verb hap·pen \ˈha-pən, -pəm\

: to take place especially without being planned

: to do or be something by chance

—used with it to describe something that occurs by chance

hap·penedhap·pen·ing \ˈhap-niŋ, ˈha-pə-\

Full Definition of HAPPEN

intransitive verb
:  to occur by chance —often used with it <it so happens I'm going your way>
:  to come into being or occur as an event, process, or result <mistakes will happen>
:  to do, encounter, or attain something by or as if by chance <I happen to know the answer>
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>
:  to come especially by way of injury or harm <I promise nothing will happen to you>

Examples of HAPPEN

  1. Something like that was bound to happen sooner or later.
  2. You never know what's going to happen when they get together.
  3. What happened at school today?
  4. What's happening? They're installing new equipment.

Origin of HAPPEN

Middle English, from hap
First Known Use: 14th century

Rhymes with HAPPEN

HAPPENED Defined for Kids


verb hap·pen \ˈha-pən\

Definition of HAPPEN for Kids

:  to take place <Stop crying and tell me what happened.>
:  to occur or come about by chance <It just so happens I know them.>
:  to do or be by chance <I happened to overhear this.>
:  to come especially by way of injury or harm <Nothing will happen to you.>


Next Word in the Dictionary: happenchancePrevious Word in the Dictionary: hap'orthAll Words Near: happen
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