Definition of happy in US English:

happy

adjective

  • 1Feeling or showing pleasure or contentment.

    ‘Melissa came in looking happy and excited’
    with clause ‘we're just happy that he's still alive’
    with infinitive ‘they are happy to see me doing well’
    • ‘It will be a clear message from Islamabad that it is not happy over the content of talks.’
    • ‘His father, Phillip, paid him a visit to see how his new life was suiting him and was content that Paul seemed happy.’
    • ‘He loved the gardening and spent many happy and very contented hours tending to the flowers and the shrubs and the trees.’
    • ‘Our son has been attending the Créche for nearly five months and so far he is very happy and content, as indeed we are.’
    • ‘The feel of the warm moist soil around my roots as they got stronger and ever deeper into the ground made me feel happy and contented.’
    • ‘Having disposed of his family farm he acquired a new home at Lissard where he and his wife were contented and happy.’
    • ‘He left the pub happy, full and content in the knowledge that the pub staff had done their best for him.’
    • ‘If my observation serves me right, old folks are generally happy and contented with the way they spend their free time.’
    • ‘Surely you can't have more than one quiet, smiling, happy and contented day in a row?’
    • ‘The world is chockful of people who have lived happy, contented lives and who have made a deep impact on the arts.’
    • ‘I can have a quiet beer and look out over an (again hopefully) happy throng and feel content.’
    • ‘I feel very happy and content to be at home in the warm, listening to good music and doing nothing much.’
    • ‘It cannot possibly be your fault, in fact, in may be because of you she had a happy and content life.’
    • ‘Many of those families who are in relief camps today were people like us leading happy and contented lives.’
    • ‘The point is I know two depressed people and I'm finding their intrusions into my happy and contented life to be a bit annoying.’
    • ‘Now is the time to scrap the Trust and get back to clean wards, happy contented staff, striving for high standards and just rewards.’
    • ‘I realised that I am actually fairly happy and contented with my life.’
    • ‘She takes with her the good wishes of the community and she is wished a happy and contented retirement in Derrymore.’
    • ‘Delia enjoyed good health up to the last and was always happy and content out and about on the land and taking care of the family home.’
    • ‘A man of the land, he was happy and content in the peace and quiet of this lovely and historic part of County Roscommon.’
    contented, content, cheerful, cheery, merry, joyful, jovial, jolly, joking, jocular, gleeful, carefree, untroubled, delighted, smiling, beaming, grinning, glowing, satisfied, gratified, buoyant, radiant, sunny, blithe, joyous, beatific, blessed
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1happy aboutpredicative Having a sense of confidence in or satisfaction with (a person, arrangement, or situation)
      ‘I was never very happy about the explanation’
      ‘I can't say they looked too happy about it, but a deal's a deal’
      • ‘Pitch doesn't look very happy about the situation, but he doesn't push Milon aside to get to me.’
      • ‘The fish seemed pretty happy about this, unaware of the health risks it entails for them.’
      • ‘Well, I have made a lot of new friends thanks to this blog and I feel happy about it.’
      • ‘I think that, at the time, villagers were not too happy about it being built.’
      • ‘He is happy about the arrangement and believes it will help him adjust to life in the community.’
      • ‘I was not at all happy about the way they waved their batons at anyone who even looked at them funny.’
      • ‘The boys at this table weren't happy about talking to someone from the Peak either.’
      • ‘She was so happy about it, so in my mind that is my final gift to her.’
      • ‘One thing is for certain - if this lady blows her top, many will not be happy about it.’
      • ‘He is less happy about the expense of arranging international tours for his company.’
      • ‘In an interview with the STAR on Monday Joseph said there was not much to be happy about.’
      • ‘I am not very happy about having stuff that has been flown in from abroad.’
      • ‘Each of the companies has been informed of this and is happy about it.’
      • ‘The reasons they've given are pathetic and even their own fans who I've heard from are not happy about it.’
      • ‘The person who has or who shows such inclination in his or her youth should be proud and happy about it.’
      • ‘I can't imagine the drivers being too happy about the possibility of further regulation.’
      • ‘He is most happy about the gradual transformation in the personality of the children.’
      • ‘By the way, in case anyone is wondering, I am not happy about the Tory taking the seat.’
      • ‘I'm just not happy about having to compete with anyone else for her attention.’
      • ‘Now, she is happy about her decision and gives credit to her husband for this changeover.’
    2. 1.2happy withpredicative Satisfied with the quality or standard of.
      ‘I'm happy with his performance’
      • ‘It will definitely take a lot more tweaking to get me completely happy with it.’
      • ‘I wasn't too happy with them so I hid them in a paper bag and pushed them to the back side of the picnic table.’
      • ‘Are you happy with the role of these representative groups in the diversity programme?’
      • ‘I have been happy with my performance and to be fair the crowd have been good with me.’
      • ‘If you're happy with the way things are going, don't be afraid to let your feelings be known.’
      • ‘Surely to God they have a right to a release date and in a format they are happy with.’
      • ‘Are you happy with the quality of the policy file that you have seen from Operation Helios?’
      • ‘So I am not happy with the size of the squad, but I am certainly happy with the quality of it.’
      • ‘Though in one case a crew was advising a cox that they were not happy with his performance.’
      • ‘The only Millwall people happy with a goalless draw yesterday were the club stewards.’
      • ‘I then often do about three sketches for each character before I am happy with a final one.’
      • ‘He has been working at eight other cancer shops in the South West and said he was happy with the results.’
      • ‘If we win it on Sunday it will have been a good season for me but if we lose it then I'm not going to be happy with the season.’
      • ‘We would have been happy with a phasing-in of freedom of contract over three or four years.’
      • ‘Tiago struggled to get heat into his tyres; so he is not very happy with his performance.’
      • ‘I cannot be happy with my performance because the team as a whole hasn't had results.’
