"You canker blossom!" 3 Shakespearean Insults


[bih-fawl] /bɪˈfɔl/
verb (used without object), befell, befallen, befalling.
to happen or occur.
Archaic. to come, as by right.
verb (used with object), befell, befallen, befalling.
to happen to, especially by chance or fate.
Origin of befall
before 900; Middle English befallen, Old English befeallan. See be-, fall (v.)
1. bechance, ensue, betide, materialize, chance. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for befall
  • We created all of the ills that befall us as the law of karma returns to us our misqualified energy for balancing.
  • They had to have tribute paid to them so misfortune did not befall you.
  • Whatever may befall thee, it was preordained for thee from everlasting.
  • They said that, when the pictures reached his country, they would die or some other evil would befall them.
  • And should a great injustice befall you, then do quickly five small ones.
  • He added that a similar fate might befall the defense attorneys as well.
  • But don't underestimate the career fatalities that can befall the politically unaware.
  • But, unfortunately, harm is about to befall the housing market.
  • There shall be no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.
British Dictionary definitions for befall


verb (archaic or literary) -falls, -falling, -fell, -fallen
(intransitive) to take place; come to pass
(transitive) to happen to
(intransitive) usually foll by to. to be due, as by right
Word Origin
Old English befeallan; related to Old High German bifallan, Dutch bevallen; see be-, fall
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for befall

Old English befeallan "to deprive of; fall to, be assigned to; befall," from be- "by, about" + feallan (see fall). Cf. Old Frisian bifalla, Old Saxon, Old High German bifallan, German befallen. Related: Befell; befalling.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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