- 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!
Origin of happen
SynonymsSee more synonyms for happen on Thesaurus.com
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. 2018
Examples from the Web for happened
“I think the types of stories we do are very similar to what happened with hip-hop,” says Jones.‘Black Dynamite’ Presents Police Brutality: The Musical
January 9, 2015
What happened to true love knows no boundaries and all that?Freaking Out About Age Gaps in Gay Relationships Is Homophobic
January 9, 2015
As soon as this attack [happened], Paris citizens came together to show were are not afraid, we are Charlie Hebdo.France Kills Charlie Hebdo Murderers
January 9, 2015
I had enough experiences around languages that it just sort of happened.Coffee Talk with Fred Armisen: On ‘Portlandia,’ Meeting Obama, and Taylor Swift’s Greatness
January 7, 2015
As it happened, the coup members found the State House “fortified with additional soldiers.”The Shadowy U.S. Veteran Who Tried to Overthrow a Country
January 6, 2015
When the soul was again led into the body, it related all that had happened to it.Philothea
Lydia Maria Child
I am sure the injury you speak of could not have happened when he was in charge.
I can't conceive how such damage could have happened to the boat.
But the damage would not have happened if Will had not lent the boat to me.
No, I couldn't help it, but still it wouldn't have happened if it had not been in my charge.
- (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
- Northern English dialect
- another word for perhaps
- (as sentence modifier)happen I'll see thee tomorrow
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
Word Origin and History for happened
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper