See more synonyms for good on
adjective, bet·ter, best.
  1. morally excellent; virtuous; righteous; pious: a good man.
  2. satisfactory in quality, quantity, or degree: a good teacher; good health.
  3. of high quality; excellent.
  4. right; proper; fit: It is good that you are here. His credentials are good.
  5. well-behaved: a good child.
  6. kind, beneficent, or friendly: to do a good deed.
  7. honorable or worthy; in good standing: a good name.
  8. educated and refined: She has a good background.
  9. financially sound or safe: His credit is good.
  10. genuine; not counterfeit: a good quarter.
  11. sound or valid: good judgment; good reasons.
  12. reliable; dependable; responsible: good advice.
  13. healthful; beneficial: Fresh fruit is good for you.
  14. in excellent condition; healthy: good teeth.
  15. not spoiled or tainted; edible; palatable: The meat was still good after three months in the freezer.
  16. favorable; propitious: good news.
  17. cheerful; optimistic; amiable: in good spirits.
  18. free of distress or pain; comfortable: to feel good after surgery.
  19. agreeable; pleasant: Have a good time.
  20. attractive; handsome: She has a good figure.
  21. (of the complexion) smooth; free from blemish.
  22. close or intimate; warm: She's a good friend of mine.
  23. sufficient or ample: a good supply.
  24. advantageous; satisfactory for the purpose: a good day for fishing.
  25. competent or skillful; clever: a good manager; good at arithmetic.
  26. skillfully or expertly done: a really good job; a good play.
  27. conforming to rules of grammar, usage, etc.; correct: good English.
  28. socially proper: good manners.
  29. remaining available to one: Don't throw good money after bad.
  30. comparatively new or of relatively fine quality: Don't play in the mud in your good clothes.
  31. finest or most dressy: He wore his good suit to the office today.
  32. full: a good day's journey away.
  33. fairly large or great: a good amount.
  34. free from precipitation or cloudiness: good weather.
  35. Medicine/Medical. (of a patient's condition) having stable and normal vital signs, being conscious and comfortable, and having excellent appetite, mobility, etc.
  36. fertile; rich: good soil.
  37. loyal: a good Democrat.
  38. (of a return or service in tennis, squash, handball, etc.) landing within the limits of a court or section of a court.
  39. Informal. (used when declining an offer or suggestion, as to communicate that one is already satisfied): "More coffee?" "No thanks, I’m good!"
  40. Horse Racing. (of the surface of a track) drying after a rain so as to be still slightly sticky: This horse runs best on a good track.
  41. (of meat, especially beef) noting or pertaining to the specific grade below “choice,” containing more lean muscle and less edible fat than “prime” or “choice.”
  42. favorably regarded (used as an epithet for a ship, town, etc.): the good ship Syrena.
  1. profit or advantage; worth; benefit: What good will that do? We shall work for the common good.
  2. excellence or merit; kindness: to do good.
  3. moral righteousness; virtue: to be a power for good.
  4. (especially in the grading of U.S. beef) an official grade below that of “choice.”
  5. goods,
    1. possessions, especially movable effects or personal property.
    2. articles of trade; wares; merchandise: canned goods.
    3. Informal.what has been promised or is expected: to deliver the goods.
    4. Informal.the genuine article.
    5. Informal.evidence of guilt, as stolen articles: to catch someone with the goods.
    6. cloth or textile material: top-quality linen goods.
    7. Chiefly British.merchandise sent by land, rather than by water or air.
  6. the good,
    1. the ideal of goodness or morality.
    2. good things or persons collectively.
  1. (used as an expression of approval or satisfaction): Good! Now we can all go home.
  1. Informal. well1(defs 1–3, 8): I wish I could cook this good! Yes, we knew him pretty good.
  1. as good as. as1(def 20).
  2. come to no good, to end in failure or as a failure: Her jealous relatives said that she would come to no good.
  3. for good, finally and permanently; forever: to leave the country for good.Also for good and all.
  4. good and, Informal. very; completely; exceedingly: This soup is good and hot.
  5. good for,
    1. certain to repay (money owed) because of integrity, financial stability, etc.
    2. the equivalent in value of: Two thousand stamps are good for one coffeepot.
    3. able to survive or continue functioning for (the length of time or the distance indicated): These tires are good for another 10,000 miles.
    4. valid or in effect for (the length of time indicated): a license good for one year.
    5. (used as an expression of approval): Good for you!
  6. good full, Nautical. (of a sail or sails) well filled, especially when sailing close to the wind; clean full; rap full.
  7. make good,
    1. to make recompense for; repay.
    2. to implement an agreement; fulfill.
    3. to be successful.
    4. to substantiate; verify.
    5. to carry out; accomplish; execute: The convicts made good their getaway.
  8. no good, without value or merit; worthless; contemptible: The check was no good.
  9. to the good,
    1. generally advantageous: That's all to the good, but what do I get out of it?
    2. richer in profit or gain: When he withdrew from the partnership, he was several thousand dollars to the good.

