- 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 befell
The pair of films that would follow—Se7en and The Game—avoided many of the pitfalls that befell Aliens3.David Fincher’s Backseat Feminism
October 9, 2014
You could barely be seen, like the fate that befell Brooks Wheelan back in September.How Did Sasheer Zamata Do in Her Saturday Night Live Debut?
January 19, 2014
He was the scapegoat for every economic failure that befell the Palestinian people.Why Palestinians Welcomed Fayyad’s Resignation
April 16, 2013
She says she regularly thinks of the tragic fate that befell many of those who have come before her.‘R&B Divas’: The TV Show That Resurrects a Genre
August 19, 2012
The whole episode sounds eerily similar to that which befell his Bully co-star, the late Brad Renfro.The John Connor Curse: Nick Stahl, Edward Furlong and Christian Bale
May 18, 2012
I cannot stop to tell you hardly any of the adventures that befell Theseus on the road to Athens.Tanglewood Tales
And one night it befell that he was rewarded, for the raiders attempted an entrance.The Gentleman From Indiana
And now we will see what befell Robin Hood in his venture as beggar.
And now let us see what befell Little John while these things were happening.
I am in no way accountable for his actions or for anything that ever befell him.The Mystery of Murray Davenport
Robert Neilson Stephens
- (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 befell
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper