Definition of goodness in English:



  • 1The quality of being good, in particular.

    • ‘There are 90 members of the football team and the actions of a few should not reflect the goodness of the whole.’
    • ‘So every time you bite into one, you get the expected crunchy crouton goodness - but then there will be an explosion of garlic-infused olive oil in your mouth.’
    • ‘But how do qualifications and league table positions correlate with quality, care, goodness?’
    • ‘In addition, please accept our sincerest gratitude for this past year of challenging conversation, financial support, and general goodness.’
    • ‘Serious film-and-comics geeks should check out the production's video blog which is full of chocolatey goodness about the production.’
    • ‘Whether he did this out of the goodness of his heart, or to illustrate the goodness of his web design company, should he possess one, I don't know.’
    • ‘We miss his towering presence, his smile, his readings, the goodness of his heart and the goodness of his looks.’
    • ‘Last week I had a nasty accident with a bottle of Caesar dressing that splurted when it hit the floor and showered The Partner with parmesan-y goodness.’
    • ‘More Christmassy goodness to look forward to then.’
    • ‘The album progresses into a passionate entendre of folk rock goodness and at times is even reminiscent of some of Paul McCartney's latest works.’
    • ‘On Friday her hair was pulled back and on Saturday I honest to God didn't recognize her for a moment with all that wavy goodness flowing down her back.’
    • ‘It's filled with local, New York details and cheesy goodness.’
    • ‘The smell of buttery, minty goodness will rise no more.’
    • ‘One morning we were out on a quest for postage stamps and midway between the hotel and the post office there it was: a little hole in the wall shop that looked to be chock full of vinyl goodness.’
    1. 1.1 Virtue; moral excellence.
      ‘a belief in the basic goodness of mankind’
      • ‘Out of the goodness of my heart I decided to loan him some of the CD-ROMs I've burned lately, so he can have a search through them and see what tunes he likes.’
      • ‘Does anyone seriously think, for a moment, that Henry intends, from the goodness of his heart, to work hard to repay the ill-gotten gains.’
      • ‘The government said that it was doing this ‘out of the goodness of its heart’.’
      • ‘Meditation is a process of lightening up, of trusting the basic goodness of what we have and who we are, and of realizing that any wisdom that exists, exists in what we already have.’
      • ‘But along with my innocent childhood belief in the resurrection of rock music and the essential goodness of mankind, this myth was shattered too.’
      • ‘It teaches the interconnectedness of all things and the basic goodness of human nature.’
      • ‘You think as you are watching it, that everything is quite politically correct, that sweet Vera is doing it all out of the goodness of her own heart, but watch closer.’
      • ‘Your goodness of heart brings you peace inside.’
      • ‘Wisdom requires that we work with the inner self, in order to act in accordance with the basic goodness we all have.’
      • ‘Life on the idyllic left coast has caused her to believe in the truth of honesty, the goodness in her fellow man, and doing good deeds.’
      • ‘He went on to talk about one of the strengths of America being its tolerance for dissent, and his enormous respect for and faith in the goodness and fairness of the American people.’
      • ‘All the world should, and must, gather together in spirit and ensure that in the end only the goodness of mankind will prevail, as we venture into forever together.’
      • ‘While often being disheartened by the mistakes of our government, it is my sincere hope that its decisions in the upcoming days are wise and reflect the goodness of this nation.’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘What matters is the goodness and virtue of the individual.’
      • ‘I fed his curiosity, for it allowed me to praise the goodness and virtues of my people.’
      • ‘Don't do it out of the goodness of your heart, if you don't want to.’
      • ‘But they're after us - they hate us for our goodness and our purity, they cannot abide the light we bring unto the world.’
      • ‘This book is a thousand times worse, force-feeding us a tale not only of the author's goodness, but the goodness of his long line of ancestors.’
      kindness, kindliness, kind-heartedness, warm-heartedness, tender-heartedness, humaneness, humanity, mildness, benevolence, benignity, tenderness, warmth, motherliness, fatherliness, affection, lovingness, love, goodwill
      virtue, virtuousness, good, righteousness, morality, ethicalness, uprightness, upstandingness, integrity, principle, dignity, rectitude, rightness
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2 The beneficial or nourishing element of food.
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘It's loaded with fibre, has practically no calories, and fills you full of rich, vitamin-y goodness every time you take a bite.’
      • ‘I lifted my beer bottle to my face and drank the frothy goodness, sipping it slowly, savoring the bitter crisp taste.’
      • ‘What was once our sustenance has become carcinogenic and devoid of goodness and nourishment.’
      • ‘Very basic flavouring should underline the goodness of the piece of meat and fish or whatever.’
      nutritional value, nutrition, nutrients, wholesomeness, nourishment
      View synonyms


  • (as a substitution for “God”) expressing surprise, anger, etc.

    ‘goodness knows what her rent will be’
    • ‘But they don't care about anything - goodness, I could tell you stories!’
    • ‘When they tell me about the son of the house, however, keeping up the impressed noises can be rather an effort - goodness, a lifeguard at the swimming pool!’
    • ‘I went and looked down it and thought ‘Oh my goodness!’’
    • ‘Ben Pimlott (who calls her Alice) records that the young princess once said ‘My goodness!’’
    • ‘But they - goodness, I nearly said ‘we’ - will just have to lump it.’
    • ‘I was just about to talk about Kate Hudson, but, goodness, we have a star of our own over here.’
    • ‘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!’’
    • ‘He had just come into the cafe, and oh my goodness!’
    • ‘It must be in 1997 - goodness, has the newsletter been going that long?’


  • for goodness' sake

  • goodness of fit

    • The extent to which observed data match the values expected by theory.

      • ‘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.’
      • ‘On the basis of the goodness of fit between models and observations, a history of stationary population size can be confidently rejected for all three sets of samples.’
      • ‘The independent variable, the aggregate environmental index, E, did not have any statistical significance and did not improve the goodness of fit of the models to the data.’
  • have the goodness to do something

    • Used in exaggeratedly polite requests.

      ‘have the goodness to look at me when I'm speaking to you!’
      • ‘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).