Origin of good

before 900; Middle English (adj., adv., and noun); Old English gōd (adj.); cognate with Dutch goed, German gut, Old Norse gōthr, Gothic goths
Related formsqua·si-good, adjective
Can be confusedgood well (see usage note at the current entry)

Synonyms for good

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

47. See property.

Usage note

Good is common as an adverb in informal speech, especially after forms of do: He did good on the test. She sees good with her new glasses. This use does not occur in formal speech or edited writing, where the adverb well is used instead: He did well on the test. She sees well with her new glasses.
The adjective good is standard after linking verbs like taste, smell, look, feel, be, and seem: Everything tastes good. The biscuits smell good. You're looking good today. When used after look or feel, good may refer to spirits as well as health: I'm feeling pretty good this morning, ready to take on the world. Well is both an adjective and an adverb. As an adjective used after look, feel, or other linking verbs, it often refers to good health: You're looking well; we missed you while you were in the hospital. See also bad.


verb (used with object), made, mak·ing.
  1. to bring into existence by shaping or changing material, combining parts, etc.: to make a dress; to make a channel; to make a work of art.
  2. to produce; cause to exist or happen; bring about: to make trouble; to make war.
  3. to cause to be or become; render: to make someone happy.
  4. to appoint or name: The president made her his special envoy.
  5. to put in the proper condition or state, as for use; fix; prepare: to make a bed; to make dinner.
  6. to bring into a certain form: to make bricks out of clay.
  7. to convert from one state, condition, category, etc., to another: to make a virtue of one's vices.
  8. to cause, induce, or compel: to make a horse jump a barrier.
  9. to give rise to; occasion: It's not worth making a fuss over such a trifle.
  10. to produce, earn, or win for oneself: to make a good salary; to make one's fortune in oil.
  11. to write or compose: to make a short poem for the occasion.
  12. to draw up, as a legal document; draft: to make a will.
  13. to do; effect: to make a bargain.
  14. to establish or enact; put into existence: to make laws.
  15. to become by development; prove to be: You'll make a good lawyer.
  16. to form in the mind, as a judgment or estimate: to make a decision.
  17. to judge or interpret, as to the truth, nature, meaning, etc. (often followed by of): What do you make of it?
  18. to estimate; reckon: to make the distance at ten miles.
  19. to bring together separate parts so as to produce a whole; compose; form: to make a matched set.
  20. to amount to; bring up the total to: Two plus two makes four. That makes an even dozen.
  21. to serve as: to make good reading.
  22. to be sufficient to constitute: One story does not make a writer.
  23. to be adequate or suitable for: This wool will make a warm sweater.
  24. to assure the success or fortune of: a deal that could make or break him; Seeing her made my day.
  25. to deliver, utter, or put forth: to make a stirring speech.
  26. to go or travel at a particular speed: to make 60 miles an hour.
  27. to arrive at or reach; attain: The ship made port on Friday. Do you think he'll make 80?
  28. to arrive in time for: to make the first show.
  29. to arrive in time to be a passenger on (a plane, boat, bus, train, etc.): If you hurry, you can make the next flight.
  30. Informal. to gain or acquire a position within: He made the big time.
  31. to receive mention or appear in or on: The robbery made the front page.
  32. to gain recognition or honor by winning a place or being chosen for inclusion in or on: The novel made the bestseller list. He made the all-American team three years in a row.
