\ 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 Here’s where Magna’s trust speech comes in handy — Kelly drops her lasso and nuzzles one. Richard Rys, Vulture, 5 Sep. 2021 Outside, the lifestyle maven divulges that her favorite agricultural vehicle is a Polaris Ranger (which certainly comes in handy on a 157-acre plot of land!). Mary Elizabeth Andriotis, House Beautiful, 19 Aug. 2021 Once a fringy storytelling device of speculative fiction, alternate realities have become not only a 21st century cultural standby but a handy way of explaining American life itself. Christopher Borrelli, chicagotribune.com, 12 Aug. 2021 TenOever made use of a handy way of visualizing what was happening in the cells. Dhruv Khullar, The New Yorker, 11 Aug. 2021 This is where sun-protective clothing comes in handy. Jess Grey, Wired, 7 Aug. 2021 Airplanes are notoriously quite chilly, so a look with versatile layers always comes in handy. Vogue, 27 July 2021 The scoreboard also comes in handy to avoid mix-ups and arguments (for when the games are just too intense). Angela Cheung, Popular Mechanics, 16 July 2021 That’s where Disney+ Premiere Access comes in handy. Chris Smith, BGR, 10 July 2021

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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Dictionary Entries Near handy




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Last Updated

14 Sep 2021

Cite this Entry

“Handy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handy. Accessed 26 Sep. 2021.

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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 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.

More from Merriam-Webster on handy

Nglish: Translation of handy for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of handy for Arabic Speakers


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