happening

noun
hap·​pen·​ing | \ ˈhap-niŋ How to pronounce happening (audio) , ˈha-pə-\

Definition of happening

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something that happens : occurrence
2 : an event or series of events designed to evoke a spontaneous reaction to sensory, emotional, or spiritual stimuli
3 : something (such as an event) that is particularly interesting, entertaining, or important

happening

adjective

Definition of happening (Entry 2 of 2)

1 : very fashionable : in a happening hairstyle
2 : offering much stimulating activity a happening dance club

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Synonyms & Antonyms for happening

Synonyms: Noun

adventure, emprise, experience, exploit, gest (or geste), time

Synonyms: Adjective

à la mode (also a la mode), au courant, chic, cool [slang], exclusive, fashionable, fresh [slang], hip, in, modish, sharp, smart, snappy, stylish, supercool, swell, swish, trendy, voguish

Antonyms: Adjective

dowdy, out, outmoded, styleless, unchic, uncool, unfashionable, unmodish, unstylish

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Examples of happening in a Sentence

Noun

the President's visit to the school was a real happening for teachers and students alike gave a detailed account of all the happenings of the weekend

Adjective

This is quite a happening town on the weekends. those are some happening duds, man
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

Location provided by the Millennium Biltmore hotel, follow all the happenings at this landmark here! Seventeen, "These Teens Attended the 2019 Grammys Like IRL Celebrities and It's Total GOALS," 12 Feb. 2019 The content team covers all the happenings on the Goop website. Elisa Lipsky-karasz, WSJ, "Gwyneth Paltrow Wants to Convert You," 4 Dec. 2018 Filming for Netflix’s A Series of Unfortunate Events precluded Warburton from paying close attention to recent happenings around the league. Alex Prewitt, SI.com, "Q&A: Patrick Warburton on Being 'Seinfeld's' David Puddy and Surprise Devils Game 4 Appearance," 23 Apr. 2018 There’s still very little actual commerce happening. Eric Johnson, Recode, "Former Ticketmaster CEO Nathan Hubbard explains why live venues are leaving money on the table," 11 Oct. 2018 While the First Lady was spending time in Ghana, there was also a large economic conference happening (hence all the big fancy jets). Georgia Dean, Condé Nast Traveler, "Co-Piloting a 54-Day Flight With My Dad: Dispatch #5," 17 Oct. 2018 The film could have focused on whether or not Faraday’s experiences of the paranormal happenings in the house were all in his head; this is the thrust of Waters’s narrative, and the path most conventional ghost story films would have taken. Aja Romano, Vox, "How The Little Stranger uses its ghost story to mask a study in toxic masculinity," 6 Sep. 2018 We’re at the precipice of something really big happening, for us and for future generations. Lindsay Schallon, Glamour, "Charlize Theron on the Power of Being a Woman," 28 Nov. 2018 Austin, Texas, is a happening place and not just when South by Southwest is on. Vogue, "Her New Tribe Wants to Make a Statement With Its Handmade-in-Texas Earrings," 11 Sep. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

What was once a sleepy college town next to a railroad stop is now one of the most happening cities in the state of Texas. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "See the evolution of College Station and Texas A&M in vintage photos," 5 Apr. 2018 Waco was already a happening place before the Gaines began remodeling homes. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, "The Texas city on TripAdvisor’s ‘Destinations on the Rise’ list probably isn’t what you think," 16 Feb. 2018 In any case, these days, the most happening stuff is often happening between the floats. NOLA.com, "37 nutty Mardi Gras dance and marching groups ... and counting," 1 Feb. 2018 Don’t forget to stop by the Mallmart parking lot after a Friday night football game for the most happening tailgate parties. Jessica Macleish, Teen Vogue, "Every Brand “Riverdale” Mentions," 23 Jan. 2018 Again in 1921, that very happening year, the poet Manuel Maples Arce plastered Mexico City with broadsheets announcing the birth of a cultural movement. Holland Cotter, New York Times, "“Paint the Revolution: Mexican Modernism, 1910-1950”," 27 Oct. 2016

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

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First Known Use of happening

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Last Updated

21 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for happening

The first known use of happening was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for happening

happening

noun

English Language Learners Definition of happening

 (Entry 1 of 2)

: an event or occurrence

happening

adjective

English Language Learners Definition of happening (Entry 2 of 2)

informal : fashionable or popular

happening

noun
hap·​pen·​ing | \ ˈha-pə-niŋ, ˈhap-niŋ\

Kids Definition of happening

: something that occurs It was a week of strange happenings.

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of or relating to a parable or parabola

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