- to happen or occur.
- Archaic. to come, as by right.
- to happen to, especially by chance or fate.
Origin of befall
SynonymsSee more synonyms for befall on Thesaurus.com
1. bechance, ensue, betide, materialize, chance.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018
Examples from the Web for befall
There are too many accidents that can befall life on a single planet.The Other Side of Stephen Hawking: Strippers, Aliens, and Disturbing Abuse Claims
November 6, 2014
Information about the neurologic and psychological changes that may befall young TBI victims is scarce.Study Says Half of Jailed NYC Teens Have History of Brain Injury
Dr. Anand Veeravagu, MD, Tej Azad
April 22, 2014
Her daily missives chronicle the longing and insecurity that often befall long-distance relationships and eventual breakups.Book Bag: The Best Letter Collections
R. Blakeslee Gilpin
December 18, 2012
FERC also needs to have sufficient power to deal with a national emergency that might befall the entire bulk electricity system.Don't Let a Good Thing Pass Us By
November 12, 2012
The most frivolous disaster which could befall himself would occasion a more real disturbance.Who Cares About Drone Strikes?
September 28, 2012
Then he went down—stairs, prepared for whatever should befall him that day.
No; I felt this was not the case; but I felt that something worse than this was about to befall me.
Without a hand to guide and guard her, what evils might not befall?The Christian
Roma, if I allowed these misfortunes to befall you it was only to let you feel what others could do for you.The Eternal City
Can it be that you are indeed curious to know what will befall when he returns?The Shame of Motley
- (intr) to take place; come to pass
- (tr) to happen to
- (intr usually foll by to) to be due, as by right
Old English befeallan; related to Old High German bifallan, Dutch bevallen; see be-, fall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
Word Origin and History for befall
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper