Definition of handy in English:

handy

adjective

  • 1Convenient to handle or use; useful.

    ‘a handy desktop encyclopedia’
    ‘the brush is handy for vacuuming stubborn dust and dirt’
    • ‘In my childhood the planetary model of the atom was the way we were thinking of matter; now it has become a metaphor or a handy tool, useful under certain conditions.’
    • ‘This was especially true of those nifty seniors who were loud in their praises of this handy bus service.’
    • ‘Often, as is the case here, it is a handy tool for misdirection or a neat handle from which to hang accusations.’
    • ‘It was convenient, it was handy, it had a wonderful index that allowed you to look things up very quickly.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, this book is a useful and handy reference.’
    • ‘There are situations in which a wireless desktop is handy.’
    • ‘More than just pretty, these bowls have a rubber ring on the bottom to prevent slippage plus a handy little handle and pouring spout.’
    • ‘Our modern metric units, like the gram or the centimetre, originate from their handy description of everyday quantities.’
    • ‘Toast your bread as you deem appropriate, either via the broiler or your everyday handy toaster.’
    • ‘Durable and convenient, this handy reference functions as nicely in an open field with a flashlight as it does spread out on a desk.’
    • ‘The editing functions are also handy, offering a range of useful tools.’
    • ‘A Local post office is a vital cornerstone to everyday life, a familiar, handy and extremely useful service.’
    • ‘Moreover, the simple justification of the move - as a necessary evil to achieve the noble end of saving the National Health Service - is a handy argument.’
    • ‘In a field kit, I have a handy Hoppe's screwdriver handle which stores up to 15 bits.’
    • ‘To help enrich your enjoyment, here is a handy glossary of useful terms…’
    • ‘This handy and useful volume, Authors, Texts, Issues, is meant to fill the void by supplying such material.’
    • ‘So at about 12.30 pm we rang the number listed under ‘Sewerage’ in Craven District Council's handy services booklet.’
    • ‘The Story of Film can be read as a continuous narrative, but will be equally useful as a handy reference to dip into.’
    • ‘While hard copy is convenient and handy for swatting insects and small dogs, it really is both a business and environmental luxury.’
    • ‘And it comes with this handy song learning function.’
    useful, convenient, practical, easy-to-use, well-designed, user-friendly, user-oriented, helpful, functional, serviceable, utilitarian
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  • 2Ready to hand.

    ‘keep credit cards handy’
    • ‘They were the usual Kiwi baches, built from whatever was handy, oddly practical, sometimes quaint.’
    • ‘At least there's a phone handy to text for an ambulance when they finish up under a 40-tonne truck.’
    • ‘In spite of Mrs Major locking all the doors, back and front and closing all the handy windows… they got in.’
    • ‘With our prepared boards and favorite thumbnail sketches handy, we were ready to begin.’
    • ‘Cutaways are useful to shoot when on location as they can be used as handy band-aids in editing.’
    • ‘Leave the squeegee in the bath so it is handy to reach the next time you need it.’
    • ‘I assume that there were a couple of Secret Service agents handy, but he didn't seem all that well defended.’
    • ‘Since it's coral and you don't have handy access to dead sea creatures, how about treating it like an acronym?’
    • ‘She also has a handy habit of winning close matches.’
    • ‘They didn't have a handy gauge nearby to tell them how fast they should really be gliding.’
    • ‘Some cases may be sales closers, but there are handy profits available in a gun case display.’
    • ‘Indispensable accessories must be handy.’
    • ‘A friend of mine used to live in Basildon and having visited him several times there I can only say that there were times that I wished I had a Javelin handy.’
    • ‘Their location suggests that the tablets had just arrived or at least been placed together in a special area for handy access to their information.’
    • ‘For those without handy access to cameras and/or scanners, do your best.’
    • ‘The advantage of mate eating for the female may be that it provides a conveniently handy source of protein for herself and her offspring.’
    • ‘The logic is that they would also welcome the handy access to a healthy beverage at the same time.’
    • ‘Keep a portable vacuum handy to sweep up loose fibers as you work.’
    • ‘Nobody is going to forget this is an inner-city development, but it is central and handy for the Heathrow Express.’
    readily available, available, at hand, to hand, near at hand, within reach, accessible, ready, close, close by, near, nearby, at the ready, at one's fingertips, at one's disposal, convenient
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    1. 2.1 Placed or occurring conveniently.
      ‘a hotel in a handy central location’
      • ‘It sounds like a handy location, but there's a drawback.’
      • ‘What's a progressive professor to do if there are no conveniently handy hate crimes on campus to rail against?’
      • ‘As for horseracing, Clonmel, Thurles, Gowran Park and Cork racecourses are all within a handy drive.’
      • ‘The second entrance beside the Craigieburn Stream offers a handy picnic place close to the road.’
      • ‘You can even try placing Bibles in handy locations around your home as reminders to feed your spirit every day.’
      • ‘Hull stand-off Danny Washbrook took full advantage to step through and tie up the scores but centre Kirk Dixon couldn't land the conversion from a handy position.’
      • ‘We are handy as a regional centre and we don't have tunnel vision.’
      • ‘If you don't have a ready answer, jot down their question on a handy notepad.’
      • ‘The council wanted a handy city centre venue where younger mums could share a coffee and discuss matters with other people facing similar challenges.’
      • ‘Some friends got together, and using a handy nearby barbeque, on several occasions provided food to the patrons.’
      • ‘This is only part one, so have your bookmark handy.’
      • ‘It was in a handy location, across the street from my first start-up software business.’
      • ‘Handforth converted his own try from a handy position to close the gap to 12-6.’
      • ‘I spent most of yesterday painting the kitchen, quite a job with only a chair to stand on and a couple of cupboards handy for climbing to reach the roof.’
      • ‘Its handy location is only walking distance from the town center, beach and all amenities.’
      • ‘Because of the high-tech nature of the machine it's very handy for us to access it directly.’
      • ‘To have such a handy parking spot so close to Croke Park has been a real blessing down through the years.’
      • ‘This is only a four-minute slippery shuffle from the ski lifts, while also being handy for the resort's centre.’
      • ‘It is centrally located and equally handy for the museum.’
      • ‘It provided a handy local service for the ‘essentials’ over the years and it was always easy to ramble in to them.’
  • 3Skilful.

