Word of the Day


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Liz Potter
Written by Liz Potter


feeling pleased and satisfied
used about enjoyable times, events, experiences etc that make people feel happy

View the full definition in the Macmillan Dictionary.

Origin and usage

The adjective happy was formed within English by combining the noun ‘hap’, meaning chance or fortune, with the suffix -y. It was first used in the late 14th century.


In addition to being the spring or vernal equinox, today is the International Day of Happiness, an annual event held since 2013. In this year’s unprecedented circumstances, the Day has been adapted to suggest ways in which people around the globe can help to combat the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic. The organization’s website makes ten suggestions for ways to do this, including no. 4 ‘stay social online and do what makes you happy‘. Anyone who spends time online will have seen that people and organizations are trying to bring cheer in many different ways, from offering free performances of music, comedy and drama to sharing skills and knowledge through videos, classes and so on. Our Thesaurus entry for happy lists more than 80 words and phrases that mean ‘feeling happy‘ as well as links to related topics.


“One is never as unhappy as one thinks, or as happy as one hopes to be.”
(La Rochefoucauld, French essayist)

Related words

content, cheerful, cheery, buoyant

Browse related words in the Macmillan Thesaurus.

About the author

Liz Potter

Liz Potter

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