Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “happen”

See all translations

happen

verb [I]  /ˈhæp·ən/ us  

happen verb [I] (HAVE EXISTENCE)

(of a situation or event) to come into existence; occur : If you want to know what is happening in the world, you have to read the newspapers. No one knows exactly what happened, but several people have been hurt. If a situation or event happens to someone or something, it has an effect on that person or thing: What happened to Phil? I thought he would be here by now.

happen verb [I] (CHANCE)

to do or be by chance: [+ to infinitive] I happened to come across this book I think you would like. [+ to infinitive] I happen to think he’s right (= I do, although others may not).
(Definition of happen from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of happen?
Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “happen” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

luck

the force that causes things, especially good things, to happen to you by chance and not as a result of your own efforts or abilities

Word of the Day

A certain je ne sais quoi: French words and phrases used in English

by Liz Walter,
January 21, 2015
It is an odd irony that the more sophisticated your use of English is, the more likely you are to use French words and phrases. Or, to be more accurate, ones you know to be French – words such as ballet, au pair, abattoir, fiancé, café, and restaurant are so entrenched in

Read More 

micro pig noun

January 26, 2015
an extremely small pig, bred to be a pet Micro pigs have become popular pets recently, with famous owners including Victoria Beckham, Paris Hilton and Olympic diver, Tom Daley.

Read More