A serious accident has befallen this person.
An example of befall is when you are in a serious car accident.
intransitive verb-·fell′, -·fall′en, -·fall′ing
- to come to pass; happen; occur
- Archaic to be fitting; pertain
Origin of befallMiddle English bifallen from Old English befeallan, to fall, fall to as a share or right from be-, be- + feallan, fall
verbbe·fell, be·fall·en, be·fall·ing, be·falls
- Used with the impersonal subject it and a following clause to indicate the occurrence of a usually unexpected or chance event: “It befell that, an hour before the appointed time, she was sent for by a neighbor who had been taken ill” ( Henry James )
- To happen to: What befell the ship? See Synonyms at happen.
Origin of befallMiddle English bifallen from Old English befeallan to fall
(third-person singular simple present befalls, present participle befalling, simple past befell, past participle befallen)
- (intransitive) To happen.
- To happen to.
- Temptation befell me.
From Middle English befallen, from Old English befeallan (“to fall, deprive of, bereave of, fall to, be assigned to, befall”), equivalent to be- + fall. Cognate with Dutch bevallen (“to please”), German befallen (“to befall, attack, overcome”), Swedish befalla (“to command, prescribe, direct”).