hap·pen / ˈhapən/ • v. [intr.] 1. take place; occur: the afternoon when the disturbance happened. ∎ ensue as an effect or result of an action or event: this is what happens when the mechanism goes wrong. ∎ chance to do something or come about: we just happened to meet Paul | there happens to be a clash of personalities. ∎ come about by chance: it just so happened that she turned up that afternoon. ∎ (happen on) find or come across by chance: Mike played football as a boy and happened on cycling by accident. ∎ used as a polite formula in questions: do you happen to know who her doctor is? 2. (happen to) be experienced by (someone); befall: the same thing happened to me. ∎ become of: I don't care what happens to the money. PHRASES: as it happens actually; as a matter of fact: we've got a room vacant, as it happens.