adjective, hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est.

delighted, pleased, or glad, as over a particular thing: to be happy to see a person.
characterized by or indicative of pleasure, contentment, or joy: a happy mood; a happy frame of mind.
favored by fortune; fortunate or lucky: a happy, fruitful land.See Synonym Study at fortunate.
apt or felicitous, as actions, utterances, or ideas.
obsessed by or quick to use the item indicated (usually used in combination): a trigger-happy gangster. Everybody is gadget-happy these days.

Origin of happy

Middle English word dating back to 1300–50; see origin at hap1, -y1
Related formso·ver·hap·py, adjectivequa·si-hap·py, adjective

Synonyms for happy

Antonyms for happy

1. sad.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for happier

Contemporary Examples of happier

Historical Examples of happier

  • The tune was familiar to her in happier days, and she listened to it with tears.


    Lydia Maria Child

  • I sometimes fancy that the old woman is the happier of the two.

  • And when the news came that he was getting better, his father did not seem the least happier!

    Weighed and Wanting

    George MacDonald

  • Christine saw his approval, and was happier than she had been for weeks.


    Mary Roberts Rinehart

  • Since then—curious as it will no doubt sound—I have been happier.

    De Profundis

    Oscar Wilde

British Dictionary definitions for happier


adjective -pier or -piest

feeling, showing, or expressing joy; pleased
willingI'd be happy to show you around
causing joy or gladness
fortunate; luckythe happy position of not having to work
aptly expressed; appropriatea happy turn of phrase
(postpositive) informal slightly intoxicated


(in combination)happy birthday; happy Christmas
See also trigger-happy
Derived Formshappily, adverbhappiness, noun

Word Origin for happy

C14: see hap 1, -y 1
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 happier



late 14c., "lucky, favored by fortune, prosperous;" of events, "turning out well," from hap (n.) "chance, fortune" + -y (2). Sense of "very glad" first recorded late 14c. Ousted Old English eadig (from ead "wealth, riches") and gesælig, which has become silly. Meaning "greatly pleased and content" is from 1520s. Old English bliðe "happy" survives as blithe. From Greek to Irish, a great majority of the European words for "happy" at first meant "lucky." An exception is Welsh, where the word used first meant "wise."

Used in World War II and after as a suffix (e.g. bomb-happy, flak-happy) expressing "dazed or frazzled from stress." Happy medium is from 1778. Happy ending in the literary sense recorded from 1756. Happy as a clam (1630s) was originally happy as a clam in the mud at high tide, when it can't be dug up and eaten. Happy hunting ground, the reputed Indian paradise, is attested from 1840, American English. Related: Happier; happiest.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper

Idioms and Phrases with happier


In addition to the idioms beginning with happy

  • happy as the day is long
  • happy camper
  • happy hour
  • happy hunting ground
  • happy medium

also see:

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