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 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

Example Sentences

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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Series co-creator and star Levy shared a selfie with O'Hara from the front row of Loewe's F/W 2023 runway show on Friday, simply captioning the photo with an emoji holding back happy tears. Jessica Wang, EW.com, 5 Mar. 2023 Wyatt is a happy and energetic 7-year-old boy who loves to run and play. BostonGlobe.com, 5 Mar. 2023 In a league with this many teams, no one is going to be completely happy coming out of the draft. Steve Gardner, USA TODAY, 4 Mar. 2023 Fans of the book will be happy to know that the show remains faithful to its source material for the most part, making a handful of changes while never straying too far from the qualities that made the book a worldwide hit. Jihane Bousfiha, Men's Health, 4 Mar. 2023 The golden poppies made their annual appearance in Lake Elsinore, California, in early February, a sight that typically attracts thousands of snap-happy visitors. Stacey Leasca, Travel + Leisure, 4 Mar. 2023 What about that titanium arch with the bronze Russian and Ukrainian workers below, looking like one big happy Soviet family? Los Angeles Times, 4 Mar. 2023 There is no discounting the value of this happy little car. Larry Griffin, Car and Driver, 3 Mar. 2023 If that’s the extent of the fallout from all of this, the Rangers will be very happy to have invested all this energy and time. Dallas News, 3 Mar. 2023 See More

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.

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 Mar. 2023.

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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