Definition of happening in US English:



  • 1An event or occurrence.

    ‘altogether it was an eerie happening’
    • ‘That's fine by me; it is within those years that some of the most iconic happenings in the NBA transpired.’
    • ‘I had very much enjoyed the spectacle though Hugo had seemed keener to direct my attention to the happenings in the private boxes rather than the performances on stage.’
    • ‘You can see why these happenings are exciting and uber-cool for the artists.’
    • ‘Those of you who know the building at the corner of Ontario W. and St-Laurent are no doubt familiar with all the lofty artistic happenings that go on inside its walls on a daily basis.’
    • ‘Besides the onstage happenings, there was plenty going on offstage, as well.’
    • ‘Away from the underground happenings of London, away from his friends, performing hitherto unheard songs to unappreciative punters was a daunting prospect.’
    • ‘I myself am suffering from having a paucity of exciting ideas / happenings to post about.’
    • ‘Hers is an intimate, common and close-up portrayal, full of everyday happenings and concerns.’
    • ‘His platoon sergeant, SFC Dunchi brought Xavier up to speed with the happenings and particulars of their platoon, the Outlaws.’
    • ‘Each part contains three happenings which occur at once.’
    • ‘Anyway, that probably confused you, but I need to let Dmitri explain the happenings of the first night we stayed in a glorious hotel in the heart of San Francisco.’
    • ‘Aristotle's own more subtle position was not appreciated; the only alternatives were seen as being that the world is the result of divine design or that it is the product of mere random happenings.’
    • ‘Overall, he and manager Harte were satisfied with the performance, given the happenings of the past year.’
    • ‘Thus, though the happenings in postmodernist fiction seem fabulist, it is clear that the writers have one foot in contingent reality.’
    • ‘But like I said to begin with, I considered and still to this day consider the happenings of that night to be simply a form of artistic expression.’
    • ‘Peter says he has not experienced anything more than tingling hairs on the back of his neck, but many others have reported strange happenings, particularly around the historic tapestry room.’
    • ‘Every world event, every local happening, every personal circumstance has an eternal purpose to it.’
    • ‘She said printmaking operates as a kind of meeting place between the conscious intention of art-making and the unintended happenings of life.’
    • ‘The whole production, however, could do with a change of gear and could be taken more lightheartedly, allowing more fun to be taken of the spooky happenings.’
    • ‘I will say that I've been pretty safe from any crazy happenings.’
    • ‘They even made the first jokes I had heard about the dreadful happenings last month.’
    • ‘He can show some enthusiasm, but he can't make it seem, as McKay did, that we are ever in the presence of uplifting, spectacular happenings.’
    • ‘Ablett performed brilliantly but subsequent happenings have proved that sport isn't always a test of character.’
    • ‘Made in English, it will perhaps be the first Indian movie to capture the backstage happenings of the small screen world.’
    • ‘Perhaps it's a morning TV talk show that covers local happenings or a local home magazine that showcases great design or area artists.’
    • ‘Let me also share with you some other exciting web happenings.’
    • ‘One sad happening prior to Christmas was the death of Galway's oldest resident Billy Lohan of Mervue who was in his 103rd year.’
    • ‘The afternoon sped on, with the three visitors filling the Riley parents in on happenings in the Willie Shakespeare Company.’
    occurrence, event, incident, scene, affair, circumstance, phenomenon, episode, adventure, experience, occasion, action, activity, development, eventuality, accident, case, business, thing
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  • 2A partly improvised or spontaneous piece of theatrical or other artistic performance, typically involving audience participation.

