Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. Fortune; chance.
  • n. A happening; an occurrence.
  • intransitive v. To happen.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. That which happens; an occurrence or happening, especially an unexpected, random, chance, or fortuitous event; chance; fortune; luck.
  • n. A wrap, such as a quilt or a comforter. Also, a small or folded blanket placed on the end of a bed to keep feet warm.
  • v. To wrap or clothe.
  • v. to happen; to befall; to chance.
  • v. To happen to.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A cloak or plaid.
  • n. That which happens or comes suddenly or unexpectedly; also, the manner of occurrence or taking place; chance; fortune; accident; casual event; fate; luck; lot.
  • intransitive v. To happen; to befall; to chance.
  • transitive v. To clothe; to wrap.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • To happen; befall; come by chance.
  • To wrap; cover in order to defend from cold, rain, or snow; screen.
  • A dialectal form of hop.
  • n. That which happens: a fortuitous occurrence; chance; fortune; luck.
  • n. A cloak or plaid; a covering. Also called happing.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an accidental happening
  • v. come to pass

Etymologies

Middle English, from Old Norse happ; see kob- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English hap, happe ("chance, hap, luck, fortune"), from Old Norse happ ("hap, chance, good luck"), from Proto-Germanic *hampan (“convenience, happiness”), from Proto-Indo-European *kob- (“good fortune, prophecy; to bend, bow, fit in, work, succeed”). Cognate with Icelandic happ ("hap, chance, good luck"). Related also to Icelandic heppinn ("lucky, fortunate, happy"), Old Danish hap ("fortunate"), Old English ġehæp ("fit, convenient"), Swedish hampa ("to turn out"), Old Church Slavonic кобь (kobĭ, "fate"), Old Irish cob ("victory"). (Wiktionary)
From Middle English happen, from Old Norse *happa, *heppa, from Proto-Germanic *hampijanan (“to fit in, be fitting”), from Proto-Indo-European *kob- (“to bend, bow, fit in, work, succeed”), Cognate with Old Danish happe ("to chance, happen"), Norwegian heppa ("to occur, happen"). (Wiktionary)
From Old English hap (Wiktionary)

Examples

  • O my lord, this hap is what I dreamt last night; and, when I awoke,

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night

  • And Uther with his men drew to the mount, and had lost in the fight his dear knights, full seven hundred—-his hap was the worse!

    Roman de Brut. English

  • Thus happiness, according to the original use of the term, is that which happens, or comes to one by a hap, that is, by an outward befalling, or favorable condition.

    Sermons for the New Life.

  • Wonderful, wasn't it, that it was her "hap" to light on a part of the field belonging to Boaz?

    Fair to Look Upon

  • But at the deliuerie of the monie, and by a certeine kind of hap, the Romans name was preserued at that time from such dishonor and ignominie as was likelie to haue insued.

    Chronicles (1 of 6): The Historie of England (3 of 8)

  • My ire at Spitzer is partly triggered by the embarrassing record of his hand-picked successor, David Paterson, an accidental governor who put the "hap" in "hapless."

    Politics Daily

  • A culture that discourages its artists from creating bold simulacrums and wild enchantments is one opting for dull, stable sleeps and rote, untransformed wakefulness. john baker: This from Allen Mathews: The word "hap" means luck or ...

    John Baker's Blog

  • We need to determine which valid word 'hap' should match.

    Slashdot: Developers

  • Make . . . the . . . the old folks hap . . . happy?

    Dreamseller: The Calling

  • How then had a man so singularly drained of hap as the 57-year-old Israeli ended up controlling Chelsea, Portsmouth and West Ham United?

    Is Avram Grant football's placebo effect? | Harry Pearson

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Comments

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  • what hapless people do not have

    January 11, 2008

  • Also fortune, chance.

    January 1, 2008