Dethe Blaunche 390 A whelp that‥coude no goode. c1374 —— Troylus v. 106 This Diomede, as he that coude his good, Whan this was done, gan fallen forth in speche Of this and that. c1385 —— L.G.W. 252 Dido, And therewithal so mikel good he can. 1412–20 Lydg. Troy-bk. i. v. (1513) Cib, For who was euer yet so mad or wood That ought of reason konne a ryght his good To gyue fayth‥To any woman without experyence. 1590 Spenser F.Q. i. x. 7 A gentle Squyre, In word and deede that shew'd great modestee, And knew his good to all of each degree.
f. for good (and all): as a valid conclusion; hence, as a final act, finally.
15‥ Parl. Byrdes Aij, Than desyred al the Byrdes great and smal to mewe the hauke for good and all. 1603 in Crt. & Times Jas. I (1849) I. 25 D'Auval‥is gone for good and all. 1687 Congreve Old Bach. i. i, Ay, you may take him for good-and-all if you will. 1711 Swift Jrnl. to Stella 4 July, This day I left Chelsea for good, (that's a genteel phrase). a1732 T. Boston Crook in Lot (1805) 37 He was obliged for good and all to leave his country. 1850 J. H. Newman Diffic. Anglic. 324 Throw off, for good and all, the illusions of your intellect. 1882 W. E. Forster Let. To Gladstone 10 Apr. in T. W. Reid Life (1888) II. viii. 421 This morning we released Parnell—not for good, but on parole.
g. colloq. to be any, some, no good: to be of any, some, no use. Also of persons, to be no good = ‘to be a bad lot’, to be worthless. Also of things, a bit of no good, quite a lot of harm.
1842 J. H. Newman Lett. (1891) II. 396 There is no good telling you all this; but it relieves me to do so. 1848 —— Loss & Gain 324 It's no good talking. 1868 G. W. Dasent Jest & Earnest (1873) II. 359 Those which follow you, what sort of things are they, and what good are they? 1874 J. T. Micklethwaite Mod. Par. Churches 212 If they [curtains] are heavy enough to be any good at all, they are a great obstruction to the entrance. 1875 G. W. Dasent Vikings III. 199 Then your feeling will be some good. 1886 H. Conway Living or Dead ix, I tried to get it from Claudine, but it was no good. 1895 M. Corelli Sorrows Satan x. (1897) 111 He is no good, I tell you. 1958 E. A. Robertson Justice of Heart iii. 34 They've frittered the money away, and done themselves a bit of no-good, all round. 1958 L. A. G. Strong Treason in Egg x. 183 The pair of them were up to quite a bit of no good.
III. A particular thing that is good.
[Cf. G. gut (pl. güter), Du. goed (pl. goederen), a good, an advantage; property, a piece of property, an estate. Sense 9 below seems to be a specially Eng. development. In the Scandinavian langs. this n. (:—OTeut. *gôđom, the neut. of the adj.) does not exist, but the ordinary neut. form of the adj. (ON. gott, Sw., Da. godt) is used absol. or as n., and its genitive (ON. góðs, Sw., Da. gods) has passed into an indeclinable n. with the sense ‘property’.]
6. a. Something, whether material or immaterial, which it is an advantage to attain or possess; a desirable end or object. Now only in sing., exc. in philosophical (ethical) language.
c1300 Cursor M. 27587 (Cott. Galba) Pride it es, if a man wend his gudes war noght of grace him send. 13‥ E.E. Allit. P. C. 286 Þou art god, & alle owdez ar grayþely þyn owen. c1325 Deo Gratias 13 in E.E.P. (1862) 129 Whon i seo goode depart so To sum Mon god sent gret solas, And sum Mon ay to lyue in wo, Þen sei i deo gracias. c1374 Chaucer Boeth. i. metr. i. 1 (Camb. MS.) Fortune vnfeithful fauorede me wiþ lyhte goodes. 1532 G. Hervet Xenophon's Househ. 3 Than‥ye call those thinges goodes, that be profitable, and those thynges that be hurtefull be no goodes? 1583 Golding Calvin on Deut. clxxi. 1063 To enter directly into the possession of all those goods which ly hidden from vs. 1630 S. Lennard tr. Charron's Wisd. i. v. §1 (1670) 16 The goods of the body are Health, Beauty, Chearfulness, Strength, Vigour. 1643 Sir T. Browne Relig. Med. (1869) 27 Not to be content with the goods of mind. a1677 Barrow Serm. xxviii. Wks. (1686) III. 313 Pleased with true goods, and displeased at real evils incident to us. 1709 Steele Tatler No. 49 ⁋6 Amanda's Relish of the Goods of Life, is all that makes 'em pleasing to Florio. 1785 T. Balguy Disc. 22 The goods of the mind‥are not less empty. 1790 Burke Fr. Rev. 48 The institutions of policy, the goods of fortune, the gifts of providence, are handed down to us. 1825 Bentham Ration. Rew. 113 Reward in its own nature is a good. 1865 Geo. Eliot in Cross Life (1885) II. 400 Life‥is a doubtful good to many. 1875 Jowett Plato (ed. 2) IV. 3 The relation of the goods to the sciences does not appear. 1883 H. Spencer in Contemp. Rev. XLIII. 8 The American, eagerly pursuing a future good, almost ignores what good the passing day offers him.
