from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun Fortune; chance.
  • noun A happening; an occurrence.
  • intransitive verb To happen.

from The Century Dictionary.

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • noun 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 verb To happen; to befall; to chance.
  • transitive verb To clothe; to wrap.
  • noun O. Eng. & Scot. A cloak or plaid.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun That which happens; an occurrence or happening, especially an unexpected, random, chance, or fortuitous event; chance; fortune; luck.
  • verb intransitive, literary to happen; to befall; to chance.
  • verb transitive, literary To happen to.
  • noun dialect 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.
  • verb dialect To wrap or clothe.

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

  • noun an accidental happening
  • verb come to pass


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

[Middle English, from Old Norse happ; see kob- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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").

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Old English hap


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

    The Book of The Thousand Nights And A Night 2006

  • 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 Layamon

  • 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. 1802-1876 1876

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

    Fair to Look Upon Mary Belle Freeley

  • 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) Raphael Holinshed

  • 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 2010

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

    Slashdot: Developers 2009

  • 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 2009

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

    Dreamseller: The Calling Augusto Cury 2011

  • 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 2011


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  • Also fortune, chance.

    January 1, 2008

  • what hapless people do not have

    January 11, 2008