happen - definition in the British English Dictionary & Thesaurus - Cambridge Dictionaries Online (US)

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English definition of “happen”

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happen

verb [I] uk   us   /ˈhæp.ən/

happen verb [I] (HAVE EXISTENCE)

A2 (of a situation or an event) to have existence or come into existence: No one knows exactly what happened but several people have been hurt. Anything could happen in the next half hour. A funny thing happened in the office today. I don't want to think about what might have happened if he'd been driving any faster.happen to sb A2 If something happens to someone or something, it has an effect on him, her, or it: I don't know what I'd do if anything happened to him (= if he was hurt, became ill, or died). What happened to your jacket? There's a big rip in the sleeve. What's happened to my pen? (= Where is it?) I put it down there a few moments ago.
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happen verb [I] (CHANCE)

C1 to do or be by chance: [+ to infinitive] They happened to look (= looked by chance) in the right place almost immediately. [+ (that)] Fortunately it happened (that) there was no one in the house at the time of the explosion. [+ that] It just so happens that I have her phone number right here. She happens to like cleaning (= she likes cleaning, although that is surprising). I happen to think he's right (= I do think so, although you do not). As it happened (= although it was not planned), I had a few minutes to spare.
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happen

adverb uk   us   /ˈhæp.ən/ UK Northern English
perhaps: Happen it'll rain later on.
(Definition of happen from the Cambridge Advanced Learners Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)
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