Definition of hap in English:



  • 1Luck; fortune.

    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘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.’
    1. 1.1 A chance occurrence, especially an event that is considered unlucky.
      • ‘Happen gives us take place, arrive, come, recur; hap generates chance, accident, hazard, event.’
      • ‘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.’


[NO OBJECT]archaic
  • 1 Come about by chance.

    ‘what can hap to him worthy to be deemed evil?’
    • ‘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.’
    • ‘It happed most often to Jennifer Grey for some reason.’
    • ‘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.’’
    occur, take place, come about, come off, come into being
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[with infinitive] Have the fortune or luck to do something.
      ‘where'er I happ'd to roam’


Middle English: from Old Norse happ.