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happen

[hap-uh n] /ˈhæp ən/
verb (used without object)
1.
to take place; come to pass; occur:
Something interesting is always happening in New York.
2.
to come to pass by chance; occur without apparent reason or design:
Don't ask me what caused it—it just happened, that's all.
3.
to have the fortune or lot (to do or be as specified); chance:
I happened to see him on the street.
4.
to befall, as to a person or thing:
Something dreadful has happened to me.
5.
to meet or discover by chance (usually followed by on or upon):
to happen on a clue to a mystery.
6.
to be, come, go, etc., casually or by chance:
My friend happened along.
7.
Slang. to be very exciting or interesting:
That party was happening!
Origin
1300-1350
1300-50; Middle English hap(pe)nen. See hap1, -en1
Synonyms
1. betide. Happen, chance, occur refer to the taking place of an event. Happen, which originally denoted the taking place by hap or chance, is now the most general word for coming to pass: Something has happened. Chance suggests the accidental nature of an event: It chanced to rain that day. Occur is often interchangeable with happen, but is more formal, and is usually more specific as to time and event: His death occurred the following year.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for happened
  • Something remarkable has happened over the last few years.
  • We happened to have plastic cups standing by, and they slipped under the spout of the press awfully easily.
  • In a short while, we'll all know everything that happened and a lot of what he thought while he was on the run.
  • We may be able to get a glimpse of what happened before the big bang, thanks to a new study-but only a glimpse.
  • So what happened in the beginning of the universe caused what happened next and so on, right up to the present.
  • They want to find artifacts that tell stories about what happened on that land a long time ago, and they're striking pay dirt.
  • It also happened that each of those windows had a broken pane.
  • The big news is what happened to the opposition parties.
  • It took five months for regulators to explain what happened that day.
  • But researchers have been unsure whether this sea-level rise happened quickly or gradually.
British Dictionary definitions for happened

happen

/ˈhæpən/
verb
1.
(intransitive) (of an event in time) to come about or take place; occur
2.
(intransitive) foll by to. (of some unforeseen circumstance or event, esp death), to fall to the lot (of); be a source of good or bad fortune (to): if anything happens to me, it'll be your fault
3.
(transitive) to chance (to be or do something): I happen to know him
4.
(transitive; takes a clause as object) to be the case, esp if by chance, that: it happens that I know him
adverb, sentence substitute
5.
(Northern English, dialect)
  1. another word for perhaps
  2. (as sentence modifier): happen I'll see thee tomorrow
Word Origin
C14: see hap1, -en1
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for happened

happen

v.

c.1300, "to come to pass, occur," originally "occur by hap, to have the (good or bad) fortune (to do, be, etc.);" see hap (n.). Replaced Old English gelimpan, gesceon, and Middle English befall. In Middle English fel it hap meant "it happened." Related: Happened; happening.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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