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Better than average or expected; satisfactory. A: "How's your new schedule this semester?" B: "Not bad. I don't have any classes before 11 AM, so that's a win in my book!" I didn't think I'd like it, but sushi isn't bad!
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.
Not bad (at all).
1. [Someone or something is] quite satisfactory. Bill: How do you like your new teacher? Jane: Not bad. Bob: Is this pen okay? Bill: I guess. Yeah. Not bad.
2. [Someone or something is] really quite good. (The person or thing can be named, as in the examples.) John: How do you like that new car of yours? Mary: Not bad. Not bad at all. Tom: This one looks great to me. What do you think? Sue: It's not bad.
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.
Also, not half bad; not so or too bad ; not too shabby. Fairly good, as in Not bad, said the conductor, but we need to play the scherzo again, or The movie wasn't half bad, but Jerry wanted to go home, or Our garden's not too bad this year, or How are things going?-Not too shabby. All of the terms involving bad, which imply that something is less bad than it might be, date from the mid-1700s. The last variant, using shabby in the sense of "inferior," is slang of the late 1900s.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer. Copyright © 2003, 1997 by The Christine Ammer 1992 Trust. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
not (so/too) ˈbad(spoken) quite good: ‘How are you feeling today?’ ‘Not too bad, thanks.’ ♢ Some of his recent books are really not bad.
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