verb (used without object)
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Origin of happen
synonym study for happen
Words nearby happen
What is a basic definition of happen?
Happen means to occur, to come to pass by chance, or to befall someone or something. Happen has several other senses as a verb.
Happen is a very general word that simply means to occur or take place. For example, the assassination of President Abraham Lincoln happened on April 15, 1865. That date is when this event took place.
- Real-life examples: Halloween happens on October 31. Scientists run experiments to see what happens. Nobody knows what will happen in the future. History is a record of what happened in the past.
- Used in a sentence: The police blocked off the street where the car accident happened.
Happen also means to occur due to chance or take place without any planning or intent.
- Used in a sentence: Joe happened to be standing in the exact spot where the water balloon landed.
Happen is also used to mean to be on the receiving end of an event or action, particularly as a result of good or bad luck. This sense is usually written as “to happen to.”
- Used in a sentence: Sherri was terrified that something horrible had happened to her kitten.
In this sense, an event is sometimes called a happening, especially if it is unusual or interesting. A slang usage of happening is used to describe an event as exciting.
- Used in a sentence: Summer is usually busy with happenings like beach parties. Summertime is happening!
Where does happen come from?
Did you know ... ?
What are some other forms related to happen?
- happening (noun, present tense verb)
What are some synonyms for happen?
What are some words that share a root or word element with happen?
What are some words that often get used in discussing happen?
How is happen used in real life?
Happen is an extremely common word that means to occur or take place.
I'd like to see a day when there was no news. None. Zilch. Zip. I'd turn on CNN and Brooke Baldwin would say, "Nothing happened today, so we're going to show a bunch of rock videos."
— Stephen King (@StephenKing) August 24, 2019
We walked by a house today that had a long pipe in the front yard labelled “candy chute” and the woman who lived there happened to be outside as we walked by and said “want to test it out?” and sent a little candy bar down it for my kid
— Anne Thériault (@anne_theriault) October 17, 2020
Seriously, what happened to Aerosmith in the 90's? Or what did the 90's do to them?
— Kris Williams (@KrisWilliams) October 10, 2010
Try using happen!
True or False?
If a boxing match happened in Chicago, it means that the fight took place in the city of Chicago.
Example sentences from the Web for happen
That along with what happens between Jokić and Anthony Davis.Bam Adebayo Is Making Plays, Denver Is Making Us Look Bad, And The Lakers May Need To Make Some Adjustments|Chris Herring (email@example.com)|September 17, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
The league is studying what’s happening in the bubble just as much as those outside of it are, and that includes looking at the replay system.Don’t Blame The Refs For All Of These Replay Reviews|Jared Dubin|September 17, 2020|FiveThirtyEight
If that happened, it would put even more political pressure on Democrats by making Republicans look like they’re the ones taking action.Why House Democrats have good reason to be anxious about no coronavirus relief deal|Amber Phillips|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
So we’re gonna see what happens, but we did shut it down, yes.Timeline: The 124 times Trump has downplayed the coronavirus threat|Aaron Blake, JM Rieger|September 17, 2020|Washington Post
Because most of the newly occurring deaths are happening in red states.Trump blames blue states for the coronavirus death toll — but most recent deaths have been in red states|Philip Bump|September 16, 2020|Washington Post
“Please, please do not permit this to happen here in Florida,” wrote Cris K. Smith of East Polk County.
They now know that bad things can, and do, happen to those they love.
The possibility that the same outcome could happen another way -- namely a guy asks me out -- keeps me from taking action.Random Hook-Ups or Dry Spells: Why Millennials Flunk College Dating|Ellie Schaack|January 1, 2015|DAILY BEAST
How does it happen that citizens of modest means suffer as public sector unions gain?
The unspoken question from his son and the thousands of other kids was, “Could it happen to you?”Choking Back Tears, Thousands of Cops Honor Fallen Officer Ramos|Michael Daly|December 28, 2014|DAILY BEAST
That it is a reasonable and proper thing to ask our statesmen and politicians: what is going to happen to the world?The Salvaging Of Civilisation|H. G. (Herbert George) Wells
Greater mischiefs happen often from folly, meanness, and vanity than from the greater sins of avarice and ambition.Pearls of Thought|Maturin M. Ballou
Such things happen to all flesh, from man even to beast, and upon sinners are sevenfold more.The Bible, Douay-Rheims Version|Various
At first startled, her second thought was that this would be the best possible thing which could happen.Ramona|Helen Hunt Jackson
Suddenly she stopped laughing, and said in a low voice, "You don't happen to have a beefsteak about you, do you?"Davy and The Goblin|Charles E. Carryl
British Dictionary definitions for happen
adverb, sentence substitute
- another word for perhaps
- (as sentence modifier)happen I'll see thee tomorrow