Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

befall

play
verb be·fall \bi-ˈfȯl, bē-\

Simple Definition of befall

  • of something bad or unpleasant : to happen to (someone or something)

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of befall

befell

play \-ˈfel\

befallen

play \-ˈfȯ-lən\
  1. intransitive verb
  2. :  to happen especially as if by fate

  3. transitive verb
  4. :  to happen to <the fate that befell them>

Examples of befall in a sentence

  1. It's sad to think of the unhappy fate that befell him.

  2. The drought was only one of many hardships to befall the small country.



13th Century

First Known Use of befall

13th century

Rhymes with befall

ALGOL, and all, Antall, appall, Argall, argol, air ball, ashfall, at all, atoll, AWOL, baseball, beach ball, beanball, Bengal, best-ball, birdcall, blackball, Bokmål, bookstall, box stall, bradawl, brick wall, broomball, catcall, catchall, cell wall, COBOL, cold call, cornball, Cornwall, crown gall, cue ball, cure-all, curveball, deadfall, de Gaulle, dodgeball, downfall, downhaul, drywall, duck call, eight ball, enthrall, eyeball, fair ball, fastball, fireball, fire wall, foosball, football, footfall, footwall, forestall, forkball, foul ball, four-ball, fourth wall, free-fall, gadwall, game ball, glycol, golf ball, Goodall, goofball, googol, guildhall, hair ball, handball, hardball, headstall, heelball, highball, holdall, house call, icefall, infall, install, John Paul, jump ball, keelhaul, know-all, landfall, Landsmål, line-haul, line squall, lowball, Maillol, meatball, menthol, mess hall, miscall, mothball, Naipaul, naphthol, Nepal, nightfall, nutgall, oddball, outfall, outhaul, paintball, pinball, pitfall, plimsoll, pratfall, prayer shawl, pub crawl, puffball, punchball, pushball, rainfall, rainsquall, recall, rial, Riksmål, rockfall, roll call, rorqual, Saint Paul, save-all, screwball, seawall, short-haul, shortfall, sick call, sidewall, sleazeball, slimeball, snowball, snowfall, softball, sour ball, speedball, spitball, stickball, stonewall, stone wall, stoopball, strip mall, T-ball, tea ball, tell-all, three-ball, toll call, town hall, trackball, Tyrol, Udall, Walsall, what all, whip stall, Whitehall, whitewall, windfall, windgall, withal, you-all


BEFALL Defined for Kids

befall

play
verb be·fall \bi-ˈfȯl\

Definition of befall for Students

befell

\-ˈfel\

befallen

\-ˈfȯ-lən\

befalling

  1. :  to happen to <… they would not have known about the good fortune which befell us … — Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins>





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up befall? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

a jerking and twitching of the body

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

two-chairs-on-a-pier-by-the-ocean-in-summer

Which of the following words means “of or relating to summer”?

estival hiemal brumal vernal
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