noun, plural dan·dies.

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, dan·di·er, dan·di·est.

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 formsdan·di·ly, dan·dy·ish·ly, dan·di·a·cal·ly [dan-dahy-uh k-lee] /dænˈdaɪ ək li/, adverbdan·dy·ish, dan·di·a·cal, adjectivedan·dy·ism, noun
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for dandy

Contemporary Examples of dandy

Historical Examples of dandy

  • She had been to business college and was a dandy stenographer.


    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.

British Dictionary definitions for dandy



noun plural -dies

a man greatly concerned with smartness of dress; beau
a yawl or ketch

adjective -dier or -diest

informal very good or fine
Derived Formsdandily, adverbdandyish, adjectivedandyism, noun

Word Origin for dandy

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

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

Idioms and Phrases with dandy


see fine and dandy.

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