Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.


The tune was familiar to her in happier days, and she listened to it with tears.

I sometimes fancy that the old woman is the happier of the two.

And when the news came that he was getting better, his father did not seem the least happier!

Christine saw his approval, and was happier than she had been for weeks.

Since then—curious as it will no doubt sound—I have been happier.

Possibly he could have been happier in a careless way if he had never suffered.

Yet I was now happier and better satisfied with myself than I had ever been before.

I assured her that I now expected to be happier than I had ever been.

I do not know that I have ever passed a happier summer than the present has been.

It was difficult to say which was happier, the charming guest or its kind hosts.


late 14c., "lucky, favored by fortune, prosperous;" of events, "turning out well," from hap (n.) "chance, fortune" + -y (2). Sense of "very glad" first recorded late 14c. Ousted Old English eadig (from ead "wealth, riches") and gesælig, which has become silly. Meaning "greatly pleased and content" is from 1520s. Old English bliðe "happy" survives as blithe. From Greek to Irish, a great majority of the European words for "happy" at first meant "lucky." An exception is Welsh, where the word used first meant "wise."

Used in World War II and after as a suffix (e.g. bomb-happy, flak-happy) expressing "dazed or frazzled from stress." Happy medium is from 1778. Happy ending in the literary sense recorded from 1756. Happy as a clam (1630s) was originally happy as a clam in the mud at high tide, when it can't be dug up and eaten. Happy hunting ground, the reputed Indian paradise, is attested from 1840, American English. Related: Happier; happiest.



adjectivebeing in a more advantageous position
Roget's 21st Century Thesaurus, Third Edition Copyright © 2013 by the Philip Lief Group.