befall

verb be·fall \ bi-ˈfȯl , bē- \
Updated on: 4 Dec 2017

Definition of befall

befell play \-ˈfel\; befallen play \-ˈfȯ-lən\
intransitive verb
: to happen especially as if by fate
transitive verb
: 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.

Recent Examples of befall from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'befall.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Origin and Etymology of befall

Middle English befallen, going back to Old English befeallan (parallel to Old High German bifallan "to fall"), from be- be- + feallan "to 1fall"


BEFALL Defined for English Language Learners

befall

verb

Definition of befall for English Language Learners

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


BEFALL Defined for Kids

befall

verb be·fall \ bi-ˈfȯl \

Definition of befall for Students

befell \-ˈfel\; befallen \-ˈfȯ-lən\; befalling
: to happen to
  • … they would not have known about the good fortune which befell us …
  • —Scott O'Dell, Island of the Blue Dolphins


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of very fine texture or delicate form

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