hap·​py ˈha-pē How to pronounce happy (audio)
happier; happiest
: favored by luck or fortune : fortunate
a happy coincidence
: notably fitting, effective, or well adapted : felicitous
a happy choice
: enjoying or characterized by well-being and contentment
is the happiest person I know
a happy childhood
: expressing, reflecting, or suggestive of happiness
a happy ending
: glad, pleased
I'm happy to meet you
: having or marked by an atmosphere of good fellowship : friendly
a happy office
: characterized by a dazed irresponsible state
a punch-happy boxer
: impulsively or obsessively quick to use or do something
: enthusiastic about something to the point of obsession : obsessed
education-conscious and statistic-happyHelen Rowen
Choose the Right Synonym for happy

lucky, fortunate, happy, providential mean meeting with unforeseen success.

lucky stresses the role of chance in bringing about a favorable result.

won because of a lucky bounce

fortunate suggests being rewarded beyond what one deserves.

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.
Recent Examples on the Web Melanie Goodfellow and Jesse Whittock contributed to this week’s Insider Subscribe to Deadline Breaking News Alerts and keep your inbox happy. Max Goldbart, Deadline, 12 July 2024 Also, sensitive noses will be happy to hear all blankets had practically no scent (prior to washings), which is certainly better than the flagrantly offensive active ingredients in DEET. Yelena Moroz Alpert, Architectural Digest, 12 July 2024 Incorporate Large Patterns Do not be afraid to get a bit print happy in your small dining room. Sarah Lyon, Southern Living, 12 July 2024 So here’s to Governor Shapiro and the folks in Harrisburg, Philadelphia, Pittsburgh and beyond who noticed that their neighbors to the south really would like to do something about the national treasure that is the Chesapeake Bay and seem happy to do their part. Baltimore Sun Editorial Board, Baltimore Sun, 12 July 2024 See all Example Sentences for happy 

These examples are programmatically compiled from various online sources to illustrate current usage of the word 'happy.' Any opinions expressed in the examples do not represent those of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback about these examples.

Word History


Middle English, from hap

First Known Use

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near happy

Cite this Entry

“Happy.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happy. Accessed 24 Jul. 2024.

Kids Definition


hap·​py ˈhap-ē How to pronounce happy (audio)
happier; happiest
: suitable sense 1
a happy choice for governor
: enjoying well-being and contentment
happy in my work
: expressing or suggestive of happiness
happy laughter
: being pleased or glad
happy to accept an invitation

Middle English happy "having or being good luck," a specialized sense of hap "chance, chance occurrence" — related to happen, mishap, perhaps

More from Merriam-Webster on happy

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