intransitive verb (happened; happening) Etymology: Middle English, from hap Date: 14th century 1. to occur by chance — often used with it <
it so happens I'm going your way
2. to come into being or occur as an event, process, or result <
mistakes will happen
3. to do, encounter, or attain something by or as if by chance <
I happen to know the answer
4. a. to meet or discover something by chance <
happened upon a system that worked — Richard Corbin
b. to come or go casually ; make a chance appearance <
he might happen by at any time
5. to come especially by way of injury or harm <
I promise nothing will happen to you

New Collegiate Dictionary. 2001.


Look at other dictionaries:

  • Happen — Happen …   Deutsch Wörterbuch

  • happen — vb Happen, chance, occur, befall, betide, transpire are comparable when they mean to come to pass or to come about. Happen is the ordinary and general term and may imply either obvious causation or seeming accident, either design or an absence of …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • happen — UK US /ˈhæpən/ verb [I] ► to exist or begin to exist because of an action, situation, or event: » The one course of events no one anticipated was the one that happened: a long period of stagnation that threatened the assumptions of the European… …   Financial and business terms

  • happen — [hap′ən] vi. [ME happenen: see HAP1 & EN] 1. to take place; occur; befall 2. to be or occur by chance or without plan [it happened to rain] 3. to have the luck or occasion; chance [I happened to see it] …   English World dictionary

  • Happen — Hap pen (h[a^]p p n), v. i. [imp. & p. p. {Happened} ( p nd); p. pr. & vb. n. {Happening}.] [OE. happenen, hapnen. See {Hap} to happen.] 1. To come by chance; to come without previous expectation; to fall out. [1913 Webster] There shall no evil… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • happen — ► VERB 1) take place; occur. 2) come about by chance. 3) (happen on) come across by chance. 4) chance to do something or come about. 5) (happen to) be experienced by. 6) ( …   English terms dictionary

  • Happen — Sm std. (18. Jh.) Stammwort. Aus dem Niederdeutschen; ursprünglich eine Lautgebärde wie auch die Interjektion happ(s), also das Erschnappte . Etwas früher bezeugt ist nndl. happen schnappen ; es könnte aber viel älter sein und die Grundlage von… …   Etymologisches Wörterbuch der deutschen sprache

  • happen — index arise (occur), supervene Burton s Legal Thesaurus. William C. Burton. 2006 …   Law dictionary

  • happen — (v.) c.1300, to come to pass, occur, originally occur by hap, to have the (good or bad) fortune (to do, be, etc.); see HAP (Cf. hap) (n.). Replaced O.E. gelimpan, gesceon, and M.E. BEFALL (Cf. befall). In Middle English fel it hap meant it… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Happen — »Bissen«: Das erst seit dem 18. Jh. bezeugte, ursprünglich niederd. Wort stammt wahrscheinlich aus der Lallsprache der Kinder. Beachte das Lallwort »Papp« »Brei« und die Zusammensetzung berlin. »Happenpappen«. Abl.: happig »gierig ‹zubeißend›«,… …   Das Herkunftswörterbuch

  • happen — [v] come to pass; occur appear, arise, arrive, become a fact, become known, become of, befall, be found, betide, bump, chance, come about, come after, come into being, come into existence, come off, crop up*, develop, down, ensue, eventuate, fall …   New thesaurus

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