befall

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See also: Befall

English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

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).

Pronunciation[edit]

Verb[edit]

befall (third-person singular simple present befalls, present participle befalling, simple past befell, past participle befallen)

  1. (intransitive) To happen.
  2. (transitive) To happen to.
    Temptation befell me.
    • Shakespeare
      I beseech your grace that I may know / The worst that may befall me.
    • 2013 April 15, Walter Russell Mead, “The Wreck of the Euro”, The American Interest, accessed on 2013-04-16:
      As we’ve said before, with the exception of communism itself, the euro has been the biggest economic catastrophe to befall the continent (and the world) since the 1930s.

Translations[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Noun[edit]

befall (plural befalls)

  1. Case; instance; circumstance; event; incident; accident.
    • 1495, William Caxton, Vitas Patrum:
      Or he had tolde al his befall.
    • 1990, India. Parliament. House of the People, India. Parliament. Lok Sabha, Lok Sabha debates:
      This is proposed to be done by moving necessary amendment in this befall to the Finance Bill.
    • 1994, Socialist Party (India), Janata: Volume 49:
      He said "I would advise people to cultivate frugal habits. I will not commit the crime of making them helpless by saying that they have no responsibility whatever in the befall of calamities like old age, illness, accident, etc. [...]"
    • 1996, Thomas Pfau, Rhonda Ray Kercsmar, Rhetorical and cultural dissolution in romanticism:
      [...], the word "care" asserting itself subliminally in somewhat the same way that "fall" does in the "befall" of "Infant Joy."

References[edit]


German[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

  • IPA(key): [bəˈfal]
  • Hyphenation: be‧fall

Verb[edit]

befall

  1. Imperative singular of befallen.

Swedish[edit]

Verb[edit]

befall

  1. imperative of befalla.