For Good

The very common English idiom for good probably derived from the older idiom ‘for good and all’ which meant finally, for the last time.

Meaning Of Idiom ‘For Good’

For good means permanently; forever; for the last time; finally.

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Although the primary sense of ‘for good’ is forever or permanently, it does tend to also hold the sense of ‘for the last time’ as well. For example, “Mr. Smith closed his store for good last week.” In other words, this was not the first time he had closed his store, but this was the final and last time, so now the store is closed forever. However, it can sometimes mean ‘for once and for all time.’

Examples Of Use

“Vicky left her husband for good. She’d had enough.”

“I heard you are going home. When are you coming back?” asked Debbie. “Oh, I’m sorry, I’m not coming back. I’m going home for good,” said Chris.

“The response team has been disbanded for good now that the crisis is over.”


The idiom ‘for good and all’ was used since at least the early part of the 1700s.

Mark Twain used this expression in Huckleberry Finn. Huckleberry Finn’s father said:

“A man can’t get his rights in a govmint like this. Sometimes I’ve a mighty notion to just leave the country for good and all…”

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