[ bih-fawl ]
See synonyms for: befallbefallenbefell on

verb (used without object),be·fell, be·fall·en, be·fall·ing.
  1. to happen or occur.

  2. Archaic. to come, as by right.

verb (used with object),be·fell, be·fall·en, be·fall·ing.
  1. to happen to, especially by chance or fate.

Origin of befall

before 900; Middle English befallen,Old English befeallan.See be-, fall (v.)

Other words for befall Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use befall in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for befall


/ (bɪˈfɔːl) /

verb-falls, -falling, -fell or -fallen archaic, or literary
  1. (intr) to take place; come to pass

  2. (tr) to happen to

  1. (intr usually foll by to) to be due, as by right

Origin of befall

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