Definition of happenstance in English:



North American
  • [mass noun] Coincidence.

    ‘it was just happenstance that I happened to be there’
    [count noun] ‘an untoward happenstance for Trudy’
    • ‘Some events do occur by chance or happenstance, but the baseline of governmental policy and media spin is far from accidental.’
    • ‘Complexity is a consequence of chance and happenstance, not design.’
    • ‘The question of whether you are true artists or the fortunate benefactors of happenstance cannot be answered until you make a second film.’
    • ‘Most top athletes despise the notion of luck, with its amateurish connotations of fluke and happenstance.’
    • ‘It really makes you think about crimes vs. accidents and intentions vs. happenstance.’
    • ‘I want her to know the best of our world, not stumble from happenstance to happenstance without guidance and support.’
    • ‘He described it as being happenstance of a fortuitous nature.’
    • ‘If the key is to not actively search for something, then why don't more common people stumble upon such experiences of happenstance?’
    • ‘By sheer happenstance, the challenge of skyrocketing butterfat prices coincided with the waning economy.’
    • ‘None of this occurred suddenly or by happenstance.’
    • ‘What world does the CBC inhabit where happenstance or tragic accident are always already made sense of through the lens of political calculation?’
    • ‘That this action mimics the US Republicans' 1995 shutdown of Congress is no happenstance.’
    • ‘It may be that just by accident or happenstance this has come to be.’
    • ‘But they took action to transform happenstance into something larger.’
    • ‘There is a large degree of economic happenstance governing the trend, observers like Palmer say.’
    • ‘The evolutionary process is rife with happenstance, contingency, incredible waste, death, pain and horror.’
    • ‘It cannot of course be held against Irving that on occasion by happenstance he has found himself at the same meeting, or even on the same platform, as some acknowledged extremist.’
    • ‘There were too many coincidences to take everything in stride as pure happenstance.’
    • ‘Each one, responding to happenstance and circumstance and accident, has assumed a shape not quite like that of any other tree of its kind.’
    • ‘In them, he records the poetic ways happenstance and necessity converge in daily life.’
    accident, chance, serendipity, fate, a twist of fate, destiny, fortuity, fortune, providence, freak, hazard
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Late 19th century: blend of happen and circumstance.