Origin of OK

initials of a facetious folk phonetic spelling, e.g., 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

Usage note

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.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

British Dictionary definitions for o.k. (1 of 2)

Also: OK, o.k., okay

Word Origin for O.K.

C19: perhaps from o (ll) k (orrect), jocular alteration of all correct

British Dictionary definitions for o.k. (2 of 2)

OK


abbreviation for

Oklahoma
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