b. highest (first, chief, etc.) good: = summum bonum.
a1000 Boeth. Metr. xx. 92 (MS. B.) Eart þe selfa þæt hehste good. 1426 Lydg. De Guil. Pilgr. 5900, I wende trewly‥That O gret Good most souereyn Sholde‥Make a thyng ffor to be ful. 1587 Golding De Mornay iii. 24 The same one is called the onely good and the goodnes it selfe. a1613 Overbury A Wife, etc. (1638) 168 He is the first good to himselfe, in the next file, to his French Taylor. 1668 R. Steele Chr. Husb. Calling v. (1672) 110 Loss of goods is not the loss of the chief Good. 1698 Norris Pract. Disc. IV. 187 God only is the true Good, End and Centre of all Rational Natures. 1738 Wesley Ps. iv. vii, Thou hast on me bestow'd‥The Taste Divine, the Sovereign Good.
†c. occasionally. A good quality, virtue, grace.
c1380 Wyclif Serm. Sel. Wks. II. 18 Þis Goost anoyntide Crist wiþ goodis of grace as fulli as ony man myȝte be anoyntid. c1440 Gesta Rom. xciii. 423 (Add. MS.) The blessid virgine asked of the deuyll, ‘say me, whethere þes iij synnes, lechery, couetese, and gloteny, mow be togedre in oon herte with these goodes, contricion, wepyng, and purpose of amendyng?’ 1563 Homilies ii. Rogation Week i. (1859) 474 The goods and graces wherewith they were indued in soule, came of the goodnesse of God only.
†d. A good action. Obs.
1606 G. W[oodcocke] tr. Justin's Hist. 38a, For which (as if he would be expeditious in this good) the Maisters of such workes were straight procured by proclamation. 1700 Dryden Fables, Pal. & Arcite iii. 384 He seldom does a good with good intent.
7. Property or possessions; now in more restricted sense, movable property. a. pl. (See also chattel 4c.)
c950 Lindisf. Gosp. Matt. xxv. 14 Monn‥eceide ðenas his & esalde ðæm godo his. c1000 Ags. Gosp. Luke xii. 18 Ic secge minre sawle eala sawel þu hæfst mycele god. a1300 Cursor M. 4261 (Cott.) And ioseph dueld wit his meigne, And has his godes all in hand. c1300 Ibid. 29315 (Cott. Galba) Þe nighend case [of cursing] on all þa lies þat gastly gudes selles or byes. 1382 Wyclif Luke xvi. 1 He hadde wastid his goodis. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) xv. 68 Him behufez gyffe hir a porcioun of his gudes. a1572 Knox Hist. Ref. Wks. 1846 I. 402 The inquisitioun tane of all your guidis, movable and immovabill. 1588 Marprel. Epist. (Arb.) 22 When Waldegraues goods was to be spoiled and defaced. 1641 Termes de la Ley 49 The Civilians comprehend these things, and also lands of all natures and tenures under the word Goods, which is by them divided into Moovables and Immoovables. 1685 Baxter Paraphr. N.T., Matt. xxiv. 15–18 Stay not to save your Goods or Clothes. 1789 Brand Hist. Newcastle II. 531 note, Some disorderly persons broke and entered into a house‥and took away and destroyed several goods. 1817 W. Selwyn Law Nisi Prius (ed. 4) II. 728 Before probate and before any seizure, the law adjudges the property of the goods of the testator in the executors. 1840 Dickens Old C. Shop xii, The goods being once removed, this house would be uncomfortable.
Proverbs. 1546 J. Heywood Prov. (1867) 38 He that hath plentie of goodes shall haue more. 1862 A. Hislop Prov. Scot. 15 A man has nae mair gudes than he gets gude o'.
¶The plural form occurs as a sing.: Property, an amount of property. (Cf. sense 7d.)
