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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?
  • Okay.

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."

  • okee-dokee
  • a-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



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