• WordNet 3.6
    • v befall happen, occur, or be the case in the course of events or by chance "It happens that today is my birthday","These things befell" (Santayana)"
    • v befall become of; happen to "He promised that no harm would befall her","What has become of my children?"
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
    • v. i Befall To come to pass; to happen. "I have revealed . . . the discord which befell ."
    • v. t Befall To happen to. "I beseech your grace that I may know
      The worst that may befall me."
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
    • befall To fall or happen to; occur to.
    • befall To happen; come to pass.
    • befall To fall in the way; come to hand.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
    • v.t Befall be-fawl′ to fall or happen to: to occur to
    • v.i Befall to happen or come to pass:
    • v.i Befall (Spens.) to fall in one's way:—pr.p. befall′ing; pa.t. befell′; pa.p. befall′en
    • ***


  • William Blake
    “I have no name: I am but two days old. What shall I call thee? I happy am, Joy is my name. Sweet joy befall thee!”
  • Phaedrus
    “Submit to the present evil, lest a greater one befall you.”
  • Roman Gary
    Roman Gary
    “Humor is an affirmation of dignity, a declaration of man's superiority to all that befalls him.”
  • Lord Alfred Tennyson
    “I hold it true, whatever befall; I feel it, when I sorrow most; 'Tis better to have loved and lost Than never to have loved at all.”
  • W. Somerset Maugham
    “Few misfortunes can befall a boy which bring worse consequences than to have a really affectionate mother.”
  • Marcus T. Cicero
    “The injuries that befall us unexpectedly are less severe than those which are deliberately anticipated.”


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
AS. befeallan,; pref. be-, + feallan, to fall


In literature:

But whatever befalls us, though it is wise to be serious, it is useless and foolish, and perhaps sinful, to be gloomy.
"Life Of Johnson, Volume 4 (of 6)" by Boswell
For I have great love for this poor fellow and I would not have any harm befall him whilst I am away.
"The Story of the Champions of the Round Table" by Howard Pyle
O king, unthought of evils, befall a man from dice!
"Mahabharata of Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa Bk. 3 Pt. 1" by Krishna-Dwaipayana Vyasa
Should we be ashamed of him for any thing, that can befall us, upon that account?
"Christ The Way, The Truth, and The Life" by John Brown (of Wamphray)
But if that happens to her which is likely to happen, wilt thou not tremble for what may befal the principal?
"Clarissa Harlowe, Volume 9 (of 9)" by Samuel Richardson
His father was dying ... something was befalling, or it might be that Jesus was at the door asking for him.
"The Brook Kerith" by George Moore
No sufferings befall the man who is not attached to name and form, and who calls nothing his own.
"Sacred Books of the East" by Various
Think, act, as if this were now to befall thee.
"Library Of The World's Best Literature, Ancient And Modern, Vol 3" by Various
What may befall us there kind Fortune only knows.
"In the Days of Chivalry" by Evelyn Everett-Green
But if such a thing as that were to befall, I would lay down my life to save yours, my lord.
"Tom Tufton's Travels" by Evelyn Everett-Green

In poetry:

And then she lost her dolly,
Her very doll of all!
That loss was far from jolly,
But worse things did befall.
"The Girl That Lost Things" by George MacDonald
Saint Margaret's Eve it did befall,
The waves roll so gayly O,
The tide came creeping up the wall,
Love me true!
"St. Margaret's Eve" by William Allingham
An hundred years ago (so ran
The old-time story) all
Good wishes said above its span
Would, soon or late, befall.
"The Wishing Bridge" by John Greenleaf Whittier
O shame befall that evil nurse,
Ill tidings down she drew,
She stole away his goodly sword,
But and his byrny new.
"Hafbur And Signy" by William Morris
God prosper long our noble King,
Our Lives and Safeties all;
A famous Hunting once there did
In H—-n—-r befall.
"The Royal Chace" by Cornelius Arnold
God prosper long our noble king,
Our lives and safeties all!
A woeful hunting once there did
In Chevy Chase befall.
"Chevy Chase" by Henry Morley

In news:

Judges setting price caps is the latest ill to befall the pharmaceutical industry.
My father, a law professor in Virginia, has frequently marveled at the tragedies that seem to befall students right around exam time.
Pure-hearted enough to escape the curse that befalls the crew of the legendary Flying Dutchman , a boy and his dog are granted immortality and sent forth to "spread peace and joy throughout the world".
Pure-hearted enough to escape the curse that befalls the crew of the legendary Flying Dutchman, a boy and his dog are granted immortality and sent forth to "spread peace and joy throughout the world".
I'm grateful for all the good luck that befalls me as I let life happen.
I, myself, feel that I have escaped the misery that befalls many of my older friends.
Itably befalls us all, but " Hereafter " follows a few whose lives are consumed well before their time.
A short list of mishaps that befall characters in Live by Night, Dennis Lehane's new novel: stabbed with a potato peeler ("It sounded like fish parts sucked into a drain").
A bad fate befalls a central character in a turn that one couldn't imagine in vintage Bond.
I prefer to embrace them when they stroll by – you just don't know what could befall when you link up arms.
Regulators this time didn't wait for disaster to befall MF Global and its trading partners.
This is the second tragedy to befall climbers in Nepal this week.
One of the greatest military disasters ever to befall our country occurred on the sleepy Sunday morning of Dec 7, 1941.
In January it's customary to look into our respective crystal balls and try to divine what fortune or misfortune is likely to befall us.
Natural or manmade disasters can befall your business at any time.