She looks so happy.
adjective (happier, happiest)
1 feeling pleased or showing that you are pleased:
She looks very happy.
That was one of the happiest days of my life.
opposite unhappy or sad Look at the note at glad.
2 a word that you use to say that you hope somebody will enjoy a special time:
Happy New Year!
hap‧py S1 W1 /ˈhæpi/ adjective (comparative happier, superlative happiest)
[Word Family: noun: happiness ≠ unhappiness; adverb: happily ≠ unhappily; adjective: happy ≠ unhappy]
[Date: 1300-1400; Origin: hap 'chance, luck' (13-20 centuries), from Old Norse happ]
1. having feelings of pleasure, for example because something good has happened to you or you are very satisfied with your life OPP sad:
It’s a lovely house and we’ve been very happy here.
I’ve never felt happier in my life.
He was a happy child who rarely cried.
the happy faces of the children
I loved her and thought I could make her happy.
happy to do something
John will be so happy to see you.
I’m happy that everything worked out well in the end.
be/feel happy for somebody
What a wonderful opportunity! I’m so happy for you.
happy in your work/job etc
happy to be doing something
We’re very happy to be taking part.
the happy couple (=a couple that have just got married or will soon get married)
2. [usually before noun] a happy time, relationship, event etc is a good one that makes you feel happy:
This has been the happiest day of my life.
They had a very happy marriage.
I have lots of happy memories of the place.
The story has a happy ending, however.
When’s the happy event (=the birth of your child)?
3. [not before noun] satisfied or not worried
On the whole, I’m happy with the way I look.
People living nearby are not happy with the decision.
Mom wasn’t happy about Tess going off travelling on her own.
I pretended to agree with her, just to keep her happy.
happy doing something
I’m quite happy doing what I’m doing.
4. be happy to do something to be very willing to do something, especially to help someone:
Our team will be happy to help.
I’d be happy to take you in my car.
5. Happy Birthday/New Year/Christmas etc used to wish someone happiness on a special occasion:
Happy Birthday, Michael!
Happy Thanksgiving, everyone!
6. many happy returns used to wish someone happiness on their birthday
7. [only before noun] fortunate or lucky:
By a happy coincidence, James was also in town that weekend.
I’m in the happy position of not having to work.
8. a happy medium (between something and something) a way of doing something that is not extreme but is somewhere between two possible choices:
I always tried to strike a happy medium between having a home that looked like a bomb had hit it and becoming obsessively tidy.
9. [only before noun] formal suitable:
His choice of words was not a very happy one.
10. a/your happy place if you are in or go to your happy place, you imagine you are in a place that makes you feel calm and happy, because it helps you stop thinking about a bad situation
11. not a happy bunny especially British English informal, not a happy camper American English informal not pleased with a situation
• • •
▪ happy: Are you happy in your new job? | The film has a happy ending. | a happy childhood
▪ cheerful looking happy: a cheerful face/expression | The room looked bright and cheerful (=it made you feel good). | He seems a lot more cheerful today.
▪ be in a good mood to feel happy and relaxed: It was the day before the vacation and everyone was in a good mood.
▪ contented written feeling happy with your life, job, situation etc: He was contented with his job as a cycle mechanic. | She sat down with a contented expression on her face.
▪ pleased/glad [not before noun] happy because something good has happened: I’m pleased I passed my exam. | He was glad to see someone that he knew.
▪ delighted [not before noun] very happy because something good has happened: The doctors say they are delighted with her progress.
▪ thrilled [not before noun] very happy and excited about something: He’s thrilled at the idea of going to Disneyworld.
▪ overjoyed [not before noun] very happy because you have heard some good news: She was overjoyed when she found out that her son was safe.
▪ be on top of the world (also be over the moon British English) [not before noun] informal to be very happy: I was over the moon when I won the championship.
▪ ecstatic extremely happy: The crowd were ecstatic, and cheered wildly. | ecstatic fans
▪ blissful a blissful time is one in which you feel extremely happy: We stayed on the islands for two blissful weeks. | It sounded blissful – sea, sun, and good food.
happy [happy happier happiest] [ˈhæpi] [ˈhæpi] adjective (hap·pier, hap·pi·est)
1. feeling or showing pleasure; pleased
• a happy smile/face
• You don't look very happy today.
• ~ to do sth We are happy to announce the engagement of our daughter.
• ~ for sb I'm very happy for you.
• ~ (that)… I'm happy (that) you could come.
2. giving or causing pleasure
• a happy marriage/memory/childhood
• The story has a happy ending.
• Those were the happiest days of my life.
