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. See More
Recent Examples on the Web For many Americans, being happy isn't only about achieving a particular net worth, Empower's research found. Elizabeth Napolitano, CBS News, 21 Nov. 2023 Having more money would help many people afford necessities, and on average, richer people report being happier. Joe Pinsker, WSJ, 20 Nov. 2023 As Taylor Swift leads the return and rise of the WAG, there's one football wife who's happy to stay out of the spotlight: Kylie Kelce, who is married to Philadelphia Eagles center Jason Kelce, brother of Travis. Elizabeth Logan, Glamour, 20 Nov. 2023 Some of those pursuing it are just casually curious, happy to see an electronic green leaf ping to life, or to throw down some spit into the 23andMe saliva kit. Thomas Mallon, The New Yorker, 20 Nov. 2023 Vogt was happy to be the face of this grander vision. Andrew J. Hawkins, The Verge, 20 Nov. 2023 See which proud pops have been happy to take on diaper duty later in life As the years go on, some celebrity families keep growing! Anya Leon, Peoplemag, 20 Nov. 2023 But the consensus was that most people weren’t happy. Bykylie Robison, Fortune, 20 Nov. 2023 The Chinese were not particularly happy about President Biden calling President Xi a dictator. ABC News, 19 Nov. 2023 See More

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 28 Nov. 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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