\ 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 Going Virtual Expect a season dominated by artists who have been holed up at home, making work with whatever is handy or experimenting with software that lets their work glow online. Kelly Crow, WSJ, "The Art World Tiptoes Back, With Virtual Sculpture and Chatty Avatars," 7 Sep. 2020 Throughout our testing, we were wowed by its feature-heavy design, which boasts a versatile mounting system, handy drain and leakproof interior. Isabelle Kagan, USA TODAY, "The best coolers you can get on sale right now from Yeti, Igloo and more," 5 Sep. 2020 Or, just refer to this handy petting guide provided by the National Park Service. Sunset Magazine, "Park Visitors Keep Trying to Get Close to Bison for Some Reason," 4 Sep. 2020 Have each child place a cardboard box somewhere in a handy place in their room. Washington Post, "Hints From Heloise: Adopting a pet can be life-changing for kids," 4 Sep. 2020 Score $200 off — that’s 50% — this super handy bestselling robotic vacuum that will have pet owners jumping for joy. Lesley Kennedy, CNN Underscored, "Shop Labor Day deals at The Home Depot for patio, kitchen, storage and more," 4 Sep. 2020 Blaschki keeps a tube of After Bite handy for herself and for other RVers. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "The buzz about paper wasps: these pollinators do more good than harm in San Antonio gardens," 1 Sep. 2020 But after more than 1,300 days under Trump, most of Obamacare still stands — though Trump’s Justice Department is even now asking the U.S. Supreme Court to invalidate it — with no replacement handy. Eric Zorn, chicagotribune.com, "Column: Trumpcare is -- wait for it! wait for it! -- still coming," 29 Aug. 2020 Here is a potent cartridge that fits the popular, light, handy short-action rifles. Ron Spomer, Outdoor Life, ".338 Federal: The Best Deer Cartridge You’ve Never Tried," 27 Aug. 2020

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

13 Sep 2020

Cite this Entry

“Handy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handy. Accessed 20 Sep. 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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Comments on handy

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