befall

play
verb be·fall \bi-ˈfȯl, bē-\

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.

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


First Known Use: 13th century


BEFALL Defined for English Language Learners

befall

play
verb be·fall \bi-ˈfȯl, bē-\

Definition of befall for English Language Learners

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


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



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