  33. Slang. to have sexual intercourse with.
  34. Cards.
    1. to name (the trump).
    2. to take a trick with (a card).
    3. fulfill or achieve (a contract or bid).
    4. to shuffle (the cards).
  35. to earn, as a score: The team made 40 points in the first half.
  36. Slang. (especially in police and underworld use)
    1. to recognize or identify: Any cop in town will make you as soon as you walk down the street.
    2. to charge or cause to be charged with a crime: The police expect to make a couple of suspects soon.
  37. to close (an electric circuit).
  38. South Midland and Southern U.S. to plant and cultivate or produce (a crop): He makes some of the best corn in the country.
verb (used without object), made, mak·ing.
  1. to cause oneself, or something understood, to be as specified: to make sure.
  2. to show oneself to be or seem in action or behavior (usually followed by an adjective): to make merry.
  3. to be made, as specified: This fabric makes up into beautiful drapes.
  4. to move or proceed in a particular direction: They made after the thief.
  5. to rise, as the tide or water in a ship.
  6. South Midland and Southern U.S. (of a crop) to grow, develop, or mature: It looks like the corn's going to make pretty good this year.
  7. make down, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to rain or snow: It's making down hard.
  8. make fast, Chiefly Nautical. to fasten or secure.
  9. make shut, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to close: Make the door shut.
  1. the style or manner in which something is made; form; build.
  2. production with reference to the manufacturer; brand: our own make.
  3. disposition; character; nature.
  4. the act or process of making.
  5. quantity made; output.
  6. Cards. the act of naming the trump, or the suit named as trump.
  7. Electricity. the closing of an electric circuit.
  8. Jewelry. the excellence of a polished diamond with regard to proportion, symmetry, and finish.
  9. Slang. identifying information about a person or thing from police records: He radioed headquarters for a make on the car's license plate.
Verb Phrases
  1. make out,
    1. to write out or complete, as a bill or check.
    2. to establish; prove.
    3. to decipher; discern.
    4. to imply, suggest, or impute: He made me out to be a liar.
    5. to manage; succeed: How are you making out in your new job?
    6. engage in kissing and caressing; neck.
    7. have sexual intercourse.
    8. Chiefly Pennsylvania turn off or extinguish (especially a light or fire): Make the light out.
  2. make over,
    1. to remodel; alter: to make over a dress; to make over a page layout.
    2. to transfer the title of (property); convey: After she retired she made over her property to her children and moved to Florida.
  3. make for,
    1. to go toward; approach: to make for home.
    2. to lunge at; attack.
    3. to help to promote or maintain: This incident will not make for better understanding between the warring factions.
  4. make off,
    1. to run away; depart hastily: The only witness to the accident made off before the police arrived.
    2. stand off from a coast, especially a lee shore.
  5. make off with, to carry away; steal: While the family was away, thieves made off with most of their valuables.
  6. make on, Chiefly Pennsylvania German. to turn on, light, or ignite (especially a light or fire): Make the light on.
  7. make up,
    1. (of parts) to constitute; compose; form.
    2. to put together; construct; compile.
    3. to concoct; invent.
    4. Also make up compensate for; make good.
    5. to complete.
    6. to put in order; arrange: The maid will make up the room.
    7. to conclude; decide.
    8. to settle amicably, as differences.
