Meaning Of Idiom ‘A-OK’

A-OK means fine; functioning perfectly; no problems. 1Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.


‘A-OK’ can refer to a thing, situation, circumstance, or person.

Examples of Use

“I can’t believe my car was A-OK this morning on the way to work and now that it’s time to go home, it won’t start.”

“How is everything with the new system?” asked Charlie. “A-OK,” replied Mark.

“I just made my rounds,” said the watchman. “Everything is A-OK.”

“Don’t worry, mom,” said Ken, “I’m A-OK, it was a minor accident.”


This expression was used by United States astronauts as an abbreviation for “all systems OK.”

OK may be one of the most oft-used words in the U.S. It is used to express assent, agreement, acceptance, etc. as well as for other uses such as to introduce a statement, or to invite agreement or approval at the end of a statement.

As an adjective OK means satisfactory. It is often said to have derived during the mid-1900’s as an abbreviation for “orl korrect” which was a humorous way of saying all correct, a slogan for President Van Buren’s re-election campaign of 1840. Van Buren’s nickname was Old Kinderhook, hence, O.K. This is but one of several derivations stories of this overused but fascinating and, frankly, important word. For more, see OK: The Improbable Story of America’s Greatest Word.

More Idioms Starting with A

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Sources   [ + ]

1. Jarvie, Gordon. Bloomsbury Dictionary of Idioms. London: Bloomsbury, 2009.