Definition of goodness in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈɡʊdnəs/


1The quality of being good: a belief in the basic goodness of mankind
More example sentences
  • Hope draws its power from a deep trust in higher being and the basic goodness of human nature
  • Basic goodness transcends the concepts of good and bad.
  • But along with my innocent childhood belief in the resurrection of rock music and the essential goodness of mankind, this myth was shattered too.
virtue, virtuousness, good, righteousness, morality, ethicalness, uprightness, upstandingness, integrity, principle, dignity, rectitude, rightness;
honesty, truth, truthfulness, honourableness, honourability, honour, incorruptibility, probity, propriety, decency, respectability, nobility, nobility of soul/spirit, nobleness, worthiness, worth, merit, trustworthiness, meritoriousness, irreproachableness, blamelessness, purity, pureness, lack of corruption;
justice, justness, fairness, equity, equitableness, impartiality, lawfulness, legality
kindness, kindliness, kind-heartedness, warm-heartedness, tender-heartedness, humaneness, humanity, mildness, benevolence, benignity, tenderness, warmth, motherliness, fatherliness, affection, lovingness, love, goodwill;
sympathy, compassion, care, concern, understanding, tolerance, patience, indulgence, generosity, charity, charitableness, leniency, clemency, forbearance, magnanimity;
helpfulness, considerateness, thoughtfulness, consideration, niceness, courtesy, politeness, decency, graciousness, neighbourliness, pleasantness, public-spiritedness, friendliness, geniality, congeniality, amiability, cordiality
2The beneficial or nourishing element of food.
Example sentences
  • Some of them even went so far as to ingest tape worms to avoid their bodies absorbing the goodness from food and so remaining thin (some people today still do this).
  • The food nourishes, provides nutrients and goodness, yet the left-overs are generally uniform and of a recurring theme.
  • At least, not now, with the goodness and warmth of the food spreading within him.
nutritional value, nutrition, nutrients, wholesomeness, nourishment
rare nutriment


(As a substitution for ‘God’) expressing surprise, anger, etc. goodness knows why she didn’t go herself my goodness, you gave me quite a fright!
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 matches the values expected by theory.
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).

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: good|ness

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