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, occur, take place, chance to happen, arise, emerge, come about, transpire, materialize, appear, make an appearance, surface, crop up, spring up, present itself;
North American informal go down
Old English befeallan 'to fall' (early use being chiefly figurative); related to German befallen.