handier; handiest
: conveniently near
: convenient for use
of a ship : easily handled
: clever in using the hands especially in a variety of useful ways
handy with a hammer as well as with a paintbrush
handiness noun

Example Sentences

Recent Examples on the Web Supplements can come in handy in certain situations. Julia Craven, Fortune, 2 Dec. 2022 With winter weather wreaking havoc on your lips and skin, these ChapSticks come in handy to keep your lips moisturized and healthy. Katie Melynn, Peoplemag, 2 Dec. 2022 This is all Wednesday, though as a supporting character, Thing is very handy (sincere apologies). Daniel Fienberg, The Hollywood Reporter, 18 Nov. 2022 The audiobook does come with some very handy PDFs that include listening lists, dirty letters written by Mozart, and more. Sebastian Modak, New York Times, 11 Nov. 2022 This is where the best small dehumidifiers like the Alfoia Dehumidifier can come in very handy. Adria Greenhauff, Better Homes & Gardens, 2 Nov. 2022 Hardly any of them run, and many do not have engines or even wheels, but there are plenty left for a very handy mechanic to bring back to life. Gary Gastelu, Fox News, 14 Oct. 2022 In either case, the Control Center is pre-populated with default switches that are very handy. Chris Smith, BGR, 30 Aug. 2022 Inoreader recently updated its mobile apps with a new search module that's very handy, as well as some improvements to the offline reading mode. WIRED, 27 Aug. 2022 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

circa 1525, in the meaning defined at sense 2

Time Traveler
The first known use of handy was circa 1525

Dictionary Entries Near handy

Cite this Entry

“Handy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/handy. Accessed 8 Dec. 2022.

Kids Definition


handier; handiest
: conveniently near
: easily handled or used
a handy sloop
a handy reference book
: clever in using the hands : dexterous
handy with a needle

Biographical Definition


biographical name

Han·​dy ˈhan-dē How to pronounce Handy (audio)
W(illiam) C(hristopher) 1873–1958 American blues musician

More from Merriam-Webster on handy

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