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befall Syllabification: be·fall
Pronunciation: /bəˈfôl/

Definition of befall in English:

verb (past befell; past participle befallen)

[with object] literary
(Of something bad) happen to someone: a tragedy befell his daughter [no object]: she was to blame for anything that befell
More example sentences
  • In November 1913 a fatal tragedy befell the family - after a quarrel Lora committed suicide.
  • Despite the disgrace and humiliation which eventually befell him, he never wavered from his beliefs.
  • We're sorry these warnings were too late to prevent the tragedy that befell your family.
happen to, overtake, come upon, be visited on
ensue, follow, result
informal go down
literary come to pass, betide


Old English befeallan 'to fall' (early use being chiefly figurative); related to German befallen.

Words that rhyme with befall

all, appal (US appall), awl, Bacall, ball, bawl, Bengal, brawl, call, caul, crawl, Donegal, drawl, drywall, enthral (US enthrall), fall, forestall, gall, Galle, Gaul, hall, haul, maul, miaul, miscall, Montreal, Naipaul, Nepal, orle, pall, Paul, pawl, Saul, schorl, scrawl, seawall, Senegal, shawl, small, sprawl, squall, stall, stonewall, tall, thrall, trawl, wall, waul, wherewithal, withal, yawl
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