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Copacetic – Definition and Use

Copacetic, which is pronounced koh-puh-seh-tik, is an adjective. It means “okay,” “fine,” or “satisfactory.” In some cases, you might see the word copacetic spelled as copasetic or copesetic.

It’s always nice to have plenty of words to express the idea that everything is just fine. Copacetic is an adjective that can be used to say that all is well.

What Is the Meaning of Copacetic?

Copacetic means “in good order.” Some people who speak American and Canadian English consider the word to be a slang word that should be used in informal settings. Interestingly, there’s a bit of a mystery around the etymology of the word. You can’t trace its roots back to Latin or Greek or Old English. Some people think it may have come from Hebrew, and others believe it’s a gangster slang term. However, these hypotheses are generally considered incorrect. Possible theories include copacetic coming from the African American communities of the American South, from Cajun French, or from Italian. Still, nobody knows for sure where the word originated. What we do know is that it was first recorded in 1919 but was probably in use for many years before.

The Many Spellings of Copacetic

Another reason the word is a bit strange is that it has multiple alternative spellings that are all considered to be correct. In the Oxford English Dictionary and The American Heritage Dictionary, the spellings copacetic and copasetic are listed. Merriam-Webster also lists copesetic as an alternative spelling. The Collins English Dictionary includes all of these as well as copesettic

So which spelling should you use? The only spelling recognized by all major dictionaries is copacetic, so that’s always a safe choice. Copasetic is the most commonly cited alternative spelling if you feel like mixing it up.

Copasetic in a Sentence

  • We’re back to where we started; we’re not entirely copacetic, but we’ve recovered.
  • Representatives for the campaign say all is copacetic.
  • The beekeeper explained that as long as you followed proper safety guidelines, everything would be copasetic.

Now learn what is Albeit!

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By Jessica Allen

Jessica is a full-time freelance writer and editor with a Bachelor’s degree in English and Spanish.

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