    ‘he's handy with a needle’
    • ‘And, a jig saw or coping saw is just about the only tool you'll need, so don't fret if you are not particularly handy with a hammer and saw.’
    • ‘Clare, who is also handy with the bat and has hit 177 runs so far this campaign, is looking forward to making a name for himself with Lancashire Seconds in an effort to pave a way into the senior side.’
    • ‘But, if the girl in my life doesn't like to cook, I have been single for 23 years and have learned to be quite handy with a skillet.’
    • ‘He's known to be handy with his fists, has a notorious fondness for fast cars, and now it seems he's a fan of loud music: obviously a prime candidate for an antisocial behaviour order.’
    • ‘The incident appears to have done nothing to dent Labour's poll lead, and may even have been a plus in Labour's heartland areas where being handy with your fists is nothing to be ashamed of.’
    • ‘He may have been handy with insults, but he was always the kindest, politest, and most generous of colleagues.’
    • ‘And if you're handy with phone wiring, it could be your big weekend.’
    • ‘She's been handy with the needles and wool since the age of six when her mother first showed her how to use them.’
    • ‘Henry Arnold and Ira Eaker were handy with the pen.’
    • ‘Level headed, a capable bushman, handy with a rifle and a natural with horses, Harry displayed all the attributes of the cream of Australia's youth.’
    • ‘Off-screen, Davis also turns out to be handy with weaponry.’
    • ‘So if you are handy with a paint brush or a saw, and are willing to muck in for a few hours we would be keen to hear from you.’
    • ‘The fast bowler, who is also handy with the bat, was the only youngster from the area to be picked for the county team following trials last month.’
    • ‘The fact is, if you're handy with the shears you're probably in high demand and not just entertaining tourists at shows.’
    • ‘So if you're not too handy with a hoe, they'll keep on springing up just when you least expect it.’
    • ‘But Blind Fury - where he plays a blind Vietnam vet who is handy with a samurai sword - is dumb in a good way.’
    • ‘I was good at that bit, being handy with words and all.’
    • ‘If you are handy with a jig saw, cut out hearts and stars from thin wood, then paint and hang with raffia for a homespun look, or even easier make your ornaments from salt dough.’
    • ‘If you're handy with a chainsaw you can simply carve a seat with a back support straight out of a large tree trunk.’
    • ‘Clearly Ricky Swallow is very handy with a chisel.’
    skilful, skilled, dexterous, deft, nimble-fingered, adroit, practical, able, adept, proficient, capable
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noun

  • (in Europe) a mobile phone.

    • ‘But if you can manage not to ask questions about why they don't just use their mobiles/cell phones / handies, or why they don't just use email, this doesn't matter.’

Phrases

  • come in handy

    • informal Turn out to be useful.

      ‘the sort of junk that might come in handy one day’
      • ‘There are some great links here… lots of stuff I can see coming in handy when Alex gets a bit older.’
      • ‘From 1981 to 1987 he was chief executive of Channel 4, which no doubt comes in handy when you need to call in a camera crew to help with your cause.’
      • ‘Some of the typical Linux utilities come in very handy when developing a project.’
      • ‘The cameras ensure responsible behaviour among students and prompt them to be in their limits, besides coming in handy to produce evidence against the erring.’
      • ‘The browser can zero in on an individual association by using the alphabet or name search, a facility which comes in handy when one is not quite sure of the exact name.’
      • ‘This comes in handy when one is playing Trivial Pursuit or when trying to make a family member feel guilty for some past transgressions.’
      • ‘The march of the present policies are already creating fertile ground for the squads, who for mere biological survival will be coming in handy to be used as foot soldiers of Hindutva-sponsored violence.’
      • ‘Illustrated leaflets in colour, designed by NATPAC, are also coming in handy for the Traffic Police.’
      • ‘The headphones are certainly coming in handy… although I probably look like an idiot dancing around the apartment.’
      • ‘But more celebrations are lined up for Wednesday with a holiday coming in handy.’

Pronunciation

handy

/ˈhandi/