Definition of happen
happeningplay \ˈhap-niŋ, ˈha-pə-\
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
4a : to meet or discover something by chance happened upon a system that worked — Richard Corbinb : 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
Examples of happen in a Sentence
Something like that was bound to happen sooner or later.
You never know what's going to happen when they get together.
What happened at school today?
“What's happening?” “They're installing new equipment.”
Recent Examples of happen from the Web
In Germany, saying the Holocaust never happened is an extremist position (actually punishable by law there).
But something happened on Altuve’s rocket off the wall that allowed the Mariners to get out of the inning without allowing a run.
CNN reports that Power's appearance before the committee could happen before the August recess, although a date has not been finalized.
That was pretty much the most profound thing that ever happened in my life.
This is what happened to Abdusalam Hussein of DeKalb County, Georgia.
With the exception of Clint Eastwood and Christopher Nolan, the studio is looking to stop handing over big budgets to major directors—which means a movie like Mad Max: Fury Road, a Warners production that won six Oscars in 2016, would never happen.
The crash happened on Lowndes County 62, approximately 10 miles east of Fort Deposit.
One reason business groups have become so engaged on this issue is because of what happened in North Carolina.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'happen.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Origin and Etymology of happen
Middle English, from hap
First Known Use: 14th centurySee Words from the same year
HAPPEN Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of happen for English Language Learners
: to take place especially without being planned
: to do or be something by chance
—used with it to describe something that occurs by chance
HAPPEN Defined for Kids
Definition of happen for Students
1 : to take place Stop crying and tell me what happened.
2 : to occur or come about by chance It just so happens I know them.
3 : to do or be by chance I happened to overhear this.
4 : to come especially by way of injury or harm Nothing will happen to you.
Seen and Heard
What made you want to look up happen? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).