[ hap-ee ]
/ ˈhæp i /
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See synonyms for: happy / happier / happiest on Thesaurus.com

adjective, hap·pi·er, hap·pi·est.



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“Was” is used for the indicative past tense of “to be,” and “were” is only used for the subjunctive past tense.

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Origin of happy

First recorded in 1350–1400; Middle English; see origin at hap1, -y1


o·ver·hap·py, adjectivequa·si-hap·py, adjective
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2021


What are other ways to say happy?

The adjective happy is sometimes used to describe things that are favored by fortune. How does it differ from fortunate and lucky? Find out on Thesaurus.com 


What is a basic definition of happy?

Happy describes a feeling of joy, delight, or glee. It also describes something that is related to or shows joy. Happy can describe someone being willing to do something or be helpful. Happy is used in many expressions that wish good tidings to another person. Happy has a few other senses as an adjective.

Happy describes feeling really good, as when a person in a good mood that makes them smile. Happiness refers to this positive emotion. Happily means in a happy way.

Real-life examples: Everybody has something that makes them happy. Cute animals, presents, compliments, and loved ones make most people feel happy.

Used in a sentence: The surprise birthday party really made Abdul happy.

Happy also describes something that shows or is related to feelings of happiness and joy.

Used in a sentence: The friendly clown had a happy smile. 

Happy describes someone being willing to do something, especially to help or assist someone else. They don’t think whatever they will do is a problem or a chore.

Real-life examples: Many experts are happy to show off their knowledge. Salespeople are often happy to explain things to customers if it means selling more items.

Used in a sentence: I’d be happy to give you a ride to the mall since I was going there anyway. 

The word happy is used in many greetings and expressions that wish a person well or wish that they have a good future.

Used in a sentence: Happy birthday!

Where does happy come from?

The first records of happy come from around 1350. It comes from Middle English and is a combination of the word hap, meaning “a person’s luck or lot,” and the suffix y meaning “characterized by.” The word hap comes from the Old Norse happ, meaning “luck” or “chance.”

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What are some other forms related to happy?

  • overhappy (adjective)
  • quasi-happy (adjective)
  • happiness (noun)
  • happily (adverb)

What are some synonyms for happy?

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

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

How is happy used in real life?

Try using happy!

Which of the following words is a synonym of happy?

  1. sad
  2. angry
  3. cheerful
  4. scared

Example sentences from the Web for happy

British Dictionary definitions for happy (1 of 2)

/ (ˈhæpɪ) /

adjective -pier or -piest


(in combination)happy birthday; happy Christmas
See also trigger-happy

Derived forms of happy

happily, adverbhappiness, noun

Word Origin for happy

C14: see hap 1, -y 1

British Dictionary definitions for happy (2 of 2)


adj combining form

denoting excessive enthusiasm for or devotion togun-happy
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

Idioms and Phrases with happy


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