Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • adj. Skillful in using one's hands; manually adroit. See Synonyms at dexterous.
  • adj. Readily accessible: found a handy spot for the hammer.
  • adj. Useful; convenient: a handy tool.
  • adj. Easy to use or handle: a handy reference book.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • adj. Easy to use, useful.
  • adj. Nearby, within reach.
  • adj. dexterous, skilful

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • adj. Performed by the hand.
  • adj. Skillful in using the hand; dexterous; ready; adroit.
  • adj. Ready to the hand; near; also, suited to the use of the hand; convenient; valuable for reference or use
  • adj. Easily managed; obedient to the helm; -- said of a vessel.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • Performed by the hand; manual.
  • Skilful in using the hands; performing with skill or readiness; dexterous; adroit.
  • Marked by readiness or dexterity; deft; facile.
  • Suited to the use of the hand; ready to the hand; convenient; timely: as, my books are very handy; this is a handy tool.
  • [Handy in composition, in some words formed in imitation of handywork, handiwork, is a variant of hand. See following entries.] Synonyms Expert, clever.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • adj. skillful with the hands
  • n. United States blues musician who transcribed and published traditional blues music (1873-1958)
  • adj. easy to use
  • adj. easy to reach

Etymologies

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"). (Wiktionary)

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  • German for cellphone.

    January 9, 2008