      • ‘He'll be driving through the gates at The Belfry a man happy with his lot and his position in the game.’
      • ‘Naturally, you return the first one to the shop and tell them that you're just not happy with it.’
      • ‘I am very happy with the school and I feel the vitriolic tone of the writing needs comment.’
      • ‘I am not overly happy with this recipe, next time I am going to try a different one.’
    3. 1.3with infinitive Willing to do something.
      ‘we will be happy to advise you’
      • ‘We are more than happy to advise residents of how not to cause a nuisance to their neighbours.’
      • ‘As a reviewer, sometimes I'm perfectly happy to receive a game well after it's been released.’
      • ‘If you are happy to do that, I am more than happy to advise you on every stage through to the finished rig.’
      • ‘Local Citizens' Advice Bureaux will also be more than happy to advise and help fill in any paperwork at no cost.’
      • ‘I am happy to play the game as long as I am entitled to win some points occasionally.’
      • ‘For all of the first half, France appeared happy to play the game on Ireland's terms.’
      • ‘Mr Walker said he would be happy to advise anybody about the way Ryesport was set up and the benefits it brought.’
      • ‘Mayo Cat Rescue is happy to advise people on many aspects of cat care, so please phone us for help should you need it.’
      • ‘A game she'd be happy to continue if only it could be light and daring, an adventure of secret intrigue and romance.’
      • ‘Many people said they trusted their adviser and would be happy to recommend him or her to a friend.’
      • ‘Every time a major tournament comes round we seem quite happy to plod through games and play it safe.’
      • ‘United Future is always pleased and happy to support sensible legislation.’
      • ‘He had a natural affinity with the land and was always glad and happy to help his neighbours.’
      • ‘She is very modest about her meteoric success, is not daunted by it and is happy to enjoy the game.’
      • ‘After netting nine goals in the previous four games, Hoyle was happy to play a supporting role against Gabriels.’
      • ‘Connolly was happy to reveal his game plan, the old footy channel told us.’
      • ‘We are also happy to advise on any other funds that you may wish to discuss.’
      • ‘If the blanket fails, trading standards staff will be happy to dispose of them.’
      • ‘So long as advisers are happy to provide good quality financial advice for a fair and open fee, they should have nothing to fear.’
      • ‘Firstly, any member on this side of the House would be happy to advise you who made the interjection.’
      willing, glad, ready, pleased, delighted, contented
      View synonyms
    4. 1.4 (of an event or situation) characterized by happiness.
      ‘we had a very happy, relaxed time’
      • ‘They are wished health, happiness and many more such happy occasions in the decades ahead.’
      • ‘Negative equity, when the house is worth less than the mortgage, is not a happy situation to be in.’
      • ‘Time lasts forever and not all love stories with a happy ending must end up in a wedding.’
      • ‘There was no way I was going to escape from this situation with a happy ending.’
      • ‘For Margie and her family, the rescue was a happy ending and the end of a horrible ordeal.’
      • ‘It just turns what should be a simple happy situation into a complicated awkward one.’
      • ‘To tell you the truth I have only seen him that mad once, and that wasn't a very happy situation.’
      • ‘I didn't expect this happy situation to change when I arrived in Central Australia.’
      • ‘The Beijing Morning Post front page above has a photo of the event's happy ending.’
      • ‘For supporters of Kenneth Marsh, the scene had all the makings of an emotional happy ending.’
      • ‘A happy situation for us is when a Tagore could be a Bengali and simultaneously a great Indian poet.’
      • ‘It was a very special event that turned out to be a happy reunion with a lot of old friends.’
      • ‘Nowadays, consumption of alcohol is on the increase, be it for a happy occasion or a sad event.’
      • ‘There can be a happy ending that ends with the two of them with different persons.’
      • ‘In the event of this extremely happy situation, the policy pays the player as well!’
      • ‘And if success requires a happy ending, then beginnings must be altered as well.’
      • ‘It is a happy situation, and I hope that the media will take that into account, and allow us to get on with our family life.’
      • ‘Should I just let it all finish here, or should I continue so it ends with a happy ending?’
      • ‘Though the play has a happy ending through a strange turn of events, its underlying dark side remains in my mind.’
      • ‘He would have had to continue for another three decades to give it a happy ending.’
    5. 1.5attributive Used in greetings.
      ‘happy birthday’
      • ‘Ted just turned a big milestone, as you know, and I wished him happy birthday by videotape.’
      • ‘What I got was a much less happy greeting and it didn't sound like female at all.’
      • ‘A very happy birthday to them both from all their friends in Rostrevor.’
      • ‘First of all, happy birthday to Big John, who is our techie here at work.’
      • ‘Michelle squealed a happy greeting and rushed forward to enfold him in a hug.’
      • ‘Also happy birthday and best wishes to Mena who was 50 years old last week.’
      • ‘A very happy 18th birthday is wished to Amanda Dowd from her family and friends.’
      • ‘Are you really serving the government when Willard Scott is wishing you happy birthday?’
      • ‘We hope Joe Rocks a Newtown man now living in Creggan had a recent happy birthday.’
      • ‘A happy birthday is wished to Kieran Dunne from his many friends.’
      • ‘I recorded a short video message on the new camera saying happy birthday to my grandmother who is 100 years old tomorrow.’
      • ‘Declan is the principal of Mount Sion Primary School and his family and friends wish him a belated happy birthday.’
      • ‘It's some dead queen's birthday and what better way to wish someone a happy birthday than to bounce the weekend away?’
      • ‘Mr. King, the Dallas Cowboy cheerleaders are here to wish you a very happy birthday.’
      • ‘A popular employee of Bausch and Lomb, all her family and friends wish Jennifer a very happy birthday.’
      • ‘Finally seasons greetings and a happy New Year to all who have supported this work.’
      • ‘I quickly ran to him and wished him happy birthday and he in return hugged me and told me to sit in the blanket because I was very cold.’
      • ‘Saying her last happy greeting, Faith began making her escape through the door.’
      • ‘Well, today is Dr. D's fortieth birthday, so you all should drop by his site and wish him a happy birthday.’
      • ‘It wouldn't be right if I didn't wish happy birthday to somebody, now would it?’
  • 2attributive Fortunate and convenient.

