Definition of dandy in US English:



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

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

    ‘this umbrella is a dandy’


  • 1North American informal Excellent.

    ‘things are all fine and dandy’
    ‘upgrading seemed a dandy idea’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Curiosity took the better of me as I stepped the flight of stairs up into the dandy store.’
    • ‘That's when we came up with the dandy idea of having not one, not two, but THREE little weddings.’
    • ‘If everything were fine and dandy we would not be racing this bill through the House.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Things really do seem to be rather dandy right now.’
    • ‘I recall a dandy front-page photo of a community street preacher, in which I burned a halo floating above his head.’
    • ‘By way of contrast, Mojo Box represents a return to form: a lean, dandy album of greasy stomps, twangy guitars, and good songs.’
    • ‘While the USHGA's mag is a dandy publication, there are some aspects of it that don't lend to the way I work.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Despite such side effects, some record execs have decided that the copy protection scheme is a dandy way to prevent music piracy.’
    • ‘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..’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘We came across a number of dandy antiques; a collection accumulated from traveling to lots and lots of sales, says Phyllis Knupp.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Dracula and period movies provide the ideas for romantic blouses, skirts and dandy jackets in mystical darks.’
    • ‘‘Canned hunts’ are for phonies and posers and dandy boys.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’


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).