the state or quality of being good.
moral excellence; virtue.
kindly feeling; kindness; generosity.
excellence of quality: goodness of workmanship.
the best part of anything; essence; strength.
a euphemism for God: Thank goodness!
(used in expressions of surprise, alarm, etc.): Goodness, you gave me a start! Goodness gracious!

before 900; Middle English; Old English gōdnes. See good, -ness

supergoodness, noun

2. integrity, honesty, uprightness, probity. Goodness, morality, virtue refer to qualities of character or conduct that entitle the possessor to approval and esteem. Goodness is the simple word for the general quality recognized in character or conduct: Many could tell of her goodness and kindness. Morality implies conformity to the recognized standards of right conduct: a citizen of the highest morality. Virtue is a rather formal word, and suggests usually goodness that is consciously or steadily maintained, often in spite of temptations or evil influences: of unassailable virtue; firm and of unwavering virtue. 3. benevolence, benignity, humanity. 4. worth, value.

1. badness, evil. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
goodness (ˈɡʊdnɪs)
1.  the state or quality of being good
2.  generosity; kindness
3.  moral excellence; piety; virtue
4.  a euphemism for God : goodness knows!; thank goodness!

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
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Bible Dictionary

Goodness definition

in man is not a mere passive quality, but the deliberate preference of right to wrong, the firm and persistent resistance of all moral evil, and the choosing and following of all moral good.

Easton's 1897 Bible Dictionary
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases


In addition to the idioms beginning with goodness, also see for the sake of, def. 3; god (goodness) knows; honest to god (goodness); my god (goodness.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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Example sentences
It's been a while since anyone really tried goodness.
It was because they knew that there is goodness in the striving.
Bacteria do not make restriction enzymes out of the goodness of their hearts,
  nor to help catch criminals, of course.
Thank goodness some of the scientists were able to get their word out in spite
  of this repressive administration.
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