    ‘he had the happy knack of making people like him’
    • ‘My second oldest brother, who is nine years older than me, always had the happy knack of being able to bustle me.’
    • ‘Andrew's always had that happy knack of cutting straight to the chase, delighting and upsetting in roughly equal measures.’
    • ‘When it comes to the real thing however, Rangers have developed a happy knack of hitting the target.’
    • ‘Call it a happy knack of being in the right place at the right time.’
    • ‘McDowell has the happy knack of convincing us that all he wants to do with his life is to serve the people.’
    • ‘I thus have been inclined to write off the success of my prediction as just a happy accident.’
    • ‘He has a strong personality, continuity of purpose, a mind well stored and a happy knack of communicating it.’
    • ‘The Sharks coach is in the happy situation of having a clean injury slate for his teams most important match of the season so far.’
    • ‘The range in the city is broader than in most places, and the locals seem to have a happy knack with fish dishes particularly.’
    • ‘Both these teams have discovered the happy knack of surprising their critics.’
    • ‘Sri Lanka find themselves in that happy situation after their innings and 15 run victory at Galle.’
    • ‘For opportunities appear, at first glance, to have a happy knack of falling into the lap of the third season trainer.’
    • ‘Munster have the happy knack of bouncing back, of taking defeat and building on it.’
    • ‘The league has the happy knack of throwing them up so this is as a good a match as any to opt for one.’
    • ‘She has the happy knack of making the most mundane report appear interesting.’
    fortunate, lucky, favourable, advantageous, opportune, timely, well-timed, convenient, propitious, felicitous, auspicious, beneficial, helpful
    View synonyms
  • 3informal in combination Inclined to use a specified thing excessively or at random.

