Definition of dandy in English:



  • 1A man unduly concerned with looking stylish and fashionable.

    ‘his floppy handkerchiefs and antique cufflinks gave him the look of a dandy’
    • ‘Originally a ‘buck’ was a dandy, a pretentious, overdressed show-off of a man.’
    • ‘Like most dandies, his predilection for high-style fashion and cosmetic beauty betrays a likeness to his female counterparts.’
    • ‘A latter-day dandy, he was renowned as much for his cut-glass vowels as for his Savile Row suits, bespoke shirts and handmade brogues.’
    • ‘He rolled his eyes at himself as he thought of how much he had sounded like a foppish dandy worrying over his appearance.’
    • ‘Manet shows Proust as a dandy, boulevardier and man of the world.’
    • ‘The fops and dandies had no interest in war and concentrated instead on their seraglios.’
    • ‘The two Bond Streets weren't always posh (the area was originally a swamp) but by the early 18th century this had become the place for fashionable dandies to hang out.’
    • ‘Tempting as it would be to fritter away weeks living in the style of a decadent dandy from the world of F. Scott Fitzgerald, I thought it fitting to throw myself into university life here.’
    • ‘Something of a dandy, he dressed immaculately even when flying, and had a reputation for stepping lightly from the wreckage of his latest experiment to accept a glass of champagne.’
    • ‘Beerbohm's other half-brother was a cheerfully untidy dresser at home although he frequently played the dandy on stage.’
    • ‘He was a real dandy - that's how me and Billy got our dress sense.’
    • ‘In dramatic contrast to the soggy Paltrow figure, the Wanderer is immaculately attired in the fashionable dress of a dandy - black frock coat, trousers and cane.’
    • ‘Dressed in a black suit with white ruffled shirt and a light blue vest, he seemed more dandy then gunslinger.’
    • ‘It was the prince of the dandies himself, George ‘Beau’ Brummell, who, roughly a half century later, brought the new tailcoat from countryside to town and made it the last word for metropolitan day wear.’
    • ‘Any man so concerned and fussy about the details of a tooth-pick case is definitely a fop, a dandy.’
    • ‘He was allegedly a dandy, wearing rings on his fingers and cutting his hair fashionably short.’
    • ‘Some fashion-conscious dandies are actually going for tan cord.’
    • ‘In the breadth of his scholarship and interests, in the precision of his dress and tastes, he was something of a nineteenth-century man, an aesthete, a bit of a dandy.’
    • ‘At the end of the eighteenth century, dandies began to wear stays, and the fashion became popular around 1815 with military officers and persisted until the end of the century.’
    • ‘He is immaculate and was, one suspects, a bit of a dandy in his youth.’
    fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rake
    boulevardier, petit-maître
    swell, toff, dude, sharp dresser, snappy dresser, natty dresser, trendy, pretty boy
    blade, blood, buck, coxcomb, masher, peacock, popinjay, dapperling
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  • 2informal, dated An excellent thing of its kind.

    ‘the Winchester Model 37 shotgun is a dandy, at a low price’


  • 1North American informal Excellent.

    ‘things are all fine and dandy’
    • ‘If everything were fine and dandy we would not be racing this bill through the House.’
    • ‘Despite such side effects, some record execs have decided that the copy protection scheme is a dandy way to prevent music piracy.’
    • ‘The director has trouble convincing playgoers that the trio has been separated from one another for as long as the script suggests but does a dandy job bringing subsequent scenes to a feverish pitch.’
    • ‘But coat him in paint, butter, or used motor oil and have him recite the above poem while throwing fruit at his audience, and he'd make a dandy performance artist.’
    • ‘That's when we came up with the dandy idea of having not one, not two, but THREE little weddings.’
    • ‘While the USHGA's mag is a dandy publication, there are some aspects of it that don't lend to the way I work.’
    • ‘In this matter, they just think they have hit on another dandy idea for a ‘do-good’ crusade and a few neat bylines.’
    • ‘Curiosity took the better of me as I stepped the flight of stairs up into the dandy store.’
    • ‘I recall a dandy front-page photo of a community street preacher, in which I burned a halo floating above his head.’
    • ‘She took a piece of paper from the notebook from one of the shelves in the hallway and then found a handy dandy pen and began writing in a neat yet hurried script to her mother.’
    • ‘Diced it makes a dandy garnish for chilled soups.’
    • ‘By way of contrast, Mojo Box represents a return to form: a lean, dandy album of greasy stomps, twangy guitars, and good songs.’
    • ‘On my ranch we grew grain, and dandy crops at that, but we had no market for it, so I went packing to make a use for it.’
    • ‘Air Force hit back to cross the CH line with a dandy try off a scrum close to the line..’
    • ‘We came across a number of dandy antiques; a collection accumulated from traveling to lots and lots of sales, says Phyllis Knupp.’
    • ‘The South Yorkshire actor may have a dandy stage name and had posters of Lulu and Marlene Dietrich on his walls in his art school days in Barnsley, but he comes from mining stock.’
    • ‘There are spots where plotting is achieved with a slightly heavy hand, but it's still a dandy play full of sparkling dialogue and is directed almost flawlessly here by MYC co-founder Chris Abraham.’
    • ‘The key to hosting a dandy destination wedding is to pick out a location that will bring your guests with a beautiful background as well as a wealth of activities to keep them entertained for at least a few days.’
    • ‘There are too many powerful men who truly believe that the Waltons offer dandy advice on life and morals.’
    • ‘Things really do seem to be rather dandy right now.’
    excellent, wonderful, marvellous, magnificent, superb, splendid, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, first-class, first-rate, outstanding
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  • 2Relating to or characteristic of a dandy.

    ‘ruffle-fronted dandy shirts’
    • ‘No one likes being picked on or singled out due to their appearance, especially when they're dandy actors likely bound for the mediocre lights of a Bollywood typecasting.’
    • ‘A whole host of dandy dogs and preened pooches converged on Oulder Hill Community School over the weekend to strut their stuff.’
    • ‘Here is this French dandy writing about toffy French people.’
    • ‘Baudelaire was a flâneur himself, and drifted through the streets of Paris in between writing poems and spending his trust fund on dandy outfits and opium.’
    • ‘‘Canned hunts’ are for phonies and posers and dandy boys.’
    • ‘Of course, according to the merciful judge at his subsequent trial, the dandy highwayman wasn't responsible for his actions that night as he had long suffered from manic depression.’
    • ‘The bounders promise to unmask my alter-ego, that most dandy of highwaymen, Dick Turpin, in a new show in York next week.’
    • ‘Turpin's dandy appearance bewildered campaigners and Downing Street police officers, who eventually banished him from the houses of power - but his message struck a chord.’
    • ‘Dracula and period movies provide the ideas for romantic blouses, skirts and dandy jackets in mystical darks.’


Late 18th century: perhaps a shortened form of 17th-century Jack-a-dandy ‘conceited fellow’ (the last element representing Dandy, a pet form of the given name Andrew).