hap·​py | \ˈha-pē \
happier; happiest

Definition of happy 

1 : favored by luck or fortune : fortunate a happy coincidence

2 : notably fitting, effective, or well adapted : felicitous a happy choice

3a : enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment is the happiest person I know a happy childhood

b : expressing, reflecting, or suggestive of happiness a happy ending

c : glad, pleased I'm happy to meet you

d : having or marked by an atmosphere of good fellowship : friendly a happy office

4a : characterized by a dazed irresponsible state a punch-happy boxer

b : impulsively or obsessively quick to use or do something trigger-happy

c : enthusiastic about something to the point of obsession : obsessed education-conscious and statistic-happy— Helen Rowen

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Choose the Right Synonym for happy

lucky, fortunate, happy, providential mean meeting with unforeseen success. lucky stresses the agency of chance in bringing about a favorable result. won because of a lucky bounce fortunate suggests being rewarded beyond one's deserts. fortunate in my investments happy combines the implications of lucky and fortunate with stress on being blessed. a series of happy accidents providential more definitely implies the help or intervention of a higher power. a providential change in the weather

fit, suitable, meet, proper, appropriate, fitting, apt, happy, felicitous mean right with respect to some end, need, use, or circumstance. fit stresses adaptability and sometimes special readiness for use or action. fit for battle suitable implies an answering to requirements or demands. clothes suitable for camping meet suggests a just proportioning. meet payment proper suggests a suitability through essential nature or accordance with custom. proper acknowledgement appropriate implies eminent or distinctive fitness. an appropriate gift fitting implies harmony of mood or tone. a fitting end apt connotes a fitness marked by nicety and discrimination. apt quotations happy suggests what is effectively or successfully appropriate. a happy choice of words felicitous suggests an aptness that is opportune, telling, or graceful. a felicitous phrase

Examples of happy in a Sentence

She was a very happy child. You don't look happy. What's the problem? We're all one big, happy family here. I'd do anything to make her happy. I could hear the children's happy laughter in the other room. She had a very happy childhood. They've had a very happy marriage. I was glad the movie had a happy ending. We are so happy that you were able to come to the party. They are not at all happy about the rise in taxes.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Spikeball: Camp games will keep the kids occupied and everyone happy. Megan Barber, Curbed, "The ultimate van life shopping guide," 14 Nov. 2018 Keep both team pecan pie and fans of fruit ones happy with this two-in-one treat. Woman's Day Test Kitchen, Woman's Day, "Cranberry-Pear Pecan Crumb Pie," 24 Oct. 2018 Of course, James was very happy to hear this and clear up all the drama. Carolyn Twersky, Seventeen, "Beauty Vlogger James Charles Apologizes to Shawn Mendes for Leaving Sexual Comments on His Instagram Posts," 5 Oct. 2018 Our objective at Build-a-Bear is to make kids happy. Taylor Seely, USA TODAY, "Build-a-Bear CEO apologizes for 'Pay Your Age' sale fail," 13 July 2018 Vista’s billionaire co-founder comes off as the epitome of the heartless Wall Street investor, despite reports of a hug-happy, egalitarian work environment. Aaron Pressman, Fortune, "Data Sheet—AT&T Risking HBO Franchise With Corporate Pressure," 10 July 2018 Keeping himself trim and fit turned into a healthy and happy lifestyle. Johnny Gorches, Post-Tribune, "'I'm so lucky and blessed': Portage's Buster Battreall gives up basketball, becomes nationally known with Ford Models," 14 July 2018 Understandably, people have been happy to pay money in exchange for doing it for centuries, and there is no sign of any waning in the appreciation of a bit of eustress. Richard Stephens, Smithsonian, "The History and Psychology of Roller Coasters," 12 July 2018 London’s finance industry is already losing business and jobs to other European financial centers, which are only too happy to take them. Jonah Shepp, Daily Intelligencer, "The Brexit Crisis Finally Engulfs the Party That Started It," 11 July 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'happy.' 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 happy

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for happy

Middle English, from hap

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Statistics for happy

Last Updated

19 Nov 2018

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for happy

The first known use of happy was in the 14th century

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More Definitions for happy



English Language Learners Definition of happy

: feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.

: showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment

: pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.


hap·​py | \ˈha-pē \
happier; happiest

Kids Definition of happy

1 : feeling or showing pleasure : glad I'm happy you came.

2 : enjoying a condition or situation : content They were happy together.

3 : joyful She talked in a happy way.

4 : fortunate sense 1, lucky Meeting him was a happy occurrence.

5 : being suitable for something a happy choice

Other Words from happy

happily \ ˈha-​pə-​lē \ adverb
happiness \ ˈha-​pē-​nəs \ noun

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Comments on happy

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


by force of circumstances

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