happening

1 of 2

noun

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

2 of 2

adjective

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

Example Sentences

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
Recent Examples on the Web
Noun
The host has enough happening, and arriving with anything that needs to be attended to right away is not ideal. Sophie Dweck, Town & Country, 22 Nov. 2022 Infamous among prosecutors, defense attorneys and court watchers, the 9th floor can always be expected to have something noir and noteworthy happening. James Queally, Los Angeles Times, 9 Nov. 2022 The documentary painted the grimmer reality happening. Alyssa Bailey, ELLE, 4 Nov. 2022 The developments, however, were overshadowed by something else unusual happening at the company. Seth Fiegerman, CNN, 29 Oct. 2022 There were also unfortunate sound issues during multiple sets, with the worst happening during Dashboard Confessional's performance. Sydney Bucksbaum, EW.com, 25 Oct. 2022 With gentrification happening, Chinatown has been encroached upon. Kara Baskin, BostonGlobe.com, 17 May 2022 With this much happening at once, all the onscreen datelines in the world aren’t enough to avert the sense of being unmoored from time. Joshua Alston, Variety, 22 Apr. 2022 With less activity happening, companies need fewer workers. Karl Russell, New York Times, 16 Mar. 2022
Adjective
While the overarching trend for fall is still lowest maintenance possible, there's a bit more happening than your typical sunny blondes and balayage brunettes. Bella Cacciatore, Glamour, 2 Sep. 2020 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, 5 Apr. 2018 Waco was already a happening place before the Gaines began remodeling homes. Craig Hlavaty, Houston Chronicle, 16 Feb. 2018 In any case, these days, the most happening stuff is often happening between the floats. NOLA.com, 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, 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, 27 Oct. 2016 See More

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.

Word History

First Known Use

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

1965, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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

Dictionary Entries Near happening

Cite this Entry

“Happening.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/happening. Accessed 28 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

happening

noun

hap·​pen·​ing
1
: something that happens : occurrence
2
: an event that is especially interesting, entertaining, or important

More from Merriam-Webster on happening

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