Definition of handy in English:

handy

adjectivehandier, handiest

  • 1Convenient to handle or use; useful.

    ‘a handy desktop encyclopedia’
    ‘the brush is handy for vacuuming stubborn dust and dirt’
    • ‘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…’
    • ‘The Story of Film can be read as a continuous narrative, but will be equally useful as a handy reference to dip into.’
    • ‘Nonetheless, this book is a useful and handy reference.’
    • ‘In my childhood the planetary model of the atom was the way we were thinking of matter; now it has become a metaphor or a handy tool, useful under certain conditions.’
    • ‘In a field kit, I have a handy Hoppe's screwdriver handle which stores up to 15 bits.’
    • ‘More than just pretty, these bowls have a rubber ring on the bottom to prevent slippage plus a handy little handle and pouring spout.’
    • ‘It was convenient, it was handy, it had a wonderful index that allowed you to look things up very quickly.’
    • ‘This handy and useful volume, Authors, Texts, Issues, is meant to fill the void by supplying such material.’
    • ‘There are situations in which a wireless desktop is handy.’
    • ‘The editing functions are also handy, offering a range of useful tools.’
    • ‘This was especially true of those nifty seniors who were loud in their praises of this handy bus service.’
    • ‘Toast your bread as you deem appropriate, either via the broiler or your everyday handy toaster.’
    • ‘Our modern metric units, like the gram or the centimetre, originate from their handy description of everyday quantities.’
    • ‘While hard copy is convenient and handy for swatting insects and small dogs, it really is both a business and environmental luxury.’
    • ‘Often, as is the case here, it is a handy tool for misdirection or a neat handle from which to hang accusations.’
    • ‘So at about 12.30 pm we rang the number listed under ‘Sewerage’ in Craven District Council's handy services booklet.’
    • ‘And it comes with this handy song learning function.’
    • ‘Moreover, the simple justification of the move - as a necessary evil to achieve the noble end of saving the National Health Service - is a handy argument.’
    useful, convenient, practical, easy-to-use, well designed, user-friendly, user-oriented, helpful, functional, serviceable, utilitarian
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  • 2Ready to hand.

    ‘keep credit cards handy’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘In spite of Mrs Major locking all the doors, back and front and closing all the handy windows… they got in.’
    • ‘Their location suggests that the tablets had just arrived or at least been placed together in a special area for handy access to their information.’
    • ‘Indispensable accessories must be handy.’
    • ‘Leave the squeegee in the bath so it is handy to reach the next time you need it.’
    • ‘Since it's coral and you don't have handy access to dead sea creatures, how about treating it like an acronym?’
    • ‘Some cases may be sales closers, but there are handy profits available in a gun case display.’
    • ‘The logic is that they would also welcome the handy access to a healthy beverage at the same time.’
    • ‘They didn't have a handy gauge nearby to tell them how fast they should really be gliding.’
    • ‘Nobody is going to forget this is an inner-city development, but it is central and handy for the Heathrow Express.’
    • ‘The advantage of mate eating for the female may be that it provides a conveniently handy source of protein for herself and her offspring.’
    • ‘Cutaways are useful to shoot when on location as they can be used as handy band-aids in editing.’
    • ‘I assume that there were a couple of Secret Service agents handy, but he didn't seem all that well defended.’
    • ‘Keep a portable vacuum handy to sweep up loose fibers as you work.’
    • ‘They were the usual Kiwi baches, built from whatever was handy, oddly practical, sometimes quaint.’
    • ‘At least there's a phone handy to text for an ambulance when they finish up under a 40-tonne truck.’
    • ‘A friend of mine used to live in Basildon and having visited him several times there I can only say that there were times that I wished I had a Javelin handy.’
    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
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    1. 2.1Placed or occurring conveniently.
      ‘a hotel in a handy central location’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Its handy location is only walking distance from the town center, beach and all amenities.’
      • ‘It was in a handy location, across the street from my first start-up software business.’
      • ‘The council wanted a handy city centre venue where younger mums could share a coffee and discuss matters with other people facing similar challenges.’
      • ‘We are handy as a regional centre and we don't have tunnel vision.’
      • ‘It is centrally located and equally handy for the museum.’
      • ‘This is only a four-minute slippery shuffle from the ski lifts, while also being handy for the resort's centre.’
      • ‘Hull stand-off Danny Washbrook took full advantage to step through and tie up the scores but centre Kirk Dixon couldn't land the conversion from a handy position.’
      • ‘As for horseracing, Clonmel, Thurles, Gowran Park and Cork racecourses are all within a handy drive.’
      • ‘The second entrance beside the Craigieburn Stream offers a handy picnic place close to the road.’
      • ‘To have such a handy parking spot so close to Croke Park has been a real blessing down through the years.’
      • ‘Handforth converted his own try from a handy position to close the gap to 12-6.’
      • ‘Because of the high-tech nature of the machine it's very handy for us to access it directly.’
      • ‘I spent most of yesterday painting the kitchen, quite a job with only a chair to stand on and a couple of cupboards handy for climbing to reach the roof.’
      • ‘If you don't have a ready answer, jot down their question on a handy notepad.’
      • ‘Some friends got together, and using a handy nearby barbeque, on several occasions provided food to the patrons.’
      • ‘It provided a handy local service for the ‘essentials’ over the years and it was always easy to ramble in to them.’
      • ‘This is only part one, so have your bookmark handy.’
  • 3Skilful.

