or o·kay

[ oh-key, oh-key, oh-key ]

  1. all right; proceeding normally; satisfactory or under control: Things are OK at the moment.

  2. correct, permissible, or acceptable; meeting standards: Is this suit OK to wear to a formal party?

  1. doing well or in good health; managing adequately: She's been OK since the operation.

  2. adequate but unexceptional or unremarkable; tolerable: The job they did was OK, nothing more.

  3. estimable, dependable, or trustworthy; likable: an OK person.

  1. all right; well enough; successfully; fine: She'll manage OK on her own.He sings OK, but he can't tap dance.

  2. (used as an affirmative response) yes; surely.

  1. (used as an interrogative or interrogative tag) all right?; do you agree?

  1. (used to express agreement, understanding, acceptance, or the like): OK, I'll get it for you.

  2. (used as an introductory or transitional expression): OK, now where were we?

noun,plural OK's.
  1. an approval, agreement, or endorsement: They gave their OK to her leave of absence.

verb (used with object),OK'd, OK'ing.
  1. to put one's endorsement on or indicate one's approval of (a request, piece of copy, bank check, etc.); authorize; initial: Would you OK my application?

Origin of OK

Initials of a facetious folk phonetic spelling, i.e., oll or orl korrect representing all correct, first attested in Boston, Massachusetts, in 1839, then used in 1840 by Democrat partisans of Martin Van Buren during his election campaign, who allegedly named their organization, the O.K. Club, in allusion to the initials of Old Kinderhook, Van Buren's nickname, derived from his birthplace, Kinderhook, New York
  • Also O.K., ok .

word story For OK

Few Americanisms have been more successful than ok, which survived the political campaign of 1840 that fostered it, quickly lost its political significance, and went on to develop use as a verb, adverb, noun, and interjection. The expression was well known in England by the 1880s. Today ok has achieved worldwide recognition and use. It occurs in all but the most formal speech and writing.

Other definitions for OK (2 of 2)


  1. Oklahoma (approved especially for use with zip code).

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use OK in a sentence

  • There is a lively story woven in with the athletic achievements, which are all right, since the book has been O. K'd.

  • When Curlie had decoded the jumbled message he needed only to signal back an answering O. K.

    On the Yukon Trail | Roy J. Snell
  • His head is a little out of line at present, but his heart is O. K.

    Fore! | Charles Emmett Van Loan
  • If only that fellow can hold on a little longer we'll pull him up O. K. Hey, down there, take a fresh grip and stick fast!

  • I'll give yu another chance, but yu wants to hope almighty hard that Red is O. K.

    Hopalong Cassidy's Rustler Round-Up | Clarence Edward Mulford

British Dictionary definitions for OK (1 of 2)


abbreviation for
  1. Oklahoma

British Dictionary definitions for O.K. (2 of 2)


/ (ˌəʊˈkeɪ) informal /

sentence substitute
  1. an expression of approval, agreement, etc

adjective, adverb(usually postpositive)
  1. in good or satisfactory condition

  2. permissable: is it O.K. if I go home now?

  1. acceptable but not outstanding: the party was O.K.

verbO.K.s, O.K.ing (ˌəʊˈkeɪɪŋ) or O.K.ed (ˌəʊˈkeɪd)
  1. (tr) to approve or endorse

nounplural O.K.s
  1. approval or agreement

Origin of O.K.

C19: perhaps from o (ll) k (orrect), jocular alteration of all correct
  • Also: OK, o.k., okay

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