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[hap-uh n-stans] /ˈhæp ənˌstæns/
a chance happening or event.
Origin of happenstance
1895-1900; happen + (circum)stance Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the web for happenstance
  • happenstance also caused that train to collide with actual news events.
  • The pressure of the elections and happenstance have brought it to fruition.
  • Much more believable than a happenstance meteor strike that picked out which species to eliminate and which to keep.
  • They succeeded, partly by design and partly by happenstance.
  • It clung to the false memory, preferring it to more literal happenstance.
  • What is wrong is the idea that his discoveries were simply happenstance.
  • It was a potentially important discovery, but in part a result of happenstance.
  • These are people who owe their lives and futures as much to random happenstance as to an actual plan.
  • happenstance brought him to this broiling desert for his victory lap.
  • happenstance tends to play an enormous role in landing this kind of work.
British Dictionary definitions for happenstance


a chance occurrence
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 happenstance

1897, from happening + ending from circumstance.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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