“Be happy for this moment. This moment is your life.”
Omar Khayyam, a Persian mathematician, astronomer and poet
The adjective happy is one of the most frequently used in English and it certainly has a lot of synonyms. Here are some of them ⬇️.
Synonyms for “happy”
- Cheerful: How can she be so cheerful at six o’clock in the morning?
- Contented [kən’tentɪd]: I felt warm, cozy and contented.
- Delighted [dɪla͟ɪtɪd]: We were delighted to see her.
- Ecstatic [ɪk’stætɪk ]: I’m ecstatic about it!
- Elated [ɪ’leɪtɪd]: He was elated at the news of her arrival.
- Glad: I am glad that you have found a job.
- Joyful: We are so joyful about this event!
- Joyous: She made their childhood so joyous and carefree.
- Jubilant [‘ʤuːbɪlənt]: They were jubilant over their victory.
- Pleased: She was pleased that the proposal had been accepted.
- Thrilled [θrɪ̱ld]: I was so thrilled to get a good report from him.
- Upbeat [‘ʌpbiːt]: He was upbeat about the company’s future.
Remember that the words above are not absolute synonyms – they all have a similar meaning but there are differences as well. For example, cheerful can describe not only a happy and optimistic person but also a place/thing that’s bright and pleasant, making you feel happy (e.g. Your room looks so cheerful with this new wallpaper.) The word contented cannot be used that way.
Note that all the adjectives above can be used to describe people but not all of the, can describe things or situations.
Not only adjectives are numerous when it comes to the topic of emotions in general and happiness in particular. There are lots of idioms to describe how happy one can be. Here is our list of 25 common “happy” idioms ⬇️.
Related: “Idioms for Basic Emotions: Happiness, Sadness & Fear”
- To be on cloud 9: She is on cloud nine because her boyfriend has proposed to her.
- To be on top of the world: She was on top of the world about the forthcoming event.
- To be over the moon (about/with something) (British English): My mother will be over the moon about the gift.
- To be like a dog with 2 tails: Is he pleased? – Like a dog with two tails.
- Happy camper (humorous): She’s just found out about the pay cut and she’s not a happy camper.
- To be full of the joys of spring (British English; humorous): I am full of the joys of spring because my daughter has passed a very important exam.
- To jump for joy: So how did Tom take the news? – He jumped for joy.
- To have a whale of a time: Let’s have a whale of a time and forget about all the problems.
- To be buzzing: Why are you buzzing? – I am in love.
- To be as happy as Larry/sandboy (British English): I am as happy as Larry because my sister is coming to see me.
- To grin/smile from ear to ear: When you are grinning from ear to ear like this, I know you are thinking about your boyfriend.
- To be walking/floating on air: I’ve been walking on air since the day you said you love me.
- To be tickled pink: “I’m tickled pink,” said Jimmy after his wife gave birth.
- To be as happy as a clam: I am as happy as a clam because I have passed my CAE.
- To be in seventh heaven: He is in seventh heaven because he has become a father recently.
- To grin/be like a Cheshire cat: Don’t grin like a Cheshire cat (= don’t smile so widely)! You’d better tell me what’s happened.
- To be as happy as a flea in a doghouse: Is he excited? – Like a flea in a doghouse.
- To be happy-go-lucky: She is an example of a happy-go-lucky person. She doesn’t plan much and it’s not so easy to make her worried.
- Life is just a bowl of cherries (This phrase is often used humorously to mean the opposite – life is not such a pleasant thing): Life has been just a bowl of cherries since the day we met.
- To be as pleased as Punch (old-fashioned): He’s been as pleased as Punch for some reason.
- To be in raptures over something (British English): I am in raptures because my holiday is coming.
- To have stars in one’s eyes: After their first kiss they walked around with stars in their eyes for days.
- To be thrilled to bits (British English): He was thrilled to bits with his new car.
- To have the time of one’s life: He looked like he was having the time of his life.
- To weep for joy: When she heard that she had been accepted, she started weeping for joy (= started crying out of happiness).
Again, the main thing all the idioms above have in common is their relation to happiness and optimism. But it doesn’t mean that they are all used in the same way. For example, to have the time of one’s life is close in meaning to to have a good time, and to have stars in one’s eyes is either to be idealistically hopeful about one’s future or enhanced with romance. As you can see, there are certain shades of meaning we need to bear in mind. A good dictionary will help you a lot. Good luck! 😉