Good As New: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 20, 2023

"Good as new" describes something in very good condition, as if it were new. This phrase usually refers to something used or worn but appears fresh and new after repair or cleaning. If someone says something is as "good as new," they are saying it's in excellent shape, just like when it was first made or bought. You may use it to describe items such as cars, clothes, or furniture that have been restored or maintained well.

In short:

  • The idiom refers to something in excellent condition as if it were new.
  • It is used to describe items that have been well-maintained or restored.

What Does "Good as New" Mean?

The phrase "good as new" implies that something is in a condition just like when it was new. If you say something is "as good as new," you're stating it's in great shape despite being used or old. It indicates that the items have been well taken care of or repaired to preserve their quality.

Let's explore its core meanings and usage:

  • "Good as new" means something is in excellent condition, just like when it was brand new.
  • It often describes used items still in great shape, thanks to good maintenance or restoration.
  • This phrase emphasizes the quality of an item despite its age or usage.
  • You might use it in a sentence like: "With that restoration, it's as good as new and a perfect match for your collection."
  • Similar expressions include "like new," "in prime condition," "mint condition," and "in perfect shape."

Where Does "Good as New" Come From?

While it's challenging to pinpoint the very first use of the phrase, one of the earlier recorded instances can be found in literature and publications from the 18th and 19th centuries. For instance, in various English publications from the 1800s, descriptions of items or people being restored to their former state or health often employed the phrase "good as new" to emphasize the quality or thoroughness of the restoration.

Historical Example

"That broad cloth suit your good father boasted of may be kept as good as new till you get back to Maplebury."

- The New Monthly Magazine and Humorist, 1840

10 Examples of "Good as New" in Sentences

Here are some examples to give you a clearer idea of how you can use this idiom in everyday conversation:

  • After a fresh coat of paint, the old house looked as good as new.
  • Even though it looked like a pile of crap, with some work, it's now as good as new.
  • No worries, I've fixed it to be as good as new.
  • Once the scratches are buffed out of the table, it will be as good as new.
  • After a good night's sleep, I felt as good as new.
  • If that issue continues to bug you, let me handle it; I can make it as good as new.
  • It might fray at the edges, but a little repair and it'll be good as new.
  • Nice car! I'll take care of her, and she'll be good as new in no time.
  • Her grandma’s antique necklace was restored to look as good as new.
  • No guts, no glory: he risked it all, and now it's as good as new.

Examples of "Good as New" in Pop Culture

The phrase "good as new" is common in various media and pop culture forms.

Let's take a look at some instances:

  • "Good as New" is a song by the band Vacationer, featured on their 2012 album 'Gone.'
  • "As Good as New" is a popular song by the Swedish group ABBA from their 1979 album 'Voulez-Vous.'
  • The book "The Repair Shop: A Make Do and Mend Handbook" by Karen Farrington and Jay Blades mentions items being restored to a state where they're "good as new.
  • "As Good As New" is a 2016 romance book by Jennifer Dawson.
  • "Caillou: As Good As New" is a 2012 children's book about a boy who learned to make his bike look new again.
  • The 1949 movie Malice in the Palace mentions the phrase in the quote: "There you are, sir. You look very pretty, and the spaghetti is as good as new."

Other/Different Ways to Say "Good as New"

Various other expressions convey a similar meaning to "good as new."

Here are some of them:

  • In mint condition
  • Just like new
  • In tip-top condition
  • In perfect shape
  • As fresh as a daisy
  • As right as rain
  • In fine fettle
  • Back to normal
  • Restored to its original state
  • As if it was never used

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Good as New":

  • What does "good as new" mean?

"Good as new" is a phrase used to describe something that is in excellent condition, despite being used or old. It suggests that the item or object is as functional or appears as fresh as it would if it were brand new.

  • Can you give me an example of how to use "good as new" in a sentence?

Here's an example: "After the renovation, you'd think the shop downtown was as good as new."

  • Where does the phrase "good as new" come from?

The exact origin of the phrase "good as new" is unclear, but it's been used in English language literature to describe items in excellent condition since at least the 19th century.

  • Does "good as new" only refer to physical objects?

No, the phrase "good as new" can also refer to non-physical states, like feeling refreshed or restored. For example, after a good rest, someone might say, "I feel as good as new.

  • Can we use it to describe refurbished items?

Yes, absolutely. Refurbished items that have been restored to their original condition are often described as being "as good as new".

  • Is there a difference between "good as new" and "like new"?

While both phrases are used to denote items in excellent condition, "good as new" often implies that some restoration work has been done, while "like new" suggests the item has barely been used or shows virtually no signs of wear.

  • Can "good as new" refer to people's health or well-being?

Yes, it can. When someone recovers from an illness or exhaustion, they might say they feel "as good as new". It suggests a full return to health or energy levels.

  • Is "good as new" used in other languages, too?

Yes, many languages have similar expressions. However, the exact wording and usage might vary depending on the language and culture.

  • Does it imply that the item is perfect?

Not necessarily. While "good as new" suggests the item is in excellent condition, it doesn't guarantee perfection. It simply means the item is as functional or looks as fresh as a brand new one would.

  • Can we use it in a negative context?

Generally, "good as new" has a positive connotation, referring to the high quality or condition of something. However, its usage can vary depending on the context. For example, in a situation where someone prefers things with a bit of wear or character, saying something is "as good as new" might not be seen as a positive.

Final Thoughts About "Good as New"

The phrase "good as new" is a versatile idiom that is applicable to a wide range of scenarios, from describing the condition of physical objects to expressing a state of renewal or freshness in people's health or feelings.

Here's a quick recap:

  • The idiom describes something in excellent condition as if it were brand new.
  • It can refer to both physical objects and non-physical states, indicating restored function or freshness.
  • It is useful in a variety of contexts, and its exact meaning can vary depending on the situation.

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