happen (up)on (someone or something)

(redirected from happened upon)

happen (up)on (someone or something)

To find or encounter someone or something randomly or without planning or intent. I happened on a quaint new craft store the other day. I happened upon your brother yesterday in the grocery store.
See also: happen
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

happen (up)on someone or something

to come upon someone or something, as if by accident. (See also come (up)on someone or something.) I just happened upon a strange little man in the street who offered to sell me a watch. Andrew happened on a book that interested him, so he bought it.
See also: happen, on
McGraw-Hill Dictionary of American Idioms and Phrasal Verbs. © 2002 by The McGraw-Hill Companies, Inc.

happen on

or happen upon
v.
To find or meet someone or something accidentally: She happened on a $10 bill that lay on the sidewalk. The detective happened upon a clue while searching the cabin.
See also: happen, on
The American Heritage® Dictionary of Phrasal Verbs. Copyright © 2005 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
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References in classic literature ?
The most extraordinary thing to my mind, of all the strange and wonderful things that happened upon that Friday, was the dovetailing of the commonplace habits of our social order with the first beginnings of the series of events that was to topple that social order headlong.
He had happened upon one of those delightful friendships without any suspicion of sex in them of which the American girl had the monopoly.
"Monsieur, something has happened upon which we could not reckon."
And Curdken went on telling the king what had happened upon the meadow where the geese fed; how his hat was blown away; and how he was forced to run after it, and to leave his flock of geese to themselves.
`It seemed to me that I had happened upon humanity upon the wane.
If a cave man had happened upon it he would have no conception of its meaning or value, and as a consequence it would be lost or destroyed in short order.
He had arrived shortly after the absence of Tara of Helium had been noted, and in the excitement he had remained unannounced until John Carter had happened upon him in the great reception corridor of the palace as The Warlord was hurrying out to arrange for the dispatch of ships in search of his daughter.
Fruits, berries, and tender plantain found a place upon his menu in the order that he happened upon them, for he did not seek such foods.
She asked me who was my mistress, and I told her any madam's name that came next me; but as it seemed, I happened upon a name, a family of which name lived at Hadley, just beyond Barnet.
And when he was knocked down (which happened upon the average every third round), it was the most invigorating sight that can possibly be imagined, to behold him gather up his hat, gloves, and handkerchief, with a glowing countenance, and resume his station in the rank, with an ardour and enthusiasm that nothing Could abate.
I will tell you exactly what happened upon Monday evening.
One day he had happened upon Edna tending her pigs, and had at once fallen a-wooing with great urgency among the troughs of slush.
As an undergraduate Scott happened upon two old books in a Dundee secondhand bookstall: Social Evolution (1894) and Group Mind (1920); which made him aware of the pre-history of the current sociological concerns to which he was being exposed to as a student.
"They happened upon one another in the Thistle Shopping Centre.
BOHEMIA MOUNTAIN - An off-duty Lane County Search and Rescue volunteer exploring the Bohemia Mountain area happened upon the body of a missing Grants Pass man near Oakridge in Lane County on Saturday.