1542 Udall tr. Erasm. Apophth. 242a, When his goodes was preised to bee sold [etc.]. 1556 Chron. Gr. Friars (Camden) 77 Alle the platte, coppys, vestmenttes, wyche drewe unto a gret gooddes for the behoffe of the kynges grace.
b. sing. Obs. exc. arch.
1154 O.E. Chron. (Laud MS.) an. 1137 Oc namen al þe god ðæt þar inne was. 1297 R. Glouc. (Rolls) 10193 Alle þe erchebissopes god, that he vond in þis lond. 1375 Barbour Bruce xvii. 105 So gredy war thai till the gude, That [etc.]. c1400 Mandeville (Roxb.) xvi. 74 He knew noȝt þe thowsand part of his gude. c1449 Pecock Repr. iii. vii. 316 No layman‥schulde haue eny good in propre lord~schip, and that whether thilk good were mouable or vn~mouable. a1533 Ld. Berners Gold. Bk. M. Aurel. (1546) Ccb, The more goodde I hadde, the more couetous I was. 1556 Lauder Tractate 282 Ȝe suld not chuse thaim for thair blude, Nor for thare ryches, nor thare gude. 1600 Holland Livy v. vi. (1609) 1385 note, For feare least if they had gathered good [etc.]. 1650 Trapp Comm. Gen. xlvii. 14 Misers will as easily part with their blood, as with their good. 1873 Browning Red Cott. Nt.-Cap 259 Guardianship Of earthly good for heavenly purpose.
Prov. 1546 J. Heywood Prov. (1867) 35 Evill gotten good neuer proueth well.
†c. a man of good: a man of property, rank, and standing. Chiefly Sc. Obs.
1393 Langl. P. Pl. C. iv. 215 Suche a maister ys mede a-mong men of goode. 1525 Extracts Aberd. Reg. (1844) I. 113 The lordis and men of gud in the cuntra bout thaim. 1535 Stewart Cron. Scot. I. 532 The king wes tane and men of gud threttie. 1583 Leg. Bp. St. Androis 1000 in Satir. Poems Reform. xlv, Galloway was a man of gude, Discendit of a noble blude.
†d. sing. Money. (a) great good: a great sum of money. marriage good: a marriage portion. Obs.
c1340 Cursor M. 19054 (Trin.) Petur & Ion þei bi him ȝode And he bad of hem som gode. c1400 Destr. Troy 11731 Gedrit was the goode, & gon for to kepe To sure men & certen þat sowme to deliuer. c1430 Syr Tryam. 1306 He askyd hym gode for charyte. c1460 Fortescue Abs. & Lim. Mon. xii. (1885) 137 Thai haue no wepen, nor armour, nor good to bie it with all. 1519 Sir T. Boleyn in Ellis Orig. Lett. Ser. i. I. 155 It hath cost hym [Charles V] a greyt good to atteyn to this Empire. 1523 Ld. Berners Froiss. I. cxlv. 172 The siege‥had coste hym‥moche good. 1548 Hall Chron., Edw. V, 20b, The thynge‥that you would have geven greate good for.
e. pl. Live stock. Also sing. in quick good = a head of cattle. Obs. exc. dial.
1485 Ripon Ch. Accts. 275 My best quyke goode‥in the name of my mortuary. 1508 in Pitcairn Crim. Trials Scot. I. 58 Of shutting up her ‘gudis’‥without ‘pindande’ them in a ‘pyndfalde’. 1523 Fitzherb. Surv. 23b, Euery tenaunt‥shall gyue his best quycke good in the name of a herryotte to the lorde. 1562 Extracts Aberd. Reg. (1844) I. 341 In casting of fewall or pasturing of guidis. 1641 Best Farm. Bks. (Surtees) 34 The shortest and most leary hey is allwayes accounted the best for any goodes, and especially for sheepe and young foales and calves. 1653 N. Riding Rec. V. 139 A man of Gaile presented for his goods eatinge up the grasse in a close. 1796 W. Marshall Yorksh. (ed. 2) Gloss. (E.D.S.), Goods, live stock.