    ‘he's handy with a needle’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘Clare, who is also handy with the bat and has hit 177 runs so far this campaign, is looking forward to making a name for himself with Lancashire Seconds in an effort to pave a way into the senior side.’
    • ‘The incident appears to have done nothing to dent Labour's poll lead, and may even have been a plus in Labour's heartland areas where being handy with your fists is nothing to be ashamed of.’
    • ‘Clearly Ricky Swallow is very handy with a chisel.’
    • ‘And, a jig saw or coping saw is just about the only tool you'll need, so don't fret if you are not particularly handy with a hammer and saw.’
    • ‘He may have been handy with insults, but he was always the kindest, politest, and most generous of colleagues.’
    • ‘I was good at that bit, being handy with words and all.’
    • ‘Off-screen, Davis also turns out to be handy with weaponry.’
    • ‘The fact is, if you're handy with the shears you're probably in high demand and not just entertaining tourists at shows.’
    • ‘And if you're handy with phone wiring, it could be your big weekend.’
    • ‘The fast bowler, who is also handy with the bat, was the only youngster from the area to be picked for the county team following trials last month.’
    • ‘But Blind Fury - where he plays a blind Vietnam vet who is handy with a samurai sword - is dumb in a good way.’
    • ‘If you're handy with a chainsaw you can simply carve a seat with a back support straight out of a large tree trunk.’
    • ‘So if you are handy with a paint brush or a saw, and are willing to muck in for a few hours we would be keen to hear from you.’
    • ‘She's been handy with the needles and wool since the age of six when her mother first showed her how to use them.’
    • ‘So if you're not too handy with a hoe, they'll keep on springing up just when you least expect it.’
    • ‘Henry Arnold and Ira Eaker were handy with the pen.’
    • ‘If you are handy with a jig saw, cut out hearts and stars from thin wood, then paint and hang with raffia for a homespun look, or even easier make your ornaments from salt dough.’
    skilful, skilled, dexterous, deft, nimble-fingered, adroit, practical, able, adept, proficient, capable
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nounhandies

  • (in Europe) a mobile phone.

    ‘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.’

Phrases

    come in handy
    informal
    • Turn out to be useful.

      ‘the sort of junk that might come in handy one day’
      • ‘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.’
      • ‘Illustrated leaflets in colour, designed by NATPAC, are also coming in handy for the Traffic Police.’
      • ‘But more celebrations are lined up for Wednesday with a holiday coming in handy.’
      • ‘There are some great links here… lots of stuff I can see coming in handy when Alex gets a bit older.’
      • ‘This comes in handy when one is playing Trivial Pursuit or when trying to make a family member feel guilty for some past transgressions.’
      • ‘From 1981 to 1987 he was chief executive of Channel 4, which no doubt comes in handy when you need to call in a camera crew to help with your cause.’
      • ‘The browser can zero in on an individual association by using the alphabet or name search, a facility which comes in handy when one is not quite sure of the exact name.’
      • ‘Some of the typical Linux utilities come in very handy when developing a project.’

Pronunciation

handy

/ˈhandi/