    9. to become reconciled, as after a quarrel.
    10. arrange set type, illustrations, etc., into columns or pages.
    11. to dress in appropriate costume and apply cosmetics for a part on the stage.
    12. to apply cosmetics.
    13. to adjust or balance, as accounts; prepare, as statements.
    14. repeat (a course or examination that one has failed).
    15. take an examination that one had been unable to take when first given, usually because of absence.
    16. to specify and indicate the layout or arrangement of (columns, pages, etc., of matter to be printed).
    17. Atlantic States.(of the weather or clouds) to develop or gather: It's making up for a storm.
    18. Atlantic States.(of the sea) to become turbulent: If the sea makes up, row toward land.
  8. make up to,
    1. try to become friendly with; fawn on.
    2. to make advances to; flirt with: He makes up to every new woman in the office.
  1. make a play for, to try to get: He made a play for his brother's girlfriend. They made a play for control of the company's stock.
  2. make as if/as though, Informal. to act as if; pretend: We will make as if to leave, then come back and surprise him.
  3. make away with,
    1. to steal: The clerk made away with the cash and checks.
    2. to destroy; kill: He made away with his enemies.
    3. to get rid of.
    4. to consume, drink, or eat completely: The boys made away with the contents of the refrigerator.
  4. make believe, to pretend; imagine: The little girl dressed in a sheet and made believe she was a ghost.
  5. make (so) bold, to have the temerity; be so rash; dare: May I make so bold as to suggest that you stand when they enter?
  6. make book, Slang.
    1. to take bets and give odds.
    2. to make a business of this.
  7. make colors, Nautical. to hoist an ensign, as on board a warship.
  8. make do, to function, manage, or operate, usually on a deprivation level with minimal requirements: During the war we had no butter or coffee, so we had to make do without them.
  9. make good,
    1. to provide restitution or reparation for: The bank teller made good the shortage and was given a light sentence.
    2. to succeed: Talent and training are necessary to make good in some fields.
    3. to fulfill: He made good on his promise.
    4. compute (a course) allowing for leeway and compass deviation.
  10. make heavy weather,
    1. roll and pitch in heavy seas.
    2. to progress laboriously; struggle, especially to struggle needlessly: I am making heavy weather with my income tax return.
  11. make it,
    1. achieve a specific goal: to make it to the train; to make it through college.
    2. succeed in general: He'll never make it in business.
    3. have sexual intercourse.
  12. make it so, Nautical. strike the ship's bell accordingly: said by the officer of the watch when the hour is announced.
  13. make like, Informal. to try or pretend to be like; imitate: I'm going to go out and make like a gardener.
  14. make one's manners, Southern U.S.
    1. to perform an appropriate or expected social courtesy.
    2. Older bow or curtsy.
  15. make sail, Nautical.
    1. to set sails.
    2. to brace the yards of a ship that has been hove to in order to make headway.
  16. make time. time(def 52).
  17. make water,
    1. to urinate.
    2. Nautical.(of a hull) to leak.
  18. make with, Slang.
    1. to operate; use: Let's make with the feet.
    2. to bring about; provide or produce: He makes with the big ideas, but can't follow through.
  19. on the make, Informal.
    1. seeking to improve one's social or financial position, usually at the expense of others or of principle.
    2. increasing; advancing.
    3. Slang.seeking amorous or sexual relations: The park was swarming with sailors on the make.
  20. put the make on, Slang. to make sexual overtures to.

