The Scotland striker has re-joined United on an initial six-month loan deal - two years after he left for Blackburn in a transfer worth at least £2million.
Manager Jackie McNamara told the club's official website: "I am very excited by this signing. We are not only getting an experienced international player, but we are also getting someone who has a special affinity with the United fans."
The 24-year-old, who joined Rovers from the Tannadice club in 2011, will stay north of the border until January 13 2014.
Goodwillie has found life difficult in English football following a £2million move, making just 10 starts in two seasons at Rovers, though boss Gary Bowyer is refusing to rule out a future for his striker in Lancashire.
"We are not pushing David out of the door," he told the club's official website.
"In the two years he has been at the club, he has not played as many games as he would have liked and this move presents him with the chance to play some regular football.
"It is an opportunity for him to go back home and play for the club he joined us from and where he made a name for himself.
"He will have family and friends around him and we expect him to find his feet very quickly. We look forward to welcoming him back in January once he has got some games - and hopefully some goals - under his belt."
- Sports & Recreation