3. if you wish sb a Happy Birthday, Happy New Year, etc. you mean that you hope they have a pleasant celebration
4. satisfied that sth is good or right; not anxious
• ~ (with sb/sth) Are you happy with that arrangement?
• I'm not happy with his work this term.
• She was happy enough with her performance.
• ~ (about sb/sth) 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.
5. ~ to do sth (formal) willing or pleased to do sth
• I'm happy to leave it till tomorrow.
• He will be more than happy to come with us.
6. lucky; successful
• By a happy coincidence, we arrived at exactly the same time.
• He is in the happy position of never having to worry about money.
7. (formal) (of words, ideas or behaviour) suitable and appropriate for a particular situation
• That wasn't the happiest choice of words.
more at the happy/golden mean at mean n.
Idioms: happy event ▪ happy medium ▪ many happy returns ▪ not a happy bunny
Derived Word: happiness
See also: not a happy camper
Middle English (in the sense ‘lucky’): from the noun hap ‘good fortune’ + -y.
happy adjective (≠ unhappy)
happily adverb (≠ unhappily)
happiness noun (≠ unhappiness)
happy • pleased • delighted • proud • relieved • thrilled
These words all describe people feeling happy about sth that has happened or is going to happen.
glad • [not usually before noun] happy about sth or grateful for it: ▪ He was glad he'd come. ◊ ▪ She was glad when the meeting was over.
happy • pleased about sth nice that you have to do or sth that has happened to sb: ▪ We are happy to announce the engagement of our daughter.
pleased • [not before noun] happy about sth that has happened or sth that you have to do: ▪ She was very pleased with her exam results. ◊ ▪ You're coming? I'm so pleased.
glad, happy or pleased?
Feeling pleased can suggest that you have judged sb/sth and approve of them. Feeling glad can be more about feeling grateful for sth. You cannot be ‘glad with sb’: The boss should be glad with you. Happy can mean glad, pleased or satisfied.
delighted • very pleased about sth; very happy to do sth; showing your delight: ▪ I'm delighted at your news.
Delighted is often used to accept an invitation: ▪ ‘Can you stay for dinner?’ ‘I'd be delighted (to).’
proud • pleased and satisfied about sth that you own or have done, or are connected with: ▪ proud parents ◊ ▪ He was ▪ proud of ▪ himself for not giving up.
relieved • feeling happy because sth unpleasant has stopped or has not happened; showing this: ▪ You'll be relieved to know your jobs are safe.
thrilled • [not before noun] (rather informal) extremely pleased and excited about sth: ▪ 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 looking after her niece.
glad/happy/pleased/delighted/relieved/thrilled about sth
pleased/delighted/relieved/thrilled at sth
glad/happy/pleased/delighted/thrilled for sb
glad/happy/pleased/delighted/proud/relieved/thrilled that…/to see/hear/find/know…
satisfied • content • contented • joyful • blissful
These words all describe feeling, showing or giving pleasure or satisfaction.
happy • feeling, showing or giving pleasure; satisfied with sth or not worried about it: ▪ a happy marriage/ memory/ childhood ◊ ▪ I said I'd go, just to ▪ keep him happy ▪.
satisfied • pleased because you have achieved sth or because sth has happened as you wanted it to; showing this satisfaction: ▪ She's never satisfied with what she's got. ◊ ▪ a satisfied smile
content • [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 sigh
content 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 • (rather formal) very happy; making people very happy
blissful • making people very happy; showing this happiness: ▪ three blissful weeks away
joyful or blissful?
Joy is a livelier feeling; bliss is more peaceful.
happy/satisfied/content/contented with sth
a happy/satisfied/contented/blissful smile
a happy/joyful occasion/celebration
to feel happy/satisfied/content/contented/joyful
happiness • pride • contentment • fulfilment
These are all words for the good feeling that you have when you are happy or when you have achieved sth.
satisfaction • the good feeling that you have when you have achieved sth or when sth 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 sth well or own sth that other people admire: ▪ The sight of her son graduating filled her with pride.
contentment • (rather formal) a feeling of happiness or satisfaction with what you have: ▪ They found contentment in living a simple life.
fulfilment • a feeling of happiness or satisfaction with what you do or have done: ▪ her search for personal fulfilment
satisfaction, happiness, contentment or fulfilment?
You can feel satisfaction at achieving almost anything, small or large; you feel fulfilment when you do sth 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.
satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment/fulfilment in sth
to feel satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment
to bring sb satisfaction/happiness/pride/contentment/fulfilment
to find satisfaction/happiness/contentment/fulfilment
• Dad seemed perfectly happy with my explanation.
• For the first time in her life, she felt truly happy.
