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