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

  • intransitive verb To come to pass.
  • intransitive verb To come about as a consequence; result.
  • intransitive verb To be the fate; become.
  • intransitive verb To encounter something by chance.
  • intransitive verb To come or go casually; make an appearance.
  • intransitive verb Used with the impersonal subject it and a following clause or infinitive to indicate the occurrence of a usually unexpected or chance event.
  • intransitive verb To have the fortune (to be or do something); be in a situation or position (to be or do something).
  • intransitive verb Used with an infinitive to make polite requests.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Possibly; perhaps.
  • To occur by chance; occur unexpectedly or unaccountably; in general, to occur; take place.
  • To chance; be by chance or unexpectedly: as, he happened to be at home.
  • Fortunate; happy; blessed.

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

  • intransitive verb To come by chance; to come without previous expectation; to fall out.
  • intransitive verb To take place; to occur.
  • intransitive verb to meet with; to fall or light upon.
  • intransitive verb [Colloq.] to make a casual call.

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

  • verb To occur or take place.
  • verb To occur unexpectedly, by chance or with a low probability.
  • verb To encounter by chance.
  • adverb maybe, perhaps.

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

  • verb come to pass
  • verb chance to be or do something, without intention or causation
  • verb come into being; become reality
  • verb happen, occur, or be the case in the course of events or by chance
  • verb come upon, as if by accident; meet with


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

[Middle English happenen, from hap, chance; see hap.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

From Middle English happenen


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  • 'That is so' (''appen it is'). Yorkshire dialect.

    June 22, 2009