\ ˈhan-dē How to pronounce handy (audio) \
handier; handiest

Definition of handy

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1a : conveniently near
b : convenient for use
c of a ship : easily handled
2 : clever in using the hands especially in a variety of useful ways handy with a hammer as well as with a paintbrush


biographical name
Han·​dy | \ ˈhan-dē How to pronounce Handy (audio) \

Definition of Handy (Entry 2 of 2)

W(illiam) C(hristopher) 1873–1958 American blues musician

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Other Words from handy


handiness noun

Synonyms & Antonyms for handy

Synonyms: Adjective

Antonyms: Adjective

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Examples of handy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective That’s one scenario in which a pet feeder comes in handy. Popular Science, "Reliable pet feeders for when you can’t make it home in time for dinner," 15 May 2020 Though her mother’s health improved later and the spin mop did come in handy, Bhatia isn’t confident about letting her chartered accountant husband use it. Manavi Kapur, Quartz India, "Urban India has found the perfect symbol for its lockdown purgatory: a mop," 14 May 2020 That's where virtual babysitting can come in handy. Kelsey Hurwitz, Woman's Day, "What Is Virtual Babysitting? It Could Be the Answer to Parents' Prayers During COVID," 5 May 2020 Melissa Clark All those long-lasting, juicy vegetables in my fridge — the celery, radishes, fennel, turnips, carrots — have come in handy these past weeks (four, but, hey, who’s counting?). Melissa Clark, New York Times, "A Salad for When You’re Out of Lettuce," 13 Apr. 2020 That means more cash and contracts being awarded to the Hungarian companies with closest ties to Orban, one of the ways the emergency powers can come in handy. Ian Bremmer, Time, "What Hungary's Viktor Orban's Power Grab Means for the E.U.," 3 Apr. 2020 There are extra-thick mats that are ideal for anyone with knee issues, ones with mega grip that come in handy during super-sweaty workouts like hot yoga, and ultra-long mats for taller folks. Kaleigh Fasanella, Allure, "7 of the Best Yoga Mats for All of Your At-Home Workouts," 3 Apr. 2020 Make sure to wipe down the handle of your cart or basket with a disinfecting wipe (if your store doesn't provide any, this is where your coronavirus kit comes in handy). Leah Groth, Health.com, "Do You Have to Disinfect Groceries? Here's What You Need to Know About Shopping and Coronavirus," 1 Apr. 2020 And given that these animals wallow in bacteria-laden sediments on the ocean bottom, such antibacterial properties likely come in very handy. Elizabeth Pennisi, Science | AAAS, "This shark glows using a process previously unknown to science," 8 Aug. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'handy.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of handy


circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 2

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Time Traveler for handy

Time Traveler

The first known use of handy was circa 1525

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Statistics for handy

Last Updated

24 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handy. Accessed 4 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for handy


How to pronounce Handy (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of handy

: very useful or helpful
: near or close
: clever or skillful in using your hands, doing small jobs, etc.


\ ˈhan-dē How to pronounce handy (audio) \
handier; handiest

Kids Definition of handy

1 : very useful or helpful a handy tool
2 : within easy reach Keep a towel handy.
3 : clever or skillful especially with the hands He's handy with a paintbrush.

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More from Merriam-Webster on handy

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for handy

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with handy

Spanish Central: Translation of handy

Nglish: Translation of handy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handy for Arabic Speakers

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