It's Cool: Definition, Meaning, and Origin

Last Updated on
October 27, 2023

"It's cool" is an informal way of saying something is acceptable, satisfactory, or okay. It can also mean that something is very exciting or interesting.

In short:

  • It is an informal means of expressing approval, contentment, or a sense of acceptability.
  • It can also signify that something is exceptionally thrilling or captivating.

What Does "It's Cool" Mean?

The idiom "it's cool" has two primary meanings, depending on the speaker's context and tone.

  • The first meaning is that something is acceptable, satisfactory, or okay. For example, if someone apologizes for being late, you can say, "It's cool," to show that you are not angry or upset. It implies that you are not bothered or worried by something.
  • The second meaning is that something is very exciting or interesting. For example, if someone tells you about their vacation plans, you can say, "It's cool!" to express your admiration or enthusiasm. It implies that you are impressed or amazed by something.

Where Does "It's Cool" Come From?

The idiom "it's cool" comes from the slang term "cool" to describe something fashionable, trendy, or impressive. The word "cool" has been used in this sense since the 1930s, initially in African-American English and popularized by jazz musicians and enthusiasts.

10 Examples of "It's Cool" in Sentences

Here are some examples of how to use this idiom in sentences:

  • You can borrow my book anytime. It's cool.
  • It's cool that you like the same music as I do.
  • Don't worry about the small mistake. It's cool.
  • Quite frankly, you don't have to apologize. It's cool.
  • We can reschedule our meeting if needed; it's cool.
  • If you want to go first, it's cool by me. What do you say?
  • Fret not. If you need more time to finish, it's cool with me.
  • Thanks so much for helping me out with my homework. It's cool.
  • No worries. I understand if you can't make it to the party. It's cool.
  • It's cool if you want to choose the movie tonight. You can take the lead.

Examples of "It's Cool" in Pop Culture

Here are some examples of how this phrase has been used in pop culture:

  • In the 2014 song "It's Cool" by Jhene Aiko, the singer says: "But it's cool / We ain't gotta be nothing / It's true / I'd actually prefer it, yeah."
  • In the 2004 movie Mean Girls, Regina (Rachel McAdams) says to Cady (Lindsay Lohan) after finding out she likes Aaron: "It's cool. I mean, I'm really happy for you and all."
  • In the 2010 TV show Glee, Finn (Cory Monteith) says to Rachel (Lea Michele) after breaking up with her: "It's cool. We're just on different paths right now."

Other Ways to Say "It's Cool"

Here are some synonyms for this idiom:

  • It's fine
  • It's okay
  • It's great
  • It's all right
  • It's all good
  • It's amazing
  • It's fantastic
  • It's splendid
  • It's awesome
  • It's no big deal

10 Frequently Asked Questions About "It's Cool"

Here are some possible FAQs about this idiom:

  • What does "it's cool" mean?

"It's cool" is an informal way of saying something is acceptable, satisfactory, or okay. It can also mean that something is very exciting or interesting.

  • What is the origin of the phrase "it's cool"?

The idiom "it's cool" comes from the slang term "cool" to describe something fashionable, trendy, or impressive. The word "cool" has been used in this sense since the 1930s, initially in African-American English and popularized by jazz musicians and enthusiasts.

  • Is "it's cool" formal or informal?

"It's cool" is an informal expression primarily used in casual conversations or situations. It is inappropriate for formal or professional contexts, such as academic writing, business meetings, or official letters.

  • What is the difference between "it's cool" and "it's cold"?

"It's cool" and "It's cold" have different meanings and uses. "It's cool" is an idiom that means something is acceptable, satisfactory, or exciting. It's cold is a literal statement that means something has a low temperature or makes you feel chilly.

  • Can you use "it's cool" as a question?

Yes, you can use "it's cool" as a question to ask for someone's opinion or permission. For example, you can say: "Is it cool if I borrow your book?" or "Do you think it's cool that he asked her out?"

  • What are some antonyms of "it's cool"?

Some antonyms of "it's cool" are "it sucks," "it stinks," "it blows," and "it bites."

  • Can you use "it's cool" to describe a person?

Yes, you can use "it's cool" to describe a calm, composed, confident, or attractive person. For example, you can say: "He is so cool. He always knows what to say and do." or "She is so cool. She has a great sense of style and humor."

  • Can "it's cool" be used sarcastically?

Yes, "it's cool" can be used sarcastically to imply the opposite, that you are not actually okay with something. The tone and context are crucial in determining whether it's meant sincerely or sarcastically.

  • Is "it's cool" always a positive response?

Not necessarily. "it's cool" can be neutral or positive, depending on the context. It can mean that you're okay with something, but it doesn't necessarily imply enthusiasm.

  • Is "it's cool" used differently in different regions or cultures?

While the phrase is widely recognized in English-speaking cultures, its usage and interpretation may vary slightly from region to region. However, the core meaning remains the same.

Final Thoughts About "It's Cool"

"It's cool" is a common idiom that means something is acceptable, satisfactory, or okay. It can also imply that something is exciting or interesting.

Key points to remember about the idiom:

  • It comes from the slang word "cool" to describe something fashionable, trendy, or impressive.
  • It is informal and primarily used in casual conversations or situations.
  • It can also be used as a question to ask for someone's opinion or permission.
  • It has synonyms and antonyms that can be used in different contexts and situations.

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