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-happy Helen 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 The Buoy Girls came to be in 2007 — the result of a happy accident. Steven P. Dinkin, San Diego Union-Tribune, 27 Nov. 2022 Keeping you in my happy thoughts during a difficult time for Oxford. Freep.com, 27 Nov. 2022 Anyone on your list would be happy to unwrap a new hair tool, so go hook them up with an on-sale option. Glamour, 26 Nov. 2022 Most of these sales end Monday night so get to it, and happy shopping. Sarah Hoffmann, Allure, 26 Nov. 2022 Henry wasn’t happy about the call on the field, and made his feelings known afterward. Christopher Price, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Nov. 2022 My recollection is that Raman was not happy about her district losing Park La Brea, which is renter-rich. Times Staff, Los Angeles Times, 21 Nov. 2022 That definitely took me by surprise, and everyone was super happy about it. Lorenzo Reyes, USA TODAY, 21 Nov. 2022 There is little for Egyptians to be happy about these days. Taylor Luck, The Christian Science Monitor, 17 Nov. 2022 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 4 Dec. 2022.

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

More from Merriam-Webster on happy

Last Updated: - Updated example sentences
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