American English

Definition of happy adjective from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



    (happier, happiest)
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    feeling/giving pleasure
  1. 1feeling or showing pleasure; pleased a happy smile/face You don't look very happy today. happy to do something We are happy to announce the engagement of our daughter. happy for somebody I'm very happy for you. happy (that)… I'm happy (that) you could come. Thesaurusgladhappy pleased delighted proud relieved thrilledThese words all describe people feeling happy about something that has happened or is going to happen.glad [not usually before noun] happy about something or grateful for it:He was glad that she had won. She was glad when the meeting was over.happy pleased about something nice that you have to do or something that has happened to someone:We are happy to announce the winner of our talent contest.pleased [not before noun] (somewhat formal) happy about something that has happened or something that you have to do:She was pleased with her exam results. You're coming? I'm so pleased.glad, happy, or pleased?Feeling pleased can suggest that you have judged someone or something and approve of them. Feeling glad can be more about feeling grateful for something. You cannot be “glad with someone”:The boss should be glad with you.Happy can mean glad, pleased, or satisfied.delighted very pleased about something; very happy to do something; showing your delight:I'm delighted with the progress you've made. Delighted is often used to accept an invitation:“Can you stay for dinner?” “I'd be delighted (to).”proud pleased and satisfied about something that you own, have done, or are connected with:proud parents He was proud of himself for not giving up.relieved feeling happy because something unpleasant has stopped or has not happened; showing this:You'll be relieved to know that your jobs are safe.thrilled [not before noun] extremely pleased and excited about something:I was thrilled to be invited.delighted or thrilled?Thrilled may express a stronger feeling than delighted, but delighted can be made stronger with absolutely, more than, or only too. Thrilled can be made negative and ironic with not exactly or less than:She was not exactly thrilled at the prospect of babysitting her niece.Patterns glad/happy/pleased/delighted/relieved/thrilled about something pleased/delighted/relieved/thrilled at something glad/happy/pleased/delighted/thrilled for somebody glad/happy/pleased/delighted/proud/relieved/thrilled that…/to see/to hear/to find/to know… very glad/happy/pleased/proud/relieved absolutely delighted/thrilled
  2. 2giving or causing pleasure a happy marriage/memory/childhood The story has a happy ending. Those were the happiest days of my life.
  3. at celebration
  4. 3if you wish someone a Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, etc. you mean that you hope they have a pleasant celebration
  5. satisfied
  6. 4satisfied that something is good or right; not anxious happy (with somebody/something) Are you happy with that arrangement? I'm not happy with his work this term. She was happy enough with her performance. happy (about somebody/something) If there's anything you're not happy about, come and ask. I'm not too happy about her living alone. I said I'd go just to keep him happy.
  7. willing
  8. 5happy to do something (formal) willing or pleased to do something I'm happy to leave it till tomorrow. He will be more than happy to come with us.
  9. lucky
  10. 6lucky; successful synonym fortunate By a happy coincidence, we arrived at exactly the same time. He is in the happy position of never having to worry about money.
  11. suitable
  12. 7(formal) (of words, ideas, or behavior) suitable and appropriate for a particular situation That wasn't the happiest choice of words.
  13. Word Familyhappy adjective (unhappy)happily adverb (unhappily)happiness noun (unhappiness)happy adjective (unhappy)happily adverb (unhappily)happiness noun (unhappiness)Idioms
    (as) happy as a clam (informal)
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    very happy Thomas was as happy as a clam when the test was canceled.
    a happy camper (informal)
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    (especially after a negative) pleased about a situation She wasn't a happy camper at all.
    the happy event (old-fashioned)
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    the birth of a baby
    a/the happy medium
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    something that is in the middle between two choices or two ways of doing something She tried to strike a happy medium between making the questions too hard and making them too easy.
    many happy returns (of the day)
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    used to wish someone a happy and pleasant birthday
noun [uncountable] to find true happiness Her eyes shone with happiness. Their grandchildren are a constant source of happiness. Thesaurussatisfactionhappiness pride contentment fulfillmentThese are all words for the good feeling that you have when you are happy or when you have achieved something.satisfaction the good feeling that you have when you have achieved something or when something that you wanted to happen does happen:He derived great satisfaction from knowing that his son was happy.happiness the good feeling that you have when you are happy:Money can't buy you happiness.pride a feeling of pleasure or satisfaction that you get when you, or people who are connected with you, have done something well or own something that other people admire:The sight of her son graduating filled her with pride.contentment (somewhat formal) a feeling of happiness or satisfaction with what you have:They found contentment in living a simple life.fulfillment a feeling of happiness or satisfaction with what you do or have done:her search for personal fulfillmentsatisfaction, happiness, contentment, or fulfillment?You can feel satisfaction at achieving almost anything, small or large; you feel fulfillment when you do something useful and enjoyable with your life. Happiness is the feeling you have when things give you pleasure and can be quite a lively feeling;contentment is a quieter feeling that you get when you have learned to find pleasure in things.Patterns satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment/fulfillment in something real satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment/fulfillment true satisfaction/happiness/contentment/fulfillment great satisfaction/happiness/pride quiet satisfaction/pride/contentment to feel satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment to bring somebody satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment/fulfillment to find satisfaction/happiness/contentment/fulfillment
Thesaurushappysatisfied content contented joyful blissfulThese words all describe feeling, showing, or giving pleasure or satisfaction.happy feeling, showing, or giving pleasure; satisfied with something or not worried about it:a happy marriage/memory/childhood I said I'd go, just to make him happy.satisfied pleased because you have achieved something or because something has happened as you wanted it to; showing this satisfaction:She's never satisfied with what she has. a satisfied smilecontent [not before noun] happy and satisfied with what you have:I'm perfectly content just to lie in the sun.contented happy and comfortable with what you have; showing this:a contented baby a long, contented sighcontent or contented?Being contented depends more on having a comfortable life; being content can depend more on your attitude to your life: you can have to be content or learn to be content. People or animals can be contented but only people can be content.joyful (somewhat formal) very happy; making people very happy:They had a joyful reunion in Phoenix.blissful (somewhat formal) making people very happy; showing this happiness:three blissful weeks in Mauijoyful or blissful?Joy is a livelier feeling;bliss is more peaceful.Patterns happy/satisfied/content with something a happy/satisfied/contented/blissful smile a happy/joyful occasion/celebration to be/feel happy/satisfied/content/contented/joyful very/perfectly/quite happy/satisfied/content/contented
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: happy