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befall Line breaks: be¦fall
Pronunciation: /bɪˈfɔːl/

Definition of befall in English:

verb (past befell /bɪˈfɛl/; past participle befallen /bɪˈfɔːlən/)

[with object] literary
(Especially 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, fall upon, hit, strike, be visited on
North American informal go down
literary come to pass, betide
rare hap, eventuate


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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