Origin of make

before 900; Middle English maken, Old English macian; cognate with Low German, Dutch maken, German machen
Related formsmak·a·ble, adjective

Synonyms for make

See more synonyms for on

Synonym study

1. Make, construct, manufacture mean to produce, to put into definite form, or to put parts together to make a whole. Make is the general term: Bees make wax. Construct, more formal, means to put parts together, usually according to a plan or design: to construct a building. Manufacture usually refers to producing something from material that requires conversion from one state or condition to another, now almost entirely by means of machinery in a relatively complex process: to manufacture automobiles by the assembly of different parts. The term is also often used contemptuously of unimaginative or hackneyed works of art with the implication that the work was produced mechanically, and is used abstractly with the idea of denying genuineness: to manufacture an excuse.

Antonyms for make Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

British Dictionary definitions for make good


adjective better or best
  1. having admirable, pleasing, superior, or positive qualities; not negative, bad or mediocrea good idea; a good teacher
    1. morally excellent or admirable; virtuous; righteousa good man
    2. (as collective noun; preceded by the)the good
  2. suitable or efficient for a purposea good secretary; a good winter coat
  3. beneficial or advantageousvegetables are good for you
  4. not ruined or decayed; sound or wholethe meat is still good
  5. kindly, generous, or approvingyou are good to him
  6. right or acceptableyour qualifications are good for the job
  7. rich and fertilegood land
  8. valid or genuineI would not do this without good reason
  9. honourable or held in high esteema good family
  10. commercially or financially secure, sound, or safegood securities; a good investment
  11. (of a draft) drawn for a stated sum
  12. (of debts) expected to be fully paid
  13. clever, competent, or talentedhe's good at science
  14. obedient or well-behaveda good dog
  15. reliable, safe, or recommendeda good make of clothes
  16. affording material pleasure or indulgencethe good things in life; the good life
  17. having a well-proportioned, beautiful, or generally fine appearancea good figure; a good complexion
  18. complete; fullI took a good look round the house
  19. propitious; opportunea good time to ask the manager for a rise
  20. satisfying or gratifyinga good rest
  21. comfortabledid you have a good night?
  22. newest or of the best qualityto keep the good plates for important guests
  23. fairly large, extensive, or longa good distance away
  24. sufficient; amplewe have a good supply of food
  25. US (of meat) of the third government grade, above standard and below choice
  26. serious or intellectualgood music
  27. used in a traditional descriptionthe good ship ``America''
  28. used in polite or patronizing phrases or to express anger (often intended ironically)how is your good lady?; look here, my good man!
  29. a good one
    1. an unbelievable assertion
    2. a very funny joke
  30. as good as virtually; practicallyit's as good as finished
  31. as good as gold excellent; very good indeed
  32. be as good as to or be so good as to would you please
  33. come good to recover and perform well after a bad start or setback
  34. good and informal (intensifier)good and mad
  35. (intensifier; used in mild oaths)good grief!; good heavens!
  1. an exclamation of approval, agreement, pleasure, etc
  1. moral or material advantage or use; benefit or profitfor the good of our workers; what is the good of worrying?
  2. positive moral qualities; goodness; virtue; righteousness; piety
  3. (sometimes capital) moral qualities seen as a single abstract entitywe must pursue the Good
  4. a good thing
  5. economics a commodity or service that satisfies a human need
  6. for good or for good and all forever; permanentlyI have left them for good
  7. make good
    1. to recompense or repair damage or injury
    2. to be successful
    3. to demonstrate or prove the truth of (a statement or accusation)
    4. to secure and retain (a position)
    5. to effect or fulfil (something intended or promised)
  8. good on you or good for you well done, well said, etc: a term of congratulation
  9. get any good of or get some good of Irish
    1. to handle to good effectI never got any good of this machine
    2. to understand properlyI could never get any good of him
    3. to receive cooperation from
See also goods
Derived Formsgoodish, adjective

