Befall Definition

befallen, befalling, befalls, befell
befallen, befalling, befalls, befell
To come to pass; happen.
What is the worst that may befall?
American Heritage
To come to pass; happen; occur.
Webster's New World
To happen to.
What befell them?
Webster's New World
Used with the impersonal subject it and a following clause to indicate the occurrence of a usually unexpected or chance event.
American Heritage
To be fitting; pertain.
Webster's New World

Origin of Befall

  • 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”).

    From Wiktionary

  • Middle English bifallen from Old English befeallan to fall

    From American Heritage Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition

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