What's the difference between
Enter two words to compare and contrast their definitions, origins, and synonyms to better understand how those words are related.

Happen vs Story - What's the difference?

happen | story |

As nouns the difference between happen and story

is that happen is morsel while story is a sequence of real or fictional events; or, an account of such a sequence.

As a verb story is

to tell as a story; to relate or narrate about.




(en verb)
  • To occur or take place.
  • *{{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-28, author=(Joris Luyendijk)
  • , volume=189, issue=3, page=21, magazine=(The Guardian Weekly) , title= Our banks are out of control , passage=Seeing the British establishment struggle with the financial sector is like watching an alcoholic who still resists the idea that something drastic needs to happen for him to turn his life around.}}
  • To occur unexpectedly, by chance or with a low probability.
  • To encounter by chance.
  • * 1860 , , The Marble Faun , ch. 30:
  • Unexpectedly, in a nook close by the farmhouse, he happened upon a spot where the vintage had actually commenced.

    Usage notes

    * This is a catenative verb that takes the to infinitive . See

    Derived terms

    * as it happens * happen along * happener * happeningly * it so happens


  • (obsolete or dialect) maybe, perhaps.
  • English catenative verbs 1000 English basic words ----



    Alternative forms

    * storie (obsolete), storey


  • A sequence of real or fictional events; or, an account of such a sequence.
  • * Ed. Rev.
  • Venice, with its unique city and its impressive story
  • * Sir W. Temple
  • The four great monarchies make the subject of ancient story .
  • *
  • , title=(The Celebrity), chapter=1 , passage=The stories did not seem to me to touch life. They were plainly intended to have a bracing moral effect, and perhaps had this result for the people at whom they were aimed. They left me with the impression of a well-delivered stereopticon lecture, with characters about as life-like as the shadows on the screen, and whisking on and off, at the mercy of the operator.}}
  • * {{quote-magazine, date=2013-06-29, volume=407, issue=8842, page=55, magazine=(The Economist)
  • , title= Travels and travails , passage=Even without hovering drones, a lurking assassin, a thumping score and a denouement, the real-life story of Edward Snowden, a rogue spy on the run, could be straight out of the cinema. But, as with Hollywood, the subplots and exotic locations may distract from the real message: America’s discomfort and its foes’ glee.}}
  • A lie.
  • (chiefly, US) A floor or level of a building; a storey.
  • * 1900 , , (The House Behind the Cedars) , chapter I:
  • The lower story of the market-house was open on all four of its sides to the public square.
  • (US, colloquial, usually pluralized) A soap opera.
  • (obsolