adjective hap·py \ ˈha-pē \
|Updated on: 16 Jul 2018

Definition of happy

happier; happiest
1 : favored by luck or fortune : fortunate
  • a happy coincidence
2 : notably fitting, effective, or well adapted : felicitous
  • a happy choice
3 a : 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
4 a : 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

Examples of happy in a Sentence

  1. She was a very happy child.

  2. You don't look happy. What's the problem?

  3. We're all one big, happy family here.

  4. I'd do anything to make her happy.

  5. I could hear the children's happy laughter in the other room.

  6. She had a very happy childhood.

  7. They've had a very happy marriage.

  8. I was glad the movie had a happy ending.

  9. We are so happy that you were able to come to the party.

  10. They are not at all happy about the rise in taxes.

Recent Examples of happy from the Web

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.

Origin and Etymology of happy

Middle English, from hap

Synonym Discussion of 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

HAPPY Defined for English Language Learners


Definition of happy for English Language Learners

  • : 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.

HAPPY Defined for Kids


adjective hap·py \ ˈha-pē \

Definition of happy for Students

happier; happiest
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 1, lucky
  • Meeting him was a happy occurrence.
5 : being suitable for something
  • a happy choice


\ˈha-pə-lē\ adverb


\ˈha-pē-nəs\ noun

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