The adjective '괜찮다' means:

형용사 (adjective)

별로 나쁘지 않고 보통 이상이다. Not bad and above average.

When you look at the adjective '편찮다', you can know it is from another adjective '편하다' as '편찮다' is a contracted from of '편치 않다', which is again short for '편하지 않다'.

What is the etymology of '괜찮다'?

  • 1
    I searched on the web for the word 괜하다 in 네이버 국어사전, and it says: 아무 까닭이나 실속이 없다, and an antonym is 공연하다. Maybe 괜찮다 came from 괜치 않다? I am not sure.
    – user237
    Commented Jul 28, 2016 at 15:12

1 Answer 1


From Naver's online dictionary:

어원 : ←괜 [<空然] +하-+-지+아니-+하-

Seems to be derived from 괜하지 않다

Also, from here:

-찮다 is simply a contraction of -치 (cf. "-지 않다") + 않다 (않다 -> 아니하다 "to not be"). "괜" is a contracted form of the noun 관계 (關係) "relation, connection." Written out, the word's entire original form would be: "관계하지 아니하다," meaning "to not be concerned/ relevant/ matter." Hence the meaning "it is okay/ alright" (i.e. "it does not matter, it is of no concern").


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