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

  • intransitive v. To come to pass.
  • intransitive v. To come into being.
  • intransitive v. To take place or occur by chance.
  • intransitive v. To come upon something by chance.
  • intransitive v. To come or go casually; make an appearance.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

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

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • intransitive v. To come by chance; to come without previous expectation; to fall out.
  • intransitive v. To take place; to occur.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • 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.
  • Possibly; perhaps.
  • Fortunate; happy; blessed.

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

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


Middle English happenen, from hap, chance; see hap.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English happenen (Wiktionary)



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