Good Enough: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
November 25, 2023

The phrase "good enough" suggests that something is adequate or satisfactory for the intended purpose, even if it is not perfect. When describing something as "good enough," it means it meets the basic requirements or expectations necessary for the situation without exceeding them.

In short:

"Good enough!" refers to something that may not be perfect but is satisfactory for its purpose.

What Does "Good Enough!" Mean?

"Good enough" means something is acceptable or satisfactory, even if it's not perfect. Use it when you want to convey that something meets the minimum requirements or standards without necessarily being the best.

  • Adequate but not exceptional: Often, when someone says something is "good enough," they mean that it meets the minimum requirements but isn't outstanding.
  • Satisfactory for the purpose: In many scenarios, the idiom conveys that something is suitable or sufficient for its intended purpose, even if it's not the best.
  • Acceptance of imperfections: This expression can also reflect a sense of contentment with imperfections, indicating a pragmatic approach rather than striving for perfection.

Where Does "Good Enough!" Come From?

The term “good” comes from the Old English “gōd,” which means “excellent, fine; valuable; desirable, favorable, beneficial; full, entire, complete.” It has been used in the English language for centuries to describe something of favorable quality, while "enough" indicates sufficiency. When combined, "good enough" conveys that something is satisfactory or adequate for its purpose.

10 Examples of "Good Enough!" in Sentences

The idiom good enough is versatile and can be used in various contexts.

Here are ten examples that showcase its different usages:

  • The cake might not look like the picture, but it tastes good enough to me!
  • I didn't have all the ingredients, and with that being said, I made do with what I had. It turned out good enough.
  • Quite frankly, the hotel room isn't luxurious, but it's good enough for a night's stay.
  • He didn't break the record, but his time was good enough to earn a medal.
  • It's not her best work, but it's good enough to pass the class.
  • I think this dress is good enough for the party, don't you?
  • The presentation was good enough to impress the clients.
  • They said the performance was good enough to get us to the next round.
  • Fret not, this solution isn't perfect, but it's good enough for now.
  • Considering how little time we had, our project was fine by me, and our effort was good enough.

Examples of "Good Enough!" in Pop Culture

The phrase "good enough" has made its mark in pop culture.

Here are a few memorable mentions:

  • The song "The Goonies 'R' Good Enough" by Cyndi Lauper is the soundtrack of the 1985 movie The Goonies.
  • There's a book titled "Good Enough Parent" by Bruno Bettelheim that touches upon the idea of being adequately good for your children without striving for impossible perfection.
  • Empire of the Sun released a track named "Good Enough" in their 2016 album "Two Vines."

Synonyms: Other/Different Ways to Say "Good Enough!"

The idiom "good enough" conveys adequacy or satisfactory completion. Several other expressions and words can express a similar sentiment.

Here are some alternatives:

  • Satisfactory
  • Acceptable
  • Decent
  • Up to par
  • Passable
  • Adequate
  • Fair
  • Reasonable
  • Alright
  • Serviceable

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "Good Enough!":

  • What does the idiom "good enough" generally mean?

It typically means something is adequate, satisfactory, or meets the basic requirements. It can also refer to the acceptance of imperfections.

  • Where did the phrase "good enough" originate from?

The exact origin is unclear, but it can be traced back to the Middle Ages when products or services were described as "good enough" if they met basic standards.

  • Is "good enough" considered a positive or negative phrase?

It depends on the context. While it often denotes adequacy, in some cases, it might imply that something isn't the best but is acceptable.

  • Can "good enough" be used in formal writing?

Yes, but it's essential to ensure that the context makes the meaning clear, as it can be somewhat ambiguous.

  • Does the phrase have different meanings in other cultures or languages?

While the exact phrase may not exist in every language, the concept of something being adequate or satisfactory is universal and will have equivalents in other languages.

  • Is "good enough" the opposite of perfection?

Not necessarily. It's more about accepting something as it is, rather than it being the polar opposite of perfection.

  • Why has "good enough" become a popular phrase in pop culture?

It resonates with many people because it touches upon the universal theme of balancing aspirations with reality and the acceptance of imperfections.

  • Are there songs titled "Good Enough"?

Yes, several artists have songs with this title, such as Cyndi Lauper and Empire of the Sun, to name a couple.

  • Does the phrase have psychological implications?

Indeed, in psychology, the idea of being "good enough," especially in parenting, suggests that striving for reasonable standards, rather than unattainable perfection, is healthier and more realistic.

  • Is "good enough" a fixed standard, or does it vary?

It's subjective and can vary depending on individual perspectives, contexts, and cultures. What's "good enough" for one person might not be for another.

Final Thoughts About "Good Enough!"

The phrase "good enough" refers to something being satisfactory or meeting the basic requirements, even if it isn't perfect or the best. It suggests acceptance and adequacy without necessarily being outstanding.

To recap:

  • It is straightforward and easily understood, suggesting that something is suitable for its intended purpose but might not exceed expectations.
  • It is often used when something meets the minimal standards or criteria, indicating that it's acceptable.
  • The phrase can be applied to a wide range of scenarios, from work projects to personal endeavors or choices.
  • For instance, a student might feel their essay is "good enough" to submit even if it's not their best work, or someone might opt for a "good enough" solution when fixing a household issue instead of seeking a more complex or expensive fix.
  • Using the phrase "good enough" often conveys contentment or acceptance of a result, even if there's an understanding that something superior could have been achieved with more effort, time, or resources.

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