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[adjective noh-goo d; noun noh-goo d] /adjective ˈnoʊˈgʊd; noun ˈnoʊˌgʊd/ Informal.
lacking worth or merit; useless; bad:
This no-good faucet never did work properly. Her no-good brother sold me the car.
a person or thing that is worthless or undependable.
Origin of no-good
An Americanism dating back to 1905-10 Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for no-good
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • I planned tuh have all these no-good nephews sign that paper.

    The Lone Ranger Rides Fran Striker
  • So that's Buck Tarrant—a halfsized, poisonous, no-good kid who wanted to be a hardcase.

    The Draw Jerome Bixby
  • If we could only trace that call I'd break that no-good's neck!

    Direct Wire Clee Garson
  • no-good friends of Antón and Celeste probably,” she returned.

    Whispering Walls Mildred A. Wirt
  • You're worse than one of them slippin', dancin', three-legged, no-good Grants.

  • I should thus have some satisfaction for the harm this no-good Noman has done me.'

    The Odyssey Homer
  • The woman I worked for was one of those sort of no-good women who ain't bad or who ain't good, who is just nothing.

    Living Up to Billy Elizabeth Cooper
  • "Heard him talkin' tuh that no-good, gambling smooth-talkin' hombre named Lonergan," said Gimlet.

    The Lone Ranger Rides Fran Striker
  • Why, Bill, I knowed you hed a no-good outfit ridin' this range; but I wasn't wise thet you hed more 'n one criminal.

Word Origin and History for no-good

1908, from phrase no good "good for nothing." As a noun, first recorded 1924; variant no-goodnik (see -nik) first attested 1960.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for no-good



: His father was a no-good drunk


An unreliable or deplorable person; bum, no-account, no-goodnik: A high-living no-good in a derby hat (first form 1924+, second 1950s+)

[nogood-boy is found by 1908]

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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