Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Very satisfactory or acceptable; fine: "You had to be a good judge of what a man was like, and the English was copacetic” ( John O'Hara).

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Fine, excellent, OK.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. completely satisfactory.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. completely satisfactory

Etymologies

Origin unknown.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
Unknown; many unproven theories exist, all of which lack supporting evidence. Theories include that the term originated among African Americans in the US South in the early 20th century or late 19th century; that it was first used by British soldiers stationed in Palestine before 1948, based on the Hebrew הכל בסדר (hakól b'séder, "everything is O.K."); and Louisiana French or Italian provenance. Jazz historians attribute the word's coinage to Bill "Bojangles" Robinson. (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • Word History: We know very little about the origin of the word copacetic, meaning "excellent, first-rate."

    The WELL: West L.A. Fadeaway

  • If copacetic is Creole French in origin, it would also have a Southern homeland.

    The WELL: West L.A. Fadeaway

  • I don't know if that's the right way to use the word copacetic, but I know what you mean and yes, got it.

    MORE FROM GINNY BATES -- NO U-HAULS, JUST BORROW A FRIEND'S TRUCK

  • One of the few songs (in fact, I can't think of another off hand) bold enough to include "copacetic" and, with a flourish of daredevil panache, to rhyme it as well.

    The WELL: West L.A. Fadeaway

  • The Apple fan-boy above is right in that Apple wants to work with its partners to assure that everything is copacetic.

    Let the iPhones run free (Jack Bog's Blog)

  • On the outside, things will be less copacetic, as Nancy's plan to reunite her far-flung family won't go smoothly, as not everyone will want to see her.

    Mega Buzz: Mentalist's Red John Dilemma, Weeds' Family Trials and Minds' Return

  • No consternation that most OGXers have found it more copacetic to turn conservatives (remember a Reagan Youth?); or instead to embrace what Baudrillard (a French Postmodern) would call a "soft ideologies" of ecologism as well as antiracism, instead of, say, amicable justice.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • No consternation which many OGXers have found it more copacetic to become conservatives (remember a Reagan Youth?); or instead to embrace what Baudrillard (a French Postmodern) would call a "soft ideologies" of ecologism as well as antiracism, instead of, say, social justice.

    Archive 2009-11-01

  • Not only would the Chastity Belt's key holder preferably our politician's wife be able to periodically peep-in to make sure that all things in the "nether regions" were copacetic, but we would have documented proof stored for posterity or future court cases.

    Malcolm Harris: Politician "Must Have" Item: Designer Chastity Belt

  • That is ... if you can afford to separate, literally afford to keep everybody economically whole, and to not damage children, or careers, and, in fact, to be all pretty copacetic about the whole damn thing, why wouldn't you?

    Michael Wolff: Annals of Marriage: The Gores Depart the Stage

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Comments

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  • Everyone else seemed to be confused, but for me- all was copacetic.

    September 22, 2010

  • We have a true mystery on our hands. It certainly seems like some of the expressions are crazier than others. The Native American would be from Washington state, which is way outside the bounds of where it was used. The Yiddish also seems ridiculous. French is somewhat reasonable, especially given the usage in Louisiana by people like Satchmo. Without finding some 19th century writing (very unlikely), we will never know.

    December 21, 2009

  • I have heard the word 'copacetic' was created by Louis Armstrong. Any truth, or any other attributions?
    Thanks,
    Barbara Lightheart

    September 29, 2009

  • Another person checking in who discovered this word via a James Lee Burke novel.

    August 2, 2009

  • But yarb, James Lee Burke novels are coolissimo.

    I'm just sayin'.

    July 24, 2008

  • Sounds like a prescription drug.

    July 19, 2008

  • You some kind of freak, Yarbissimo.

    July 19, 2008

  • I don't even like this word enough to put it on my despise list.

    July 19, 2008

  • Can't believe I just said "coolissimo".

    July 19, 2008

  • It may be the kind of people who say it. I'd never encountered it until I read it in a (I think) James Lee Burke novel about five years ago, and I immediately thought it was coolissimo.

    July 19, 2008

  • Isn't that funny -- I've always hated this word as well. I wonder why it has earned such disdain? There must be a common thread...

    July 18, 2008

  • I don't like this word either its like saying copathetic

    July 18, 2008

  • I hate this word!

    April 25, 2008

  • I've despised this word from the moment I first heard it. I don't really have any particular reason; it's just one of those words that makes me wince every time I hear it.

    April 17, 2008

  • I don't like this word. For more fascinating information, see copasetic.

    September 13, 2007

  • And you just don't get it
    you keep it copacetic
    And you learn to accept it
    You know it's so pathetic

    September 13, 2007