Definition of goodness in English:


Syllabification: good·ness
Pronunciation: /ˈgo͝odnis



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  • (As a substitution for “God”) expressing surprise, anger, etc.: goodness knows what her rent will be
    More example sentences
    • I went and looked down it and thought ‘Oh my goodness!’
    • In my own half-asleep state, I heard her go through to Alex's room, and then there was an exclamation of ‘Oh my goodness!’
    • Ben Pimlott (who calls her Alice) records that the young princess once said ‘My goodness!’


for goodness' sake

see sake1.

goodness of fit

Statistics The extent to which observed data match the values expected by theory.
More example sentences
  • In addition, we tested goodness of fit of the observed frequency spectrum to that expected under the neutrality and panmixis with constant population size.
  • We used a chi-square test of goodness of fit to test the null hypothesis that usage occurs in proportion to availability, considering all habitats simultaneously.
  • The statistics of the headway distribution and the goodness of fit between the observed and detected distributions are shown in Table 2.

have the goodness to do something

Used in exaggeratedly polite requests: have the goodness to look at me when I’m speaking to you!
More example sentences
  • I wish to speak to Dominick alone, so please have the goodness to go.
  • Might I beg that you would have the goodness to sit down upon one of those boxes, and not to interfere?


Old English gōdnes (see good, -ness).

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