8. spec. a. (Now only as a countable noun, chiefly pl., but occas. in sing.) Saleable commodities, merchandise, wares (now chiefly applied to manufactured articles). See also dry goods.
c1460 Fortescue Abs. & Lim. Mon. xi. (1714) 81 He takyth nothyng of their Graynys, Wolls, or of any other Goods that growith to them of their Lond. a1533 Ld. Berners Huon xlviii. 160 They‥had myche good in theyr shyppe. 1617 Moryson Itin. i. 32 Horsemen‥which conduct the Merchants and their goods out of the Frontiers. 1631 Bradford Plymouth Plantation (1856) 293 They had much adoe to have their goods delivered, for some of them were chainged, as bread & pease. 1634 Sir. T. Herbert Trav. 47 The Whale (of which he was Captaine) rich laden with his Masters and his owne goods. 1706 Pope Let. to Wycherley 10 Apr., The great Dealers in Wit, like those in Trade, take least pains to set off their Goods. 1726–31 Tindal tr. Rapin's Hist. Eng. xvii. (1743) II. 138 Warlike provisions carried to one of the contending parties, were contraband goods. 1778 Eng. Gazetteer (ed. 2) art. Bewdley, Iron ware, glass, Manchester goods, &c. are put on board barges here. 1833 H. Martineau Loom & Lugger i. i. 10 As long as French goods were to be had better for the same money. 1842 J. Bischoff Woollen Manuf. II. 195, I mean by a domestic manufacturer, a man who makes his goods in his own house or shop. 1879 Manch. Guard. 28 Jan., The plaintiff did not complain of the goods having been sized, but of the mode in which they had been sized. 1936 Q. Jrnl. Econ. May 436 All that follows will hold true of any storable good, like cotton, wool, rubber, tobacco, wheat, coffee, sugar, oil, copper, or tin; but the theory will be expounded in terms of only one of these, namely cotton, because it is easier to deal with a particular case. 1958 Times Lit. Suppl. 15 Aug. p. xxiii/1 As a steady, cheap, business-making consumer good,‥the book is out. 1964 Gould & Kolb Dict. Social Sci. 533/1 Complexities arise from many sources. For example, the existence of stocks of goods which might have to be reduced in some amount before additional resources were guided to the favoured good were ignored. 1968 Times 2 Jan. 18/5 Knowledge of the legal definition is important, for, under the Sale of Goods Act, 1893, a special set of rules applies to agreements involving goods, which, in legal language, are ‘movable and tangible pieces of property’.
¶(U.S.) pl. as sing. Kind of dry goods.
1875 Knight Dict. Mech., Grenadine, a gauzy dress goods.
b. Phrases. piece of goods: humorously, a person [Cf. Du. goedje]. to deliver the goods: to supply the objects contracted for; hence, to perform the contract undertaken; to do what one has undertaken to do; to supply what has been promised or is expected; hence, to come up to requirements or expectations. the goods: what is supplied or provided; what is expected or required (for a purpose expressed or implied); the real thing; the genuine article.
1751 Gray Lett. Wks. 1884 II. 228 That agreeable creature,‥will visit you soon, with that dry piece of goods, his wife. 1776 F. Burney Early Diary (1889) II. 145 Miss Fitzgerald, his daughter—as droll a sort of piece of goods as one might wish to know. 1809 Malkin Gil Blas iii. iv. ⁋6 She had always two or three pieces of damaged goods in the house. 1895 [see piece n. 3d]. 1955 Lord Chancellor in Hansard, Lords 8 Dec. 1241, I should ask the noble and learned Earl for his considered construction of the phrase ‘a nice piece of goods’.
[1781 J. Burgoyne Ld. Manor iii. iii, Sir John. Hussy! how came you by all that money? Peggy. Perfectly honestly—I sold my mistress and myself for it—it is not necessary to deliver the goods, for his honour is provided with a mistress.] 1879 Congress. Rec. 4 Apr. 236/1 There are men in the North who walk around‥saying; ‘See me,‥I will take you to victory.’ They cannot deliver the goods. 1901 Merwin & Webster Calumet ‘K’ xi. 198, I told him that‥when we paid blackmail it would be to some fellow who'd deliver the goods. 1904 F. Lynde Grafters viii. 120 Of the three justices, one of them was elected on our ticket; another is a personal friend of Judge MacFarlane. The goods will be delivered. 1909 H. G. Wells War in Air iv. §5 As yet he was only in the beginning of the adventure. He had still to deliver the goods and draw the cash. 1911 R. W. Chambers Common Law ii. 45 ‘She certainly is a looker,’ nodded Annan. ‘She can deliver the cultivated goods, too.’ 1919 Economist 12 July 44/1 To win a few votes at an election a Cabinet Minister declares it to be the policy of the Government to nationalise the railways. He is duly elected, and those who are in favour of nationalisation ask him and his colleagues to deliver the goods. 1922 Duke of Devonshire in Hansard, Lords 4 Dec. 233, I am convinced that the Irish Government intend‥to deliver the goods‥in the true spirit of the Act. 1936 ‘F. Beeding’ Eight Crooked Trenches vi. 93 The goods, as they said in England, would this time be delivered. 1946 W. S. Maugham Then & Now xxxvi. 207 She knew quite well that the chain was the price he was paying her to arrange things for him, and when she didn't deliver the goods surely the least she could do would have been to return the purchase price. 1968 Listener 18 July 88/1 This body has sometimes offered help to coloured workers when they were on strike, but it has never delivered the goods.
