[ hap-uhn ]
/ ˈhæp ən /
verb (used without object)
to take place; come to pass; occur: Something interesting is always happening in New York.
to come to pass by chance; occur without apparent reason or design: Don't ask me what caused it—it just happened, that's all.
to have the fortune or lot (to do or be as specified); chance: I happened to see him on the street.
to befall, as to a person or thing: Something dreadful has happened to me.
to meet or discover by chance (usually followed by on or upon): to happen on a clue to a mystery.
to be, come, go, etc., casually or by chance: My friend happened along.
Slang. to be very exciting or interesting: That party was happening!
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Origin of happen
SYNONYMS FOR happen
1 betide. Happen, chance, occur refer to the taking place of an event. Happen, which originally denoted the taking place by hap or chance, is now the most general word for coming to pass: Something has happened. Chance suggests the accidental nature of an event: It chanced to rain that day. Occur is often interchangeable with happen, but is more formal, and is usually more specific as to time and event: His death occurred the following year.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019
British Dictionary definitions for happen on (1 of 2)
(intr, preposition) to find by chanceI happened upon a five-pound note lying in the street
British Dictionary definitions for happen on (2 of 2)
/ (ˈhæpən) /
(intr) (of an event in time) to come about or take place; occur
(intr foll by to) (of some unforeseen circumstance or event, esp death), to fall to the lot (of); be a source of good or bad fortune (to)if anything happens to me, it'll be your fault
(tr) to chance (to be or do something)I happen to know him
(tr; takes a clause as object) to be the case, esp if by chance, thatit happens that I know him
adverb, sentence substitute
Northern English dialect
- another word for perhaps
- (as sentence modifier)happen I'll see thee tomorrow
Word Origin for happen
C14: see hap 1, -en 1
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