Cambridge Dictionaries online Cambridge Dictionaries online

The most popular online dictionary and thesaurus for learners of English

English definition of “happen”

happen

verb [I]
 
 
/ˈhæpən/
to exist or begin to exist because of an action, situation, or event: The one course of events no one anticipated was the one that happened: a long period of stagnation that threatened the assumptions of the European welfare state. The market highs have provided an impetus for companies to sell their shares before investors lose interest, which often happens during a holiday week.
to be done or exist by chance: What happens in one country or region may not happen in another.happen by accident/chance "The state's economic vitality has not happened by accident," he said.
happen to sb/sth to affect someone or something in a way that changes something: Everywhere I go people are becoming more and more depressed by what is happening to their savings.
happen overnight to be done or come into existence suddenly: did not/may not/will not happen overnight This crisis didn't happen overnight.
(Definition of happen from the Cambridge Business English Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)
What is the pronunciation of happen?
Browse related topics

You are looking at an entry to do with Possible and probable, but you might be interested in these topics from the Chance and possibility topic area:

Add Cambridge dictionaries to your browser to your website

Definitions of “happen” in other dictionaries

Word of the Day

give the green light to sth

to give permission for someone to do something or for something to happen

Word of the Day

Highly delighted, bitterly disappointed, ridiculously cheap: adverbs for emphasis.

by Liz Walter,
October 22, 2014
We often make adjectives stronger by putting an adverb in front of them. The most common ones are very and, for a stronger meaning, extremely: He was very pleased. The ship is extremely large. However, we don’t use very or extremely for adjectives that already have a strong meaning, for example fantastic,

Read More 

life tracking noun

October 20, 2014
the use of one or more devices or apps to monitor health, exercise, how time is spent, etc.

Read More