1812 Norfolk (Va.) Herald 29 May 314 Federalists call the troops now raising ‘a standing army’. They are mistaken in the goods. 1880 A. A. Hayes New Colorado (1881) vii. 103 When the mariner heard an expert, who was chipping away at the wall with a little hammer, remark, ‘That's good goods,’ this purist stopped both ears. 1904 Cosmopolitan May 122 ‘I'll agree to make it 25 [dollars] at the end of 60 days if you are the goods,’ said the editor. a1910 ‘O. Henry’ Rolling Stones (1916) 200 Take it from me—he's got the goods. 1912 C. Mathewson Pitching in Pinch ii. 33 Now O'Toole is all right if he has the pitching goods. 1915 Wodehouse Psmith Journalist xv. 109 You are, if I may say so, the goods. You are, beyond a doubt, supremely the stuff. 1918 E. M. Roberts Flying Fighter 35 Some of the road pickets would want to see our identification papers as dispatch riders, and being unable to produce the goods we were often turned back. 1919 T. K. Holmes Man fr. Tall Timber xvi. 196 Believe me! this Gypsy is all the goods and then some. 1931 Times Lit. Suppl. 28 May 426/2 But to the ‘General’‥President Bonilla and the Honduras were ‘the goods’ in 1911. 1956 A. Wilson Anglo-Saxon Att. ii. iii. 369 He was the most awful old fraud himself, you know. Oh, not as an historian, you always said he was the goods.
c. (a) the goods: the stolen articles found in the possession of a thief; unmistakable evidence or proof positive of guilt; chiefly in phr., e.g. to catch with the goods.
1900 Ade More Fables 94, I insist that he is an American traveling Incog. I suspect that I have Caught him with the Goods. 1911 N.Y. Even. Post 15 June (Th.), ‘We've got you‥now, and you're going to yield the stolen goods.’ The goods in question were the office of Commissioner of Jurors, [etc.]. 1919 Detective Story Mag. Nov. 50 Detective Craddock had informed Thubway Tham that, sooner or later, he was going to ‘catch him with the goods’. 1923 R. D. Paine Comrades of Rolling Ocean xiv. 245 You have caught me with the goods, Wyman. It was my way of getting a slant on you.
(b) to have (or have got) the goods on: to have the advantage of or superiority over; to have knowledge or information giving one a hold over (another).
1913 A. Bennett Regent i. v. 134 You got the goods on her. And she deserved it. 1920 Wodehouse Coming of Bill ii. xiv. 239 I'd been in a ring-seat and had the goods on him same as if I'd taken a snap-shot. 1924 W. M. Raine Troubled Waters xxii. 233 They had the goods on us. We were going to hang—every one of us. 1928 Observer 15 July 18/2 ‘Well, the Old Country sure has the goods on everyone else,’ said one of them [sc. Canadian teachers]. 1933 D. L. Sayers Murder must Advertise v. 90 We got the goods on that couple you helped us to arrest the other night. 1952 M. McCarthy Groves of Academe (1953) xiii. 263 He had a sudden inkling that they would have liked to get the goods on Mulcahy. 1967 Boston Sunday Herald 7 May (Show Guide) 17/2 The senator stubbed his toe just once, and Overbury has the goods on him. When the time comes to peddle them‥knocking off Burden Day is easy.
d. ellipt. = goods train (sense e below).
1855 Punch XXIX. 163/2 Each player is furnished with a small railway train, such as an ‘express’, a ‘stopping’, a ‘goods’. 1868 ‘Journeyman Engineer’ Great Unwashed ii. 198 After the ‘through goods’, perhaps, comes the fiery wi-sh-sh of the night mail north. 1939 Punch 20 Sept. 310/2, I said couldn't they go by goods. 1959 A. Wood Engine-driver & Signalman iv. 35 (caption) Express goods braked by engine and brake-van.‥ Branch goods.
e. The pl. is used attrib. in many terms which refer to the transmission of movable property by railway, as goods agent, goods box, goods department, goods engine, goods guard, goods lift, goods manager, goods set, goods shed, goods station, goods train, goods yard, etc.
