Definition of handy in English:

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Pronunciation: /ˈhandi/

adjective (handier, handiest)

1Convenient to handle or use; useful: a handy desktop encyclopedia the brush is handy for vacuuming stubborn dust and dirt
More example sentences
  • A Local post office is a vital cornerstone to everyday life, a familiar, handy and extremely useful service.
  • Durable and convenient, this handy reference functions as nicely in an open field with a flashlight as it does spread out on a desk.
  • To help enrich your enjoyment, here is a handy glossary of useful terms…
useful, convenient, practical, easy-to-use, well-designed, user-friendly, user-oriented, helpful, functional, serviceable, utilitarian
informal neat, nifty
2Ready to hand: keep credit cards handy
More example sentences
  • With our prepared boards and favorite thumbnail sketches handy, we were ready to begin.
  • She also has a handy habit of winning close matches.
  • For those without handy access to cameras and/or scanners, do your best.
readily available, available, at hand, to hand, near at hand, within reach, accessible, ready, close, close by, near, nearby, at the ready, at one's fingertips, at one's disposal, convenient
informal get-at-able, on tap
2.1Placed or occurring conveniently: a hotel in a handy central location
More example sentences
  • It sounds like a handy location, but there's a drawback.
  • What's a progressive professor to do if there are no conveniently handy hate crimes on campus to rail against?
  • You can even try placing Bibles in handy locations around your home as reminders to feed your spirit every day.
3Skilful: he’s handy with a needle
More example sentences
  • But, if the girl in my life doesn't like to cook, I have been single for 23 years and have learned to be quite handy with a skillet.
  • Level headed, a capable bushman, handy with a rifle and a natural with horses, Harry displayed all the attributes of the cream of Australia's youth.
  • He's known to be handy with his fists, has a notorious fondness for fast cars, and now it seems he's a fan of loud music: obviously a prime candidate for an antisocial behaviour order.
skilful, skilled, dexterous, deft, nimble-fingered, adroit, practical, able, adept, proficient, capable;
masterly, gifted, talented, expert;
clever with one's hands, good with one's hands
informal nifty, wizard, ace, genius
North American informal crackerjack
vulgar slang shit-hot
rare habile

noun (plural handies)

(In Europe) a mobile phone.
Example sentences
  • But if you can manage not to ask questions about why they don't just use their mobiles/cell phones / handies, or why they don't just use email, this doesn't matter.


come in handy

informal Turn out to be useful: the sort of junk that might come in handy one day
More example sentences
  • The cameras ensure responsible behaviour among students and prompt them to be in their limits, besides coming in handy to produce evidence against the erring.
  • The march of the present policies are already creating fertile ground for the squads, who for mere biological survival will be coming in handy to be used as foot soldiers of Hindutva-sponsored violence.
  • The headphones are certainly coming in handy… although I probably look like an idiot dancing around the apartment.



Pronunciation: /ˈhandɪnəs/
Example sentences
  • It is a ‘butcher's block’ bench, simple and easy to construct (given my lack of handiness, it would have to be.)
  • A handiness for visualizing in six dimensions or for abstracting the motion of a pendulum favors an agility of mind but apparently has little to do with anything else.
  • Although Paulette is suffocating under his egotism, there is a great scene in which she watches the great man at work and is entranced by his handiness with a brush and paint.

Words that rhyme with handy

Andy, bandy, brandy, candy, dandy, Gandhi, glissandi, jim-dandy, Kandy, Mandy, modus operandi, Nandi, randy, Río Grande, sandhi, sandy, sforzandi, shandy

For editors and proofreaders

Line breaks: handy

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