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[dan-dee] /ˈdæn di/
noun, plural dandies.
a man who is excessively concerned about his clothes and appearance; a fop.
Informal. something or someone of exceptional or first-rate quality:
Your reply was a dandy.
adjective, dandier, dandiest.
characteristic of a dandy; foppish.
Informal. fine; excellent; first-rate:
a dandy vacation spot.
Origin of dandy
First recorded in 1770-80; origin uncertain
Related forms
dandily, dandyishly, dandiacally
[dan-dahy-uh k-lee] /dænˈdaɪ ək li/ (Show IPA),
dandyish, dandiacal, adjective
dandyism, noun Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018.
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Examples from the Web for dandy
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • She had been to business college and was a dandy stenographer.

    Dust Mr. and Mrs. Haldeman-Julius
  • I think that was just Saunders trying to make a dandy good job of it.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • "He's a dandy if he catches Baumberger," Miss Georgie averred, gloomily.

    Good Indian B. M. Bower
  • And I thought of a dandy idea, it's what they call an inspiration.

    Pee-wee Harris Percy Keese Fitzhugh
  • They know dandy Jack, and are philosophically resigned to their fate.

    Brighter Britain! (Volume 1 of 2) William Delisle Hay
British Dictionary definitions for dandy


noun (pl) -dies
a man greatly concerned with smartness of dress; beau
a yawl or ketch
adjective -dier, -diest
(informal) very good or fine
Derived Forms
dandily, adverb
dandyish, adjective
dandyism, noun
Word Origin
C18: perhaps short for jack-a-dandy


another name for dengue
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for dandy

c.1780, of uncertain origin; it first appeared in a Scottish border ballad:

I've heard my granny crack
O' sixty twa years back
When there were sic a stock of Dandies O
etc. In that region, Dandy is diminutive of Andrew (as it was in Middle English generally). The word was in vogue in London c.1813-1819. His female counterpart was a dandizette (1821) with French-type ending. The adjective dandy first recorded 1792; very popular c.1880-1900. Related: Dandified; dandify.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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Slang definitions & phrases for dandy



: a dandy idea


: He does it dandy/ We get on just dandy


A person or thing that is remarkable, wonderful, superior, etc •Attested from 1784 in the form the dandy: You should get one, it's a dandy (1880s+, very popular 1900+)

Related Terms

hotsie-totsie, jim-dandy

The Dictionary of American Slang, Fourth Edition by Barbara Ann Kipfer, PhD. and Robert L. Chapman, Ph.D.
Copyright (C) 2007 by HarperCollins Publishers.
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Idioms and Phrases with dandy


The American Heritage® Idioms Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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