Word Origin for good

Old English gōd; related to Old Norse gōthr, Old High German guot good


verb makes, making or made (mainly tr)
  1. to bring into being by shaping, changing, or combining materials, ideas, etc; form or fashion; createto make a chair from bits of wood; make a poem
  2. to draw up, establish, or formto make a decision; make one's will
  3. to cause to exist, bring about, or producedon't make a noise
  4. to cause, compel, or induceplease make him go away
  5. to appoint or assign, as to a rank or positionthey made him chairman
  6. to constituteone swallow doesn't make a summer
  7. (also intr) to come or cause to come into a specified state or conditionto make merry; make someone happy
  8. (copula) to be or become through developmenthe will make a good teacher
  9. to cause or ensure the success ofyour news has made my day
  10. to amount totwelve inches make a foot
  11. to be part of or a member ofdid she make one of the party?
  12. to serve as or be suitable forthat piece of cloth will make a coat
  13. to prepare or put into a fit condition for useto make a bed
  14. to be the essential element in or part ofcharm makes a good salesman
  15. to carry out, effect, or doto make a gesture
  16. (intr; foll by to, as if to, or as though to) to act with the intention or with a show of doing somethingthey made to go out; he made as if to hit her
  17. to use for a specified purposeI will make this town my base
  18. to deliver or pronounceto make a speech
  19. to judge, reckon, or give one's own opinion or information as towhat time do you make it?
  20. to cause to seem or represent as beingthat furniture makes the room look dark
  21. to earn, acquire, or win for oneselfto make friends; make a fortune
  22. to engage inmake love not war
  23. to traverse or cover (distance) by travellingwe can make a hundred miles by nightfall
  24. to arrive in time forhe didn't make the first act of the play
  25. cards
    1. to win a trick with (a specified card)
    2. to shuffle (the cards)
    3. bridgeto fulfil (a contract) by winning the necessary number of tricks
  26. cricket to score (runs)
  27. electronics to close (a circuit) permitting a flow of currentCompare break (def. 44)
  28. (intr) to increase in depththe water in the hold was making a foot a minute
  29. (intr) (of hay) to dry and mature
  30. informal to gain a place or position on or into make the headlines; make the first team
  31. informal to achieve the rank of
  32. slang to seduce
  33. make a book to take bets on a race or other contest
  34. make a day of it to cause an activity to last a day
  35. make a night of it to cause an activity to last a night
  36. make do See do 1 (def. 37)
  37. make eyes at to flirt with or ogle
  38. make good See good (def. 44)
  39. make heavy weather nautical to roll and pitch in heavy seas
  40. make heavy weather of something informal to carry something out with great difficulty or unnecessarily great effort
  41. make it
    1. informalto be successful in doing something
    2. (foll by with) slangto have sexual intercourse
    3. slangto inject a narcotic drug
  42. make like slang, mainly US and Canadian to imitate
  43. make love
    1. to have sexual intercourse
    2. archaicto engage in courtship
  44. make love to someone
    1. to have sexual intercourse with someone
    2. archaicto engage in courtship with someone
  45. make or break to bring success or ruin
  46. make time See time (def. 45)
  47. make water
    1. another term for urinate
    2. (of a boat, hull, etc) to let in water
  1. brand, type, or stylewhat make of car is that?
  2. the manner or way in which something is made
  3. disposition or character; make-up
  4. the act or process of making
  5. the amount or number made
  6. bridge the contract to be played
  7. cards a player's turn to shuffle
  8. on the make
    1. informalout for profit or conquest
    2. slangin search of a sexual partner
Derived Formsmakable, adjective

Word Origin for make

Old English macian; related to Old Frisian makia to construct, Dutch maken, German machen to make


noun archaic
  1. a peer or consort
  2. a mate or spouse
Derived Formsmakeless, adjective

Word Origin for make

Old English gemaca mate; related to match 1
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

Word Origin and History for make good



Old English macian "to make, form, construct, do; prepare, arrange, cause; behave, fare, transform," from West Germanic *makon "to fashion, fit" (cf. Old Saxon makon, Old Frisian makia "to build, make," Middle Dutch and Dutch maken, Old High German mahhon "to construct, make," German machen "to make"), from PIE *mag- "to knead, mix; to fashion, fit" (see macerate). If so, sense evolution perhaps is via prehistoric houses built of mud. Gradually replaced the main Old English word, gewyrcan (see work (v.)).

Meaning "to arrive at" (a place), first attested 1620s, originally was nautical. Formerly used in many places where specific verbs now are used, e.g. to make Latin (c.1500) "to write Latin compositions." This broader usage survives in some phrases, e.g. to make water "to urinate," to make a book "arrange a series of bets" (1828), make hay "to turn over mown grass to expose it to sun." Make the grade is 1912, perhaps from the notion of railway engines going up an incline.