• He went home from time to time, to keep his mother happy.
• Her boss was not entirely happy about the situation.
• I can die happy knowing that I have achieved this.
• I was quite happy with the way things went.
• I'm just happy to be back home.
• I'm not too happy about her attitude.
• It had been a gloriously happy time.
• Money won't make you happy.
• Outwardly the couple appeared happy.
• So you're getting married, I hear. I'm really happy for you!
• We'd be only too happy to accept your invitation.
• By a happy chance, I got a hotel room just five minutes from the university.
• By a happy coincidence, John was in London at that time too.
• Happy birthday!
• He is now in the happy position of never having to worry about money.
• I looked around at all the happy faces.
• I picked the restaurant pretty much at random, but it proved a happy choice all round.
• I said I'd go, just to keep him happy.
• If there's anything you're not happy about, come and ask.
• The story has a happy ending.
• a happy marriage/memory/childhood
happy (PLEASED) /ˈhæp.i/
feeling, showing or causing pleasure or satisfaction:
a happy marriage/childhood
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.
happy (GREETING) /ˈhæp.i/
adjective [before noun]
(used in greetings for special occasions) full of enjoyment and pleasure:
Happy New Year!
happy (SUITABLE) /ˈhæp.i/
(of words or behaviour) suitable:
It wasn't a happy choice of phrase given the circumstances.
happy (LUCKY) /ˈhæp.i/
adjective [before noun]
(of a condition or situation) lucky:
We hadn't planned to be in France at the same time as Ann and Charles - it was just a happy coincidence.
1) ADJ-GRADED Someone who is happy has feelings of pleasure, usually because something nice has happened or because they feel satisfied with their life.
Marina was a confident, happy child...
I'm just happy to be back running...
Her face relaxed into a happy smile.
happily ADV-GRADED usu ADV with v Albert leaned back happily and lit a cigarette.
happiness N-UNCOUNT I think mostly she was looking for happiness.
2) ADJ-GRADED: usu ADJ n A happy time, place, or relationship is full of happy feelings and pleasant experiences, or has an atmosphere in which people feel happy.
Except for her illnesses, she had had a particularly happy childhood...
It had always been a happy place...
We have a very happy marriage.
3) ADJ-GRADED: v-link ADJ, ADJ about/with n/-ing, ADJ that, ADJ to-inf If you are happy about a situation or arrangement, you are satisfied with it, for example because you think that something is being done in the right way.
If you are not happy about a repair, go back and complain...
He's happy that I deal with it myself...
When he got old he was really quite happy to let the department run itself.
4) ADJ-GRADED: v-link ADJ, usu ADJ to-inf If you say you are happy to do something, you mean that you are very willing to do it.
I'll be happy to answer any questions if there are any...
That's a risk I'm happy to take.
happily ADV-GRADED ADV with v If I've caused any offence over something I have written, I will happily apologise.
5) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n Happy is used in greetings and other conventional expressions to say that you hope someone will enjoy a special occasion.
many happy returns → see return
6) ADJ-GRADED: ADJ n A happy coincidence is one that results in something pleasant happening.
By happy coincidence, Robert met Richard and Julia and discovered they were experiencing similar problems.
hap·py /ˈhæpi/ adj hap·pi·er; -est
1 a : feeling pleasure and enjoyment because of your life, situation, etc.
• She was a very happy child.
• I can see that you're not happy in your work. [=I can see that you do not enjoy your work]
• You don't look happy. What's the problem?
• We're all one big, happy family here.
• I'd do anything to make/keep her happy.
• She's happy playing with her toys. = She's happy when she plays with her toys.
b : showing or causing feelings of pleasure and enjoyment
• I could hear the children's happy laughter in the other room.
• She had a very happy childhood.
• They've had a very happy marriage.
• remembering happier times
• a happy event/occasion
• I was glad the movie had a happy ending.
c not used before a noun : pleased or glad about a particular situation, event, etc.
• We are so happy that you were able to come to the party.
• They are not at all happy about the rise in taxes.
• He's not happy with the way the project is going.
• It's great that he won the scholarship. I'm very happy for him. [=I am glad something good happened to him]
d : very willing to do something - usually followed by to + verb
• I would be happy to assist you.
- used as part of a greeting or wish for someone on a special holiday or occasion
• Happy birthday, Mom!
• Happy Holidays!
3 always used before a noun : lucky or fortunate
• We were brought together by a series of happy accidents.
• a happy coincidence
4 always used before a noun : fitting or suitable
• a happy choice of words
• He was a happy choice for chairman of the committee.
(as) happy as a clam
- see 1clam
- see 1medium
- see 2return
- see also trigger-happy