hap·​pen·​stance | \ ˈha-pən-ˌstan(t)s How to pronounce happenstance (audio) , ˈha-pᵊm- \

Definition of happenstance

: a circumstance especially that is due to chance They came together by mere happenstance.

Other Words from happenstance

happenstance adjective

Examples of happenstance in a Sentence

Our meeting was pure happenstance. We met each other by happenstance. It was an agreeable happenstance that we met.
Recent Examples on the Web But however spooky, these repeat natural events are nothing more than happenstance, U.S. Geological Survey seismologist Paul Earle told AP. Brigid Kennedy, The Week, 19 Sep. 2022 Instead, a happenstance conversation at a mid-1980s book show guided her foray into dealing. Domenica Bongiovanni, The Indianapolis Star, 30 Aug. 2022 One of those happenstance mentorships was with Ella Dershowitz. Matt Hartman, The New Republic, 5 Aug. 2022 And while many celebrities are also hoping to make $1 Billion with their own tequila brands, Teller entered the spirits business in a much more happenstance way. Adam Morganstern, Forbes, 21 June 2022 In the Globe interview, Smith notes that the ubiquity of cellphone cameras is a major difference between King’s beating, which was captured purely by happenstance, and Floyd’s May 25, 2020, murder by Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin. Don Aucoin, BostonGlobe.com, 25 Aug. 2022 In a growing population, there’s bound to be some genetic overlap just by happenstance. Sarah Kuta, Smithsonian Magazine, 24 Aug. 2022 An influx to New York of foreign talents which had started by happenstance in wartime swelled to an invasion. Peter Schjeldahl, The New Yorker, 1 Aug. 2022 That was the right decision under the circumstances, but each happenstance will vary with the conditions and the individual. John Schandelmeier, Anchorage Daily News, 31 July 2022 See More

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

First Known Use of happenstance

1857, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for happenstance

happen + circumstance

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Time Traveler for happenstance

Time Traveler

The first known use of happenstance was in 1857

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Dictionary Entries Near happenstance



happen to

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Statistics for happenstance

Last Updated

27 Sep 2022

Cite this Entry

“Happenstance.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happenstance. Accessed 4 Oct. 2022.

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Nglish: Translation of happenstance for Spanish Speakers


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