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Happen upon   /hˈæpən əpˈɑn/   Listen
Happen upon

Find unexpectedly.  Synonyms: attain, chance on, chance upon, come across, come upon, discover, fall upon, light upon, strike.  "She struck a goldmine" , "The hikers finally struck the main path to the lake"

WordNet 3.0 © 2010 Princeton University

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"Happen upon" Quotes from Famous Books

... good-natured derision—"what is it? An anonymous letter, evidently by the wording and the writing the work of an uneducated person. It's perfectly true that I've seen your sister several times on the streets, and once I did happen upon her when she was taking a walk in the plaza by the Greek Church. But there's nothing unusual about that—I've met and talked with many other ladies in the same way. The writer of that rubbish evidently saw us in the plaza and decided—to ...
— Treasure and Trouble Therewith - A Tale of California • Geraldine Bonner

... beautiful, to be found in our woods, and occasionally it is fragrant. Group after group may be inspected—ranging through all shades of purple and blue, with some perfectly white—and no odor be detected, when presently you will happen upon a little brood of them that have a most delicate and delicious fragrance. The same is true of a species of loosestrife growing along streams and on other wet places, with tall bushy stalks, dark green leaves, and pale axillary yellow flowers (probably European). ...
— A Year in the Fields • John Burroughs

... he happen upon it in these latter days? By worshipping the old hangings of the Gothic perfection, by finding the very soul of them, of their designers and of their craftsmen; then, letting that soul enter his, he set his fingers reverently to work to learn, as well, the secret of ...
— The Tapestry Book • Helen Churchill Candee

... He was in a position at which at one time or another most of us are placed. He was upon one end of a balanced see- saw, and he was blindfolded so that it was impossible to see what might happen upon the other extremity. Suddenly he might be swung up to highest delight; suddenly he might be dashed earthwards to hit ground with a jarring thud. The one eventuality or the other was certain; but he must sit blindfold and helpless—unable to affect the balance by an ounce. Here is ...
— Once Aboard The Lugger • Arthur Stuart-Menteth Hutchinson

... man, "don't throw me over altogether. If I can help you in any way, little or big, let me know. If I can give you any hints, any advice, anything at all, I want to do it. And if you happen upon what seems to be a promising clew come and talk it over with me. Oh, don't be afraid! I'll leave it to you to work out. I sha'n't spoil ...
— Jason • Justus Miles Forman

... glass tube with a few Sitaris-grubs. The grubs do not appear at all eager for this wealth of nectar placed within their reach; they wander at random about the tube, run about the outside of the cell, sometimes happen upon the edge of the orifice and very rarely venture inside. When they do, they do not go far in and they come out again at once. If one happens to reach the honey, which only half fills the cell, it tries to escape ...
— The Glow-Worm and Other Beetles • Jean Henri Fabre

... allusions to, or direct mention of, some central facts concerning which they are all interested, no one can rightfully doubt that this undesigned agreement declares the truth. But if, in addition to all these undesigned coincidences, we happen upon the correspondence of persons whose interests and passions were diametrically opposed to those of our correspondents, and find that, when they have occasion to refer to them, they also confirm the great facts already ascertained, then our belief becomes conviction which can not be overturned ...
— Fables of Infidelity and Facts of Faith - Being an Examination of the Evidences of Infidelity • Robert Patterson

... never seem to come singly, for, an hour after thus breaking my fast I happen upon a party of villagers working on an unfinished portion of the new road; some of them are eating their morning meal of ekmek and yaort, and no sooner do I appear upon the scene than I am straightway invited to partake, a seat in the ragged circle congregated ...
— Around the World on a Bicycle V1 • Thomas Stevens

... German Ocean blowing right in our teeth. There were a number of passengers on board, country-people, such as travel by third-class on the railway; for, I suppose, nobody but ourselves ever dreamt of voyaging by the steamer for the sake of what he might happen upon ...
— Our Old Home - A Series of English Sketches • Nathaniel Hawthorne

... he said. Made it up out of whole cloth, of course, and meantime had taken his spite out on me and the poor little dog by throwing him overboard. How did you happen upon him?" ...
— A Dear Little Girl's Thanksgiving Holidays • Amy E. Blanchard

... precautions against a surprise. If Throkmorton was well informed, the duke had "caused two thousand corselets to be laid up in the house of Burbone (Bourbon), nere to the court, to serve in case of innovacion; if that any such matter shuld happen upon the arrivall of the King of Navarre." Desp. of Aug. 8, 1559, Forbes, State ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... followed my narrative: the New Yorkers, because such events do not happen upon the shores of the Hudson; Mrs. Henry, because she was my hostess; Miss Wood followed for whatever her reasons were—I couldn't see her eyes; rather, I FELT her listening intently to the deeds and dangers of the man she didn't care to tame. But it was the eyes of the Judge and the ...
— The Virginian - A Horseman Of The Plains • Owen Wister

... will presently speak to my sisters thereon, who are, both of them, wiser than I. Sisters by blood are we not, but by love and fellowship. And I doubt not but that as we go up into the house we shall happen upon them in the garden. But now I look upon thee, how ...
— The Water of the Wondrous Isles • William Morris

... animal's ability to learn, that while one individual would be scurrying about trying all ways of escape, investigating its surroundings, looking, sniffing, and dancing by turns, another would devote all its time to whirling, circling, or washing itself. One in the course of its activity would happen upon the way of escape, the other by reason of the limited scope of its activity, not the lack of it, would fail hour after hour to discover even the simplest way of getting back to its nest, to food, and to its companions. Hundreds of times during ...
— The Dancing Mouse - A Study in Animal Behavior • Robert M. Yerkes

... with heroes eponymi—imaginary personages, who owe their origin to the mere fact of the existence of certain tribe or race names, to account for which they were invented—that whenever, even in the history of other nations, we happen upon a name professedly personal, which stands evidently in close connection with a tribal designation, we are apt at once to suspect it of being fictitious. But in the East tribal and even ethnic names were certainly sometimes derived from actual ...
— The Seven Great Monarchies Of The Ancient Eastern World, Vol 5. (of 7): Persia • George Rawlinson

... fingers upon another pane, and add again the marks of the accused, but not placing them in the same order or relation to the other signatures as before—for, by one chance in a million, a person might happen upon the right marks by pure guesswork, ONCE, therefore I wish to be ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... on festivals, if not at other times, every foot of space was covered in some way or another, throughout the apse, with colour; either paint or tapestry or embroidery or Byzantine brocades and Oriental stuffs or rugs, lining the walls, covering the altars, and hiding the floor. Occasionally you happen upon illuminated manuscripts showing the interiors of chapels with their colour-decoration; but everything has perished here ...
— Mont-Saint-Michel and Chartres • Henry Adams

... we felt some doubt lest we might not find it again, or might happen upon an impassable stream that would cut us off from farther progress; not feeling quite equal to navigating with a pole on a snag, after the fashion ...
— Life at Puget Sound: With Sketches of Travel in Washington Territory, British Columbia, Oregon and California • Caroline C. Leighton

Words linked to "Happen upon" :   find, regain

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