Definitions

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

  • n. An attitude of kindness or friendliness; benevolence.
  • n. Cheerful acquiescence or willingness.
  • n. A good relationship, as of a business with its customers or a nation with other nations.
  • n. The positive reputation of a business viewed as an asset, equal to the excess cost required to acquire the business over the fair market value of all other assets.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A favorably disposed attitude toward someone or something.
  • n. The value of a business entity not directly attributable to its tangible assets and liabilities. This value derives from factors such as consumer loyalty to the brand.
  • n. A concept used to refer to the ability of an individual or business to exert influence within a community, club, market or another type of group, without having to resort to the use of an asset (such as money or property), either directly or by the creation of a lien.

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

  • n. a disposition to kindness and compassion
  • n. (accounting) an intangible asset valued according to the advantage or reputation a business has acquired (over and above its tangible assets)
  • n. the friendly hope that something will succeed

Etymologies

From Middle English *goodwille, good wille ("goodwill"), perhaps from Old English *gōdwille ("goodwill"; compare Old English gōdwillende ("well-pleased"); also Scots gudewilly, guidwillie ("displaying goodwill")), equivalent to good +‎ will. Cognate with Scots guidwill ("goodwill"), Middle Low German gūtwille ("goodwill"), Old High German guotwilligi ("goodwill"), Old Danish godvilje ("goodwill"), Icelandic góðvilji, góðvili ("goodwill"), Icelandic góðvild ("goodness"). (Wiktionary)

Examples

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