One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
nounPlural hapsmass nounarchaic
1Luck; fortune.‘if you have the good hap to come into their houses’
- ‘And yes, we got ourselves kidnapped by a bunch of off-duty and retired soldiers who were enjoying a Friday beating up hapless journalists (and boy, were we showing no hap at all) far too much.’
- ‘When an event occurs by mere hap, there is an element of randomness in its coming about; it might not have occurred, even if all of the conditions relevant to its production had been the same.’
- ‘Notice that in this case we will have a violation of the doctrine of determinism, and indeed determinism might be expressed simply as the thesis that nothing ever occurs by mere hap.’
- 1.1count noun A chance occurrence, especially an event that is considered unlucky.‘I entertained the Company with the many Haps and Disasters’
- ‘Whether he makes a lame attempt for a steal or a weak effort at a double-team hap, the result is usually an easy basket for an opponent.’
- ‘Happen gives us take place, arrive, come, recur; hap generates chance, accident, hazard, event.’
verbhaps, happed, happing[no object]archaic
1Come about by chance.‘what can hap to him worthy to be deemed evil?’
occur, take place, come about, come off, come into beingView synonyms
- ‘It happed to be that the ‘dove’ was actually a courier, warning him that the feast was to begin in less than an hour.’
- ‘In the case of the policeman who is suing for being put back on the beat, he described an incident where he happed upon the scene of a road accident and was too scared to go and help.’
- ‘The weirdest thing happed to me a few days ago.’
- ‘He said: ‘It was, without a doubt, the best thing that happed to the club.’’
- ‘It happed most often to Jennifer Grey for some reason.’
- 1.1with infinitive Have the fortune or luck to do something.‘where'er I happ'd to roam’
Middle English: from Old Norse happ.
verbhaps, happed, happing[with object]Northern Irish, Scottish
Cover or wrap with a blanket or warm clothes.‘Col rode on her back, happed up in a tartan plaid’‘my Mum happed me up’
- ‘He picked up Flossie and happed her in his coat.’
- ‘Hap up well, young man, his teachers had always tellt him.’
- ‘I know the forecast is still looking pretty grim, but I am really looking forward to my final day of being happed up on the cathedral steps.’
- ‘Andrina, happed in a plaid dressing-gown, shuffled back into the room.’
- ‘Partygoers have been warned only to leave the house well happed up and with an umbrella.’
Late Middle English: of uncertain origin; perhaps an alteration of lap.
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