My book has the following phrase:

We can argue about how well these laws are working in the US and other countries, but the general idea is a sound one

What does that mean exactly? My guess would be "as a whole" but I'm not sure

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    What definition of "sound" are you using when you try to understand this sentence? I don't understand where you think "as a whole" fits in... – ColleenV parted ways Dec 6 '17 at 18:12
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    Look at definition 3.a: merriam-webster.com/dictionary/sound. "Sound" basically means logical or valid in this context. – joiedevivre Dec 6 '17 at 18:15
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    sound (adj): having no defect as to truth, justice, wisdom, or reason: – Andrew Dec 6 '17 at 18:15
  • @joiedevivre you might want to write that as an answer – Trey Dec 6 '17 at 18:20

The English word sound is related to the germanic word for health (Gesundheit in modern German) and the word meant "possessing physical integrity, intact, not missing (body) parts".

Its meaning has broadened to "sturdy, not about to fall apart or collapse, not defective", and it can be applied both to things and ideas:

A chair can be sound or unsound.

A bridge can be sound or unsound.

An idea can be sound or unsound.

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