\ˈhan-dē \
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 \

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

clever, cunning, deft, dexterous (also dextrous)

Antonyms: Adjective

butterfingered, ham-fisted, ham-handed, handless, heavy-handed, unhandy

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Examples of handy in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

But having a few travel tricks up your sleeve can certainly come in handy. NBC News, "The most annoying people you'll encounter on a flight — and how to handle them," 2 May 2018 Years of learning about geometry in high school finally came in handy for one of the latest Instagram brow art trends. Devon Abelman, Allure, ""Right Angle Brows" Are the Geometric Take on Instagram Eyebrow Trends," 8 Mar. 2018 Jessica Mulroney is a friend who could come in very handy. Amy Mackelden, Harper's BAZAAR, "Meet Meghan Markle's Closest Friends," 29 Nov. 2017 This is where those airline credit cards or club cards come in handy, says Leff. Kelsey Kloss, ELLE Decor, "6 Travel Tips For Getting Through An Airport Quickly And Sanely," 1 July 2016 While not particularly long, the narrative provides an easy way to try to master all of the game’s random trick shots, which will come in handy for those brave enough to venture online and play in competitions with strangers. Todd Martens, latimes.com, "'Mario Tennis Aces' and the love of low-stakes competition," 12 July 2018 Their love of precision and order would come in handy. Andy Staples, SI.com, "‘Strategic Entertainment’ vs. Entertaining Entertainment: The Flip Side of the NFL-CFB Debate," 11 July 2018 That experience will come in handy as the RedHawks look to contend for their first conference championship since 2010. Matt Murschel, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Miami (Ohio) is No. 63 in 2018 preseason college football rankings," 25 June 2018 His psychology major at Wright State has come in handy. Scott Springer, Cincinnati.com, "Vineyard Golf Course GM Arnold shoots for PGA Championship spot," 13 June 2018

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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Phrases Related to handy

come in handy

handy for

Statistics for handy

Last Updated

12 Oct 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for handy

The first known use of handy was circa 1525

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More Definitions for handy



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 \
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

What made you want to look up handy? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


not any or not one

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