1858 in Simmonds Dict. Trade. 1889 G. Findlay Eng. Railway 15 The ‘Goods Agent’ is responsible for the goods working. 1850 L. V. Loomis Jrnl. Birmingham Emigr. Co. (1928) 131 As we‥made our way to the center [of Sacramento], we would see an old pork barrell, or an old goods box. 1880 ‘Mark Twain’ Tramp Abr. xix. 166 A little bit of a goods-box of a barn. 1897 Daily News 15 Nov. 2/5 Two railway servants‥were killed, one a goods checker and the other a platelayer. 1897 Daily News 22 Feb. 3/5 The strike is wholly confined to the railway servants in the goods departments. 1890 Chambers's Jrnl. 21 June 385/1 Passenger guards are men of experience, and many of them have had to work as brakesmen and goods-guards many years before they are appointed to a passenger train. 1902 Daily Chron. 5 Feb. 3/4 Every shunter, and‥every goods guard. 1959 M. Taylor Railways as Career iii. 47 The goods guard spends almost all his working time alone in his brake-van. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 1 Apr. 8/3 He got into the goods lift with some fifteen other men. 1889 G. Findlay Eng. Railway 13 The executive management of the line is carried on by a General Manager, a Chief Goods Manager [etc.]. 1927 W. E. Collinson Contemp. Eng. 8 Goods sets i.e. a set of goods trucks. 1878 F. S. Williams Midl. Railw. 170 The use of their London goods station. 1861 J. A. Symonds Let. 26 Aug. (1967) I. 308 If sent by passenger train they wd reach me by Saturday.‥ If sent by goods train they wd take longer. 1885 Manch. Exam. 17 Jan. 5/4 A goods train which was backing on to a siding. 1890 W. J. Gordon Foundry 153 An ordinary goods waggon carries eight tons. 1891 Leisure Hour 194/1 The goods-yard porter is not the least important of the railway workmen. 1900 Westm. Gaz. 20 Jan. 8/3 The dreary goods-yard which does duty for the entraining station of war-bound troops. 1959 M. Taylor Railways as Career iv. 64 In bigger goods yards there will be several trains being made up.
†9. a. pl. (See quot.) Obs.
1743 Lond. & Country Brew. iii. (ed. 2) 193 That Ale which is made only from Goods (i.e. after a first Wort is run off the Malt) must‥be unpleasant and unwholesome.
b. (See quot.)
1953 Word for Word (Whitbread & Co.) 21/1 Goods, the name often used by the brewer to describe the crushed malt grains in the mash tun.
1. a. in such collocations as good-boy, good-character, good-class, good-conduct, good-faith, good-length, good-service, which admit of being used attrib.
1823 Scott Lett. 16 Jan. in N. & Q. 9th Ser. (1898) I. 264/1 Better adapted to‥soften the heart of childhood than the *good-boy stories which have been in late years composed for them. 1864 Burton Scot Abr. II. i. 32 It was all as infallible as the fates in the Minerva Press novels and the good-boy books. 1890 W. G. Barttelot Life Major Barttelot vii. 145 Stanley‥had‥taken all the‥*good-character men and left‥the incorrigible at Yambuya. 1901 Daily Chron. 2 Sept. 8/2 *Good-class rudd have also been secured in this river. 1909 Westm. Gaz. 13 Jan. 12/2 A club‥which has a number of good-class players. 1925 E. F. Norton Fight for Everest, 1924 39 He must be a good-class man of some intelligence. 1960 Farmer & Stockbreeder 29 Mar. 81/1 (caption) A typical good-class female of the breed. 1853 Stocqueler Mil. Dict., *Good-conduct pay. 1890 J. Byrne in 19th Cent. Nov. 836 All good-conduct soldiers now have leave till midnight when off duty. 1893 M. J. Wade in Barrows Parl. Relig. (1894) I. 750 It is scandalous to see a temporary residence‥treated with all judicial dignity as being a *good-faith residence required by the statute. 1891 W. G. Grace Cricket 231, I played forward to nearly every *good-length ball. 1876 Voyle Mil. Dict. (ed. 3), *Good-service pension.
b. parasynthetic, as good-bodied, good-bottomed, good-conceited, good-conditioned, good-constitutioned, good-faced, good-hearted (hence good-heartedness), good-intentioned, good-limbed, good-mannered, good-minded, good-omened, good-plucked, good-sized.
Some of these combinations have parallel forms with well: e.g. well-conditioned, -intentioned, -mannered.