    ‘our litigation-happy society’

Phrases

  • (as) happy as a clam (at high tide)

    • Extremely happy.

  • happy hunting ground

    • A place where success or enjoyment is obtained.

      • ‘The Doncaster-based club has not proved to be a happy hunting ground for the Sandhill Laners with five defeats from five visits.’
      • ‘Wigan's home ground again proved a happy hunting ground for the slick-handling Saints who had this game won by half-time.’
      • ‘Mr Collins can argue that Clare, as it adjoins Limerick, has proved a happy hunting ground.’
      • ‘The Lancashire Amateur Shield proved a happy hunting ground with only Ashton losing to outside competition.’
      • ‘The Middle East, which is awash with petrodollars thanks to the surge in world oil prices, has proved a happy hunting ground for western defence groups in recent months.’
      • ‘Mrs. Gay Cross made the presentation to winner owner Pat Daly who must have been delighted that he made the long journey from Cork to Newbridge which is proving such a happy hunting ground for him.’
      • ‘Bangsaray was the fishing venue for Fish & Trips on August 28, which proved to be a happy hunting ground for the team.’
      • ‘Odsal Sedbergh went down from Division One having only won one game all season but at least Division Four has proved a happy hunting ground with Undercliffe Wyke and Thornton in the top four.’
      • ‘Thirsk proved a happy hunting ground for City of York VI as they beat the home side's second string 4-1.’
      • ‘South Yorkshire proved to be a happy hunting ground for Heworth's Neil Smith as he landed one of the county's major prizes.’
      paradise, nirvana, the kingdom of heaven, the promised land, the heavenly kingdom, the city of god, the celestial city, the abode of god, the abode of the saints, the abode of the angels, zion, abraham's bosom, the empyrean
      View synonyms

Origin

Middle English (in the sense ‘lucky’): from the noun hap + -y.

Pronunciation

happy

/ˈhæpi//ˈhapē/