AskDefine | Define happenstance

Dictionary Definition

happenstance n : an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental [syn: coincidence]

User Contributed Dictionary





  1. A chance or random event or circumstance.
    • 1964, Goldfinger,
      James Bond: Once is happenstance, twice is coincidence, three times is enemy action.
  2. The chance or random quality of an event or circumstance; often in the phrase by happenstance.

Extensive Definition

Happenstance is a portmanteau of 'happening' and 'circumstance'. It generally refers to a random event. The word has been in use since the 19th century.

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

accessory, accident, accidental, accidentality, actuarial calculation, addendum, addition, adjunct, adventitiousness, adventure, appendage, appurtenance, auxiliary, break, casualness, casualty, chance, chance hit, circumstance, collateral, contingency, contingent, destiny, episode, event, experience, extra, fact, fate, fluke, flukiness, fortuitousness, fortuity, fortune, freak accident, gamble, good fortune, good luck, hap, happening, happy chance, hazard, heedless hap, how they fall, incident, incidental, indeterminacy, indeterminateness, inessential, law of averages, long odds, long shot, lot, luck, lucky shot, matter of fact, mere chance, moira, nonessential, not-self, occasion, occurrence, opportunity, other, particular, phenomenon, principle of indeterminacy, probability, problematicness, random sample, reality, risk, run of luck, secondary, serendipity, statistical probability, subsidiary, superaddition, supplement, the breaks, theory of probability, turn of events, uncertainty, uncertainty principle, unessential, whatever comes
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