1666 Pepys Diary 31 May, My‥sister; who is a pretty *good-bodied woman, and not over thicke. 1816 Sporting Mag. XLVII. 296 Nelson and Blucher, two *good-bottomed dogs belonging to Thomas Bradshaw, Esq. 1611 Shakes. Cymb. ii. iii. 18 Come on, tune‥First, a very excellent *good conceyted thing; after a wonderful sweet aire. 1722 De Foe Relig. Courtsh. i. iii. (1840) 80 One of the best-humoured, *goodest-conditioned, merriest fellows in the world. 1836 J. M. Gully Magendie's Formul. 130 Good conditioned pus‥appears‥to be not more irritating than mucus. 1861 G. J. Whyte-Melville Mkt. Harb. 160 He's a sound, *good-constitutioned beast‥and never off his feed. 1575 G. Harvey Letter-bk. (Camden) 93 At what‥markett your *goodfaced goodliness bowte upp. 1611 Shakes. Wint. T. iv. iii. 123 Shall I bring thee on the way? No, good fac'd sir, no sweet sir. 1552 Latimer 8th Serm. Lincolnsh. (1562) 134b, All they that be *good hearted, that loue godlynes, they wyshe for a parliament. 1843 A. Bethune Sc. Fireside Stor. 52 But you are a good-hearted fellow, my dear Quiddit—I know you are. 1813 Examiner 29 Mar. 204/1 The unadulterated *good-heartedness of its principal characters. 1905 H. G. Wells Kipps ii. i. 165 That sinister passion for pedagogy to which the *Good-Intentioned are so fatally liable. 1907 Daily Chron. 6 Mar. 3/2 It is all very nice and sentimental, and good intentioned. 1597 Shakes. 2 Hen. IV, iii. ii. 113 A *good limb'd fellow: Yong, strong, and of good friends. 1906 Macm. Mag. July 695 The librarian, a functionary whom he desired good-looking, good-natured, *good-mannered, and ready of speech. a1611 Beaum. & Fl. Philaster ii. iv, Alas *good minded Prince, you know not these things. 1681 Dryden Sp. Friar v. ii, Damme, quoth he. And still continued Labouring me, until a good minded Colonel came by. 1870 Emerson Soc. & Solit. v. 95 Every good-minded reformer. 1863 I. Williams Baptistery ii. xxxii. (1874) 192 Like hovering near of some *good-omen'd bird Thy soothing voice is heard. 1855 Thackeray Newcomes II. 202 You are a *good-plucked fellow! 1837 Mrs. Carlyle Lett. I. 87 Hardly gold enough to make a *good-sized thimble. 1863 Buckland Curios. Nat. Hist. Ser. ii. (ed. 4) 255 The Regent's Park specimens were not much larger than a good-sized sprat.
c. in quasi-adverbial combination with pr. pples. used adjectivally, as good-going (suggested by easy-going), good-living, †good-meaning, good-milling, good-paying, †good-seeming, good-selling, good-speeching (nonce-wd.), good-wearing. Also good-looking.
In none of these instances is good adverbial in origin; in some it represents a predicative complement, in others the neut. adj. or n. used as object; and in yet other cases the combination arises from phrases in which good qualifies a virtual compound of ppl. adj. and n.
1927 J. Adams Errors in School iii. 69 If we find that three metals that we have tested all expand when heated, we jump to the easy-going conclusion that all metals expand when heated—which is a *good-going error. 1903 Westm. Gaz. 2 Nov. 9/2 The city had a population of ten thousand, all *good-living people. 1909 Ibid. 1 Mar. 1/3 A most respectable and good-living man. 1682 Bunyan Holy War 286 Many a *good meaning man is dead, and the Diabolonians of late grow stronger and stronger. 1877 Raymond Statist. Mines & Mining 43 The ledge is a very wide one, all *good-milling ore. 1898 Daily News 25 May 5/1 She thought she was borrowing 50l. to enable her to execute a number of *good-paying orders. 1645 Rutherford Tryal & Tri. Faith (1845) 137 There is a way *good-seeming that deceiveth us; but black death is the night lodging of it. 1908 Daily Chron. 10 Jan. 3/3 Ordinarily ‘Edwin Drood’ is one of the least ‘*good-selling’ novels of Charles Dickens. 1845 Carlyle Cromwell (1871) IV. 41 The *good-speeching individual. 1879 Mrs. A. G. F. E. James Ind. Househ. Managem. 16 It made a warm, *good-wearing costume.
†d. So rarely with pa. pple. (= well-), as good disposed. Obs.
1598 R. Charnock in Archpr. Contr. (Camd. Soc.) I. 66 Good disposed catholickes.
e. objective (with good n. or quasi-n.), as good-doing vbl. n.; good-foreboding ppl. adj.
1526 Tindale 2 Thess. ii. 17 Oure lorde Jesu Christ‥comforte youre hertes and stablysshe you in all sayinge and *goode doynge. 1571 Golding Calvin on Ps. lxxii. 12 Nothinge maketh men more lyke untoo God, than gooddoing. 1883 Pall Mall G. 5 Nov. 4/2 The tone of public opinion will be more healthy when the town council engages in good-doing than when good-doing is the monopoly of individuals or of societies. 1874 Pusey Lent. Serm. 14 A happy *good-foreboding close of a common-place life.
2. In certain obsolete designations of relationship: a. denoting a grand-parent (cf. F. bon papa, bonne maman); see good-dame, good-sire; b. denoting a relation by marriage (cf. F. beau-frère, belle-sœur, beau-père, belle-mère): see good-father, good-mother, good-brother, good-sister, good-son, good-daughter. Still used by elderly people in Suffolk (F. Hall).
3. Special comb.: good-bad a., of someone or something good but of an inferior class; also in appositive use = good and bad; †good-deed adv., in very deed; good-enough a., that has a specified quality in a sufficient amount or degree; good-face, one that carries a fair or smooth face; good fairy = fairy godmother; good-for-little a., that is of little use, insignificant; good-for-something, one who is of some use; cf. good-for-nothing; good-woolled a., (of a sheep) having a good fleece; (of persons) having plenty of dash and pluck (dial. or slang).
1899 Chambers's Jrnl. 23 Sept. 674/1 Smugglers in the *good-bad old times pursued what they euphemistically called the ‘fair trade’. 1921 E. Sapir Lang. 99 It is difficult to get into the frame of mind that recognizes that any particular thing may be both good and bad.‥ Still more difficult to realize that the good-bad or black-white categories may not apply at all. 1933 A. Thirkell High Rising ii. 41 ‘Good bad books?’ ‘Yes. Not very good books,‥but good of a second-rate kind.’ 1940 G. Orwell Inside Whale 134 Good bad books like Raffles. 1949 M. Mead Male & Female xvii. 346 A frequent theme of modern movies is the ‘good-bad’ girl. 1966 J. Laver Victoriana i. 14 Many of the products of the age must, one fears, be consigned to the category of what has been half humorously called ‘Good Bad Art’. 1611 Shakes. Wint. T. i. ii. 42 Yet (*good-deed) Leontes, I loue thee [etc.]. 1570 R. Bannatyne Mem. 33 This was a *guid aneuch obligatioune that the castle shuld be thair friend. 1647 Stirling Chart. & Corr. 485 The daik [=dyke] is in good aniogh order. 1856 Congress. Globe 53 You will have victims who can answer as ‘good enough Morgans’ at least until after the election. 1888 Century Mag. Jan. 450/1 The hunter [was]‥a good-enough shot. 1591 Troub. Raigne K. John (1611) 50 Gray-gown'd *good face, coniure ye, Nere trust me for a groat, If [etc.]. 1807 M. Wilmot Let. 27 Dec. in Russ. Jrnls. (1934) 313, I lit upon her sentiments on religion‥being pearls & rubys dropping from the *Good Fairy's lips. 1855 Mrs. Gaskell Let. ? 5 June (1966) 866 What will our heroine do in such a dilemma? When lo and behold the good fairy steps in. 1876 L. Troubridge Jrnl. 6 May in Life amongst Troubridges (1966) xi. 143 If only some good fairy would present us with a ten pound note each. 1920 Galsworthy In Chancery ii. ii. 140 Forgiving and forgetting, and becoming the good fairy of her future. 1966 Guardian 16 Dec. 4/7 The familiar figure of Mrs Anne Kerr, Labour MP‥dressed all in white like the Good Fairy. 1748 Richardson Clarissa (1768) IV. 276 The trisyllables, and the rumblers of syllables more than three, are but the *good for little magnates. 1896 Academy 18 July 47/2 Jim Conrad‥is but an idle and good-for-little hero after all. 1884 H. Spencer in Contemp. Rev. Apr. 461 Good-for-nothings who in some way or other live on the *good-for-somethings. 1847–89 Halliwell s.v., A *good-woolled one, i.e., a capital good fellow. Linc. 1869 E. Farmer Scrap Bk. (ed. 6) 28 Around us are living ‘good woolled uns’ [sc. farmers] by droves. 1877 N.W. Linc. Gloss., Good-woolled. (1) Said of Sheep with good fleeces. (2) Plucky, with a good will. ‘He's a good-wool'd un; one o' that sort as nivver knaws when he's bet’.