Read the valuable suggestions in Dr. C.V. Mosby's book -- be prepared to surmount obstacles before you encounter them -- equipped with the power to "make the grade" in life's climb. [advertisement for "Making the Grade," December 1916]

But the phrase also was in use in a schoolwork context at the time. Make do "manage with what is available" is attested from 1867. Make time "go fast" is 1849; make tracks in this sense is from 1834. To make a federal case out of (something) popularized in 1959 movie "Anatomy of a Murder;" to make an offer (one) can't refuse is from Mario Puzo's 1969 novel "The Godfather." To make (one's) day is from 1909; menacing make my day is from 1971, popularized by Clint Eastwood in film "Sudden Impact" (1983). Related: Made; making.



"match, mate, companion" (now archaic or dialectal), from Old English gemaca "mate, equal; one of a pair, comrade; consort, husband, wife," from Proto-Germanic *gamakon-, related to Old English gemæcc "well-matched, suitable," macian "to make" (see make (v.)). Meaning "manner in which something is made, design, construction" is from c.1300. Phrase on the make "intent on profit or advancement" is from 1869.



Old English gōd "that which is good, goodness; advantage, benefit; gift; virtue; property;" from good (adj.).



Old English god (with a long "o") "virtuous; desirable; valid; considerable," probably originally "having the right or desirable quality," from Proto-Germanic *gothaz (cf. Old Norse goðr, Dutch goed, Old High German guot, German gut, Gothic goþs), originally "fit, adequate, belonging together," from PIE root *ghedh- "to unite, be associated, suitable" (cf. Old Church Slavonic godu "pleasing time," Russian godnyi "fit, suitable," Old English gædrian "to gather, to take up together"). As an expression of satisfaction, from early 15c.; of children, "well-behaved," by 1690s.

Irregular comparatives (better, best) reflect a widespread pattern, cf. Latin bonus, melior, optimus. Good-for-nothing is from 1711. Good looking is attested from 1780 (good looks by c.1800). Good sport, of persons, is from 1906; good to go is attested from 1989. The good book "the Bible" attested from 1801, originally in missionary literature describing the language of conversion efforts in American Indian tribes.

Why then, can one desire too much of a good thing. ["As You Like It"]
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with make good

make good


Carry out successfully, make sure of, as in He made good his escape. This usage was first recorded in 1606.


Fulfill, as in She made good her promise. This usage was first recorded in Miles Coverdale's 1535 translation of the Bible (II Chronicles 6:16): “Make good unto my father, David ... that which thou hast promised him.”


Compensate for, make up for, as in They made good the loss. This usage first appeared in William Langland's Piers Ploughman (1377).


Succeed, as in He made good as a writer. [c. 1900]


In addition to the idioms beginning with good

  • good and
  • good around
  • good as, as
  • good as done, as
  • good as gold, as
  • good as one's word, as
  • good day
  • good deal, a
  • good egg, a
  • good evening
  • good faith
  • good for
  • good graces
  • good grief
  • good head on one's shoulders, have a
  • good life, the
  • good luck
  • good many, a
  • good mind
  • good morning
  • good nature
  • goodness gracious
  • goodness knows
  • good night
  • good off
  • good riddance
  • good Samaritan
  • good scout
  • good sort
  • good thing
  • good time
  • good turn
  • good word
  • good works
  • goody two-shoes

also see:

  • bad (good) sort
  • but good
  • do any good
  • do good
  • do one good
  • for good
  • for good measure
  • get on someone's good side
  • get out while the getting is good
  • give a good account of oneself
  • give as good as one gets
  • have a good command of
  • have a good mind to
  • have a good thing going
  • have a good time
  • hold good
  • ill wind (that blows nobody any good)
  • in all good conscience
  • in bad (good) faith
  • in (good) condition
  • in due course (all in good time)
  • in good
  • in good hands
  • in good part
  • in good spirits
  • in good time
  • in good with
  • in someone's good graces
  • keep (good) time
  • make good
  • make good time
  • make someone look good
  • miss is as good as a mile
  • never had it so good
  • no good
  • no news is good news
  • not the only fish (other good fish) in the sea
  • one good turn deserves another
  • on good terms
  • on one's best (good) behavior
  • put in a good word
  • put to good use
  • show someone a good time
  • show to (good) advantage
  • so far so good
  • stand in good stead
  • take in good part
  • throw good money after bad
  • to good purpose
  • too good to be true
  • too much of a good thing
  • to the good
  • turn to (good account)
  • up to no good
  • well and good
  • what's the good of
  • with good grace
  • world of good
  • your guess is as good as mine

Also see undergoodnessgoods.