    ‘a multimedia happening’
    • ‘Smith's affection for camp and penchant for mixing performance art and film transformed his screenings into happenings.’
    • ‘Real time happenings that cannot be commodified or sold, retain their status as ‘art’ only so long as they retain discursive support.’
    • ‘Al Hansen was creating an avian happening by spelling out ‘ART’ in birdseed on a walkway.’
    • ‘Despite this unconventional presentation, the opera, by intention, generally avoids imitating Fluxus-style happenings.’
    • ‘Today I accompanied two Axis artists to a happening in a squalid squatter camp in downtown Johannesburg.’
    • ‘Shed promoter Simon Thackray presents these myriad delights in a season of nine concerts and artistic happenings at Brawby and Hovingham, near Malton.’
    • ‘The Ubu lightshows grew out of the happenings staged as part of ‘Theatre Of Cruelty.’’
    • ‘Usually, performance in the field of visual art includes methods of making art, the bodies of the artist or the viewer and performances linking life and art as actionism and happenings.’
    • ‘Its activities were mainly concerned with happenings (usually called Aktionen in Germany), street art, and so on.’
    • ‘These, like most happenings, were characterized by a conspicuous lack of narrative sense.’
    • ‘It is futile to attempt to explain conduct through the causal efficacy of desire - all that can explain is further happenings, not actions performed by agents.’
    • ‘Blurring art and life, the ‘Bed-Ins’ illustrate the strategies of happenings and Fluxus performance at the heart of Yoko's aesthetic.’
    • ‘What ensues is neither stand-up nor sketch comedy, but a fluid multimedia happening that co-opts the audience and a bewildering number of stooges.’
    • ‘Cricot's theatrical practices emphasized the visual arts; the plays staged there were more like happenings.’
    • ‘From these Dada-like beginnings he developed a litany of Fookianisms which spilt delightfully over into happenings, art objects, bureaucracy and erotica.’
    • ‘He was imagining and piecing together the possible happening.’
    • ‘She frequently refers to such happenings as ‘experiments.’’
    • ‘Two of the cast of Nuts CocoNuts have teamed up with former Cubana performers to carry on the company's tradition of anarchic happenings that sit somewhere between fact and fiction, art and real life.’


  • Fashionable; trendy.

    ‘nightclubs for the young are the happening thing’
    • ‘A happening Hyderabad has been growing by leaps and bounds.’
    • ‘They have an office in Balma, Southern France, about 500 miles away from a beautiful, fashionable and happening Paris.’
    • ‘The two nights would find us in the hotel's disco… Hellfire. Some great music, good crowd and generally a happening place.’
    • ‘He's also said ‘citizenship’ will be used as a unifying force, an admission that unity is not a happening thing at the moment?’
    • ‘This is the happening city in Sweden nowadays, for rock.’
    • ‘But of course, the fact that you meet all the happening people at the gyms is an added bonus.’
    • ‘‘What is now the ground floor of the Free Trade Hall will be the happening place to meet in Manchester,’ said Mr Smart.’
    • ‘From there we went to Brighton Marina, partly because it's a cool and happening place to visit, but mainly because it has free parking.’
    • ‘The recent brawl in a city pub involving the son of a senior police officer has fixed the spotlight on these so-called happening spots.’
    • ‘The Barbie doll image is now the hip and happening look.’
    • ‘This is the most happening entertainment content field right now.’
    • ‘Leeds was a really happening place in the 1960s.’
    • ‘Today because of technology, synthesizers and rhythm machines, the happening musicians of today create computerized music.’
    • ‘It is part of our strategy to see more activity at street level, making the neighbourhood a more happening place.’
    • ‘Now these are things I would likely do on any happening evening.’
    • ‘The scene has definitely shifted from streets to apartment complex premises, residential compounds and to various happening places in the city.’
    • ‘He has turned Canongate into a happening publisher with a string of eye-catching and trendy properties to its name.’
    • ‘Star was not a very happening channel those days and they already had two-three other chat shows and it became a case of excessive chattering.’
    • ‘But yet no one talks of Pondicherry as being a happening place, no one I have heard speaks of honeymooning in Pondicherry or Pondy.’
    • ‘Even I can't resist jumping into this and I admit it's because this thread's got that feel of a happening place.’
    fashionable, modern, popular, new, latest, up to date, up to the minute, in fashion, in vogue
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