- An example of handy is standing on a chair to reach something high up, because it's close by; a handy chair.
- An example of handy is a person who's able to fix anything; a handy man.
- close at hand; easily reached; conveniently located; accessible
- easily used; saving time or work; convenient: a handy device
- easily managed or handled: said of a ship, etc.
- clever with the hands; deft; adroit
- capable of making simple repairs to a house, an automobile, electrical appliances, etc.
Origin of handyhand + -y
- Easily or effectively used; convenient or useful: a handy tool; a handy reference book.
- Easy to manage or handle. Used of a ship.
- Readily accessible or convenient in location: kept his cell phone handy; found a handy spot for the hammer.
- Skillful in using one's hands; manually adroit. See Synonyms at dexterous.
(comparative handier, superlative handiest)
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 (handugs, “wise, clever”).