In addition to the idioms beginning with make

  • make a beeline for
  • make a break for
  • make a bundle
  • make a clean breast of
  • make a clean sweep
  • make a comeback
  • make a crack
  • make a date
  • make a day of it
  • make a dent in
  • make a difference
  • make advances
  • make a face
  • make a federal case of
  • make a fool of
  • make a fortune
  • make a fuss
  • make a go of
  • make a hash of
  • make a hit
  • make a hole in
  • make a killing
  • make a laughingstock of
  • make a living
  • make allowance for
  • make a long story short
  • make amends
  • make a monkey out of
  • make a mountain out of a molehill
  • make a name for oneself
  • make an appearance
  • make an appointment
  • make an ass of
  • make an end of
  • make an example of
  • make an exception
  • make an exhibition of oneself
  • make a night of it
  • make an impression
  • make a note of
  • make a nuisance of oneself
  • make a pass at
  • make a pig of oneself
  • make a pile
  • make a pitch for
  • make a play for
  • make a point of
  • make a practice of
  • make arrangements for
  • make a run for
  • make a scene
  • make as if
  • make a silk purse
  • make a stab at
  • make a stand
  • make a statement
  • make a stink
  • make a virtue of necessity
  • make away with
  • make bail
  • make believe
  • make bold
  • make book
  • make bricks without straw
  • make capital out of
  • make conversation
  • make demands on
  • make do
  • make ends meet
  • make eyes at
  • make fast work of
  • make for
  • make free with
  • make friends
  • make fun of
  • make good
  • make good time
  • make great strides
  • make haste
  • make hay while the sun shines
  • make head or tail of
  • make headway
  • make heavy weather
  • make history
  • make inroads into
  • make it
  • make it hot for
  • make it one's business
  • make it snappy
  • make it up
  • make it with
  • make light of
  • make like
  • make little of
  • make love
  • make mincemeat of
  • make mischief
  • make much of
  • make my day
  • make no bones about
  • make no difference
  • make no mistake
  • make nothing of
  • make off
  • make one's bed and lie in it
  • make one's blood boil
  • make one's blood run cold
  • make one's day
  • make one's ears burn
  • make oneself at home
  • make oneself scarce
  • make one's flesh creep
  • make one's hair stand on end
  • make one's head spin
  • make one sick
  • make one's mark
  • make one's mouth water
  • make one's peace with
  • make one's point
  • make one's way
  • make or break
  • make out
  • make out like a bandit
  • make over
  • make peace
  • make ready
  • make rounds
  • make sail
  • make sense
  • make short work of
  • make someone look good
  • make something of
  • make sport of
  • make stick
  • make sure
  • make the bed
  • make the best of it
  • make the dust fly
  • make the grade
  • make the most of
  • make the rounds
  • make the scene
  • make the sparks fly
  • make time
  • make tracks
  • make up
  • make up for lost time
  • make up one's mind
  • make up to
  • make use of
  • make waves
  • make way
  • make whoopee
  • make with

also see:

  • absence makes the heart grow fonder
  • all work and no play makes Jack a dull boy
  • can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear
  • can't make head or tail of
  • kiss and make up
  • many hands make light work
  • might makes right
  • on the make
  • practice makes perfect
  • put in (make) an appearance
  • put the make on
  • run for it, make a
  • that makes two of us
  • two wrongs do not make a right
  • what makes one tick

Also see undermade.

The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company.