Meaning of “happy” in the English Dictionary

"happy" in British English

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uk /ˈhæp.i/ us /ˈhæp.i/

happy adjective (PLEASED)

A1 feeling, showing, or causing pleasure or satisfaction:

She looks so happy.
School days are said to be the happiest days of your life.
Nicky seems a lot happier since she met Steve.
You'll be happy to know that Jean is coming with us.
I'm perfectly happy to (= I will willingly) help out.
I'm so happy (that) everything is working out for you.
Barry seems happy enough working for himself.
Are you happy about/with (= satisfied with) your new working arrangements?
Your mother's not going to be very happy when she sees the mess you've made!
formal The manager will be happy (= is willing) to see you this afternoon.

More examples

  • Childhood is not always a happy time.
  • If there's anything you don't understand, I'll be happy to explain.
  • They had a long and happy marriage.
  • The staff are not very happy about the latest pay increase.
  • It was clear that he wasn't happy with the arrangements, so I tried to book a different hotel.

happy adjective (GREETING)

A1 [ before noun ] (used in greetings for special occasions) full of enjoyment and pleasure:

Happy Birthday!
Happy Anniversary!
Happy New Year!

More examples

  • We all clinked our glasses together and drank to a happy new year.
  • We wish you a long and happy retirement.
  • The card said 'Happy Anniversary' in big silver letters.
  • Happy Christmas, Mum - this is for you.
  • I didn't even see her to wish her a happy birthday.

(Definition of “happy” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"happy" in American English

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us /ˈhæp·i/

happy adjective (PLEASED)

feeling, showing, or causing pleasure or satisfaction:

To tell the truth, I’ve never been happier in my whole life.
People want movies to have happy endings.
[ + (that) clause ] I’m happy (that) everything is working out for you.
I’ve been very happy with (= satisfied with) the education that my boys have gotten through scouting.

Happy is used as a polite way to express your willingness to do something:

[ + to infinitive ] I’m driving that way and I’d be happy to drop you off at your home.
[ + to infinitive ] It was no trouble at all – I was happy to be of help.

Happy is also used in greetings for special occasions, expressing good wishes:

Happy birthday!
Happy New Year

happy adjective (LUCKY)


By a happy coincidence, we found ourselves on the same flight.
Note: said about a condition or situation

(Definition of “happy” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)