Definition of dandy in US English:


nounPlural dandies

  • 1A man unduly devoted to style, neatness, and fashion in dress and appearance.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Beerbohm's other half-brother was a cheerfully untidy dresser at home although he frequently played the dandy on stage.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Any man so concerned and fussy about the details of a tooth-pick case is definitely a fop, a dandy.’
    • ‘Like most dandies, his predilection for high-style fashion and cosmetic beauty betrays a likeness to his female counterparts.’
    • ‘The fops and dandies had no interest in war and concentrated instead on their seraglios.’
    • ‘Dressed in a black suit with white ruffled shirt and a light blue vest, he seemed more dandy then gunslinger.’
    • ‘He was a real dandy - that's how me and Billy got our dress sense.’
    • ‘Originally a ‘buck’ was a dandy, a pretentious, overdressed show-off of a man.’
    • ‘Some fashion-conscious dandies are actually going for tan cord.’
    • ‘He was allegedly a dandy, wearing rings on his fingers and cutting his hair fashionably short.’
    • ‘He is immaculate and was, one suspects, a bit of a dandy in his youth.’
    • ‘He rolled his eyes at himself as he thought of how much he had sounded like a foppish dandy worrying over his appearance.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Manet shows Proust as a dandy, boulevardier and man of the world.’
    fop, beau, man about town, bright young thing, glamour boy, rake
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  • 2informal, dated An excellent thing of its kind.

    ‘this umbrella is a dandy’

adjectivedandiest, dandier

  • 1North American informal Excellent.

    ‘things are all fine and dandy’
    ‘upgrading seemed a dandy idea’
    • ‘In this matter, they just think they have hit on another dandy idea for a ‘do-good’ crusade and a few neat bylines.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We came across a number of dandy antiques; a collection accumulated from traveling to lots and lots of sales, says Phyllis Knupp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘By way of contrast, Mojo Box represents a return to form: a lean, dandy album of greasy stomps, twangy guitars, and good songs.’
    • ‘There are too many powerful men who truly believe that the Waltons offer dandy advice on life and morals.’
    • ‘Air Force hit back to cross the CH line with a dandy try off a scrum close to the line..’
    • ‘If everything were fine and dandy we would not be racing this bill through the House.’
    • ‘That's when we came up with the dandy idea of having not one, not two, but THREE little weddings.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Diced it makes a dandy garnish for chilled soups.’
    • ‘Curiosity took the better of me as I stepped the flight of stairs up into the dandy store.’
    • ‘Despite such side effects, some record execs have decided that the copy protection scheme is a dandy way to prevent music piracy.’
    • ‘Things really do seem to be rather dandy right now.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘I recall a dandy front-page photo of a community street preacher, in which I burned a halo floating above his head.’
    • ‘While the USHGA's mag is a dandy publication, there are some aspects of it that don't lend to the way I work.’
    • ‘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.’
    excellent, wonderful, marvellous, magnificent, superb, splendid, glorious, sublime, lovely, delightful, first-class, first-rate, outstanding
    excellent, very good, superb, outstanding, magnificent, of high quality, of the highest quality, of the highest standard, exceptional, marvellous, wonderful, sublime, perfect, eminent, pre-eminent, matchless, peerless, supreme, first-rate, first-class, superior, superlative, splendid, admirable, worthy, sterling, fine
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  • 2Relating to or characteristic of a dandy.

    • ‘A whole host of dandy dogs and preened pooches converged on Oulder Hill Community School over the weekend to strut their stuff.’
    • ‘Dracula and period movies provide the ideas for romantic blouses, skirts and dandy jackets in mystical darks.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘‘Canned hunts’ are for phonies and posers and dandy boys.’
    • ‘Here is this French dandy writing about toffy French people.’
    • ‘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.’


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).