The word "okay" generally means that something is good or fairly good. It’s a very popular response when someone asks you how you are doing:
- I’m okay.
- I’m doing okay. How are you?
There are a few slightly different meanings for this word. Sometimes "okay" means that there are no problems or that a person is safe from harm.
- The car looks okay.
- The weather is okay today.
- I saw you fall down. Are you okay?
- The doctor says that Jeanna is going to be okay.
- After the tornado passed, everyone in the town was okay.
It’s common to hear "okay" used with the preposition "with."
- Are you okay with this?
- Bob says he’s not okay with this situation. He’s very unhappy.
- I’m okay with whatever everyone else wants to do.
As an adjective that describes the condition of a situation or a thing, "okay" is neither bad nor really good. Okay indicates satisfaction or acceptance:
- This lasagna tastes okay.
- The party last night was just okay.
- I guess it’s okay if you borrow my car.
- Yeah, that’s okay.
It’s possible to use "okay" as a noun. In this case, "okay" means permission.
- Donna’s parents gave their okay when she asked them if she could go on a school trip to Washington, D.C.
- We need your okay before doing any work on your house.
- Mr. Reynolds gave his employees the okay to take a half a day off of work.
You can also use "okay" as a verb:
- Mr. Reynolds okayed the request.
- The city okays overnight parking on this street.
- The federal government has to okay the project before it can be built.
There are a couple of variations for "okay."
Sometimes the word "okay" is repeated. This expresses frustration or a person submits to a request:
- Okay, okay. I’ll do the dishes.
- Okay, okay. Let’s go.
- Okay, okay. Stop bothering me.
- Okay, okay.
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May 15, 2015
Updated on July 24, 2019