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See also: Handy and händy


Etymology 1[edit]

From Middle English, alteration of earlier hendi (handy, skillful), from Old English hendiġ (skillful) (as in listhendiġ (skilled in art)), from Proto-Germanic *handugaz (handy, skillful, nimble), from *handuz (hand), equivalent to hand +‎ -y. Cognate with Middle Low German handich (skillful, apt), Middle High German handec, hendec (manual, hand-held), Old Norse hǫndugr (efficient), Gothic 𐌷𐌰𐌽𐌳𐌿𐌲𐍃 (handugs, wise, clever). Akin to Dutch handig (handy), Norwegian hendig (handy), Swedish händig (handy).


  • enPR: hăn'di, IPA(key): /ˈhæn.di/
  • (file)
  • Rhymes: -ændi


handy (comparative handier, superlative handiest)

  1. Easy to use, useful.
    Some people regard duct tape as a handy fix-all.
  2. Nearby, within reach.
    Synonym: at hand
    You wouldn’t have a screwdriver handy, would you?
    I keep a first-aid kit handy in case of emergency.
  3. Of a person: dexterous, skilful.
    Synonym: crafty
    She's very handy: she made all her own kitchen cupboards.
  4. Of a freight ship: having a small cargo capacity (less than 40,000 DWT); belonging to the handysize class.
Derived terms[edit]
The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Wiktionary:Entry layout#Translations.

Etymology 2[edit]

hand +‎ -y (diminutive suffix)


handy (plural handies)

  1. (vulgar, slang) A hand job.



handy (comparative handier, superlative handiest)

  1. handy
  2. dexterous, skilful
  3. amenable (of an animal)