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[goo d-fer-nuhth-ing, -nuhth-] /ˈgʊd fərˈnʌθ ɪŋ, -ˌnʌθ-/
worthless; of no use.
a worthless or useless person.
Origin of good-for-nothing
First recorded in 1705-15 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2017.
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Examples from the Web for good-for-nothing
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • Go to your bedroom; and if you turn out a good-for-nothing and a scamp, it is no fault of mine.

    Rico and Wiseli Johanna Spyri
  • But I am a good-for-nothing neighbor, as you have doubtless heard.

    The Village Watch-Tower (AKA Kate Douglas Riggs) Kate Douglas Wiggin
  • Had I not simply wasted my time in my usual frivolous, good-for-nothing way?

    The Prisoner of Zenda Anthony Hope
  • Will he not be called by them a prater, a star-gazer, a good-for-nothing?

    The Republic Plato
  • He was the son of a noble Venetian—a good-for-nothing in every sense of the word.

    The Memoires of Casanova, Complete Jacques Casanova de Seingalt
  • They are so selfish and so good-for-nothing, with no thought for any one on earth but Number One.

    Molly Bawn Margaret Wolfe Hamilton
  • I've written to my brother, who has always held that I'm a good-for-nothing.

    The Lure of the Mask Harold MacGrath
  • What a thankless child you are, just idle and good-for-nothing!

    Heidi Johanna Spyri
  • You rascal, you good-for-nothing, you shameless rogue, to worry me like that!

    Manasseh Maurus Jokai
British Dictionary definitions for good-for-nothing


an irresponsible or worthless person
irresponsible; worthless
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Slang definitions & phrases for good-for-nothing



: You good-for-nothing bastard, you (1711+)


A worthless person; scoundrel; bum (1751+)

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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