Happenstance

“It was happy happenstance for Henry when he found the money right in front of a candy store.”

What is the best definition of happenstance?

Check your answer!

Choice A - A meeting that goes according to plan
Choice B - The conditions surrounding an event
Choice C - An event that occurs randomly
Choice D - A prediction of a future event

Definition:

Happenstance (noun) – an event that occurs by chance or at random

GRE pro tips:

Happenstance is a fusion of the words: happen and circumstance. Whereas circumstances are the conditions surrounding an event, happenstance refers to an event itself. Specifically, it refers to a coincidental event or random occurrence with no preplanning.

Say, for interest, you happen to be bored so you go out to a pub for companionship. If you are seated next to a charming person who you end up marrying, your meeting was a happenstance (whereas your being bored and lonely at home were merely the circumstances surrounding the event). Similarly, if the two of you just happened to grow up in the same small town, that would be a coincidence – in other words, happenstance.

Example sentences:

“Then just by happenstance, as I was calling my friend to confirm her shoe size, she walked into the very boutique where I was shopping.”

“When I wasn’t looking for love, I met my husband by happenstance.”