[ ee-zee ]
/ ˈi zi /
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See synonyms for: easy / easier / easiest / easies on Thesaurus.com

adjective, eas·i·er [ee-zee-er], /ˈi zi ər/, eas·i·est [ee-zee-ist]. /ˈi zi ɪst/.
Informal. in an easy manner; comfortably: to go easy; take it easy.
a word formerly used in communications to represent the letter E.


Why Is The "Easy Way Out" A Bad Thing?

At school or at work or in a competition especially, if someone is taking the easy way out then it’s like they’re being lazy or they’re doing something wrong. Do we get more credit for doing something the hard way than we would the easy way?

Do you know the difference between everyday US and UK terminology? Test yourself with this quiz on words that differ across the Atlantic.
Question 1 of 7
In the UK, COTTON CANDY is more commonly known as…

Origin of easy

First recorded in 1150–1200; Middle English aisie, esy, from Anglo-French (a)eisie, Old French aisié, aised, past participle of aisier to ease


eas·y·like, adjectiveo·ver·eas·y, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023


What is a basic definition of easy?

Easy describes something that is not difficult and requires little effort. Easy also describes something that is not stressful. Informally, easy means in a comfortable way. Easy has many other senses as an adjective and one as a noun.

The most common sense of easy describes something that is simple and requires very little effort or work. This sense is an antonym of words such as difficult, challenging, or tough. Easily means in a way without difficulty. The word ease can mean a lack of stress or difficulty.

Real-life examples: Many things you might find easy to do were once hard until you learned to do them. Counting to five is easy once you learn to count. Finding the yellow crayon among all the blue crayons is easy once you know your colors. You no longer have to think about how to do these tasks. They are easy for you now.

Used in a sentence: She thought the math test was really easy. 

Easy also describes something that lacks stress or any other sources of discomfort. This sense usually describes a person’s life as being relaxing or free from any problems or worries.

Real-life examples: Pampered pets often lead easy lives of sleeping and eating. When you’re on vacation, life often seems relaxing and easy.

Used in a sentence: He had an easy time at work today because nobody came into the store. 

Easy is used informally to mean comfortably or without much stress or hardship. In formal writing, easily is preferred.

Real-life examples: Teachers will often go easy on students they like, meaning they won’t punish those students as harshly or will make things easier for them. If you are taking it easy, you are lounging around and not trying to work hard. If something comes easy to someone, it means they don’t need much effort to master it or complete it.

Used in a sentence: The manager went easy on the new employee, giving them a gentle warning.

Where does easy come from?

The first records of easy come from around 1150. It ultimately comes from the Old French aisier, meaning “to ease.”

Did you know ... ?

What are some other forms related to easy?

  • easier (comparative adjective)
  • easiest (superlative adjective)
  • easily (adverb)
  • easiness
  • easylike (adjective)
  • overeasy (adjective)

What are some synonyms for easy?

What are some words that share a root or word element with easy

What are some words that often get used in discussing easy?

How is easy used in real life?

Easy is a common word that is most often used to describe something that doesn’t take much effort or work to do.



Try using easy!

Is easy used correctly in the following sentence?

It was so easy for the professional chef to bake a small cake that she barely had to try.

How to use easy in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for easy

/ (ˈiːzɪ) /

adjective easier or easiest
verb easies, easying or easied
Also: easy-oar (usually imperative) to stop rowing

Word Origin for easy

C12: from Old French aisié, past participle of aisier to relieve, ease

usage for easy

Easy is not used as an adverb by careful speakers and writers except in certain set phrases: to take it easy; easy does it. Where a fixed expression is not involved, the usual adverbial form of easily is preferred: this polish goes on more easily (not easier) than the other
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

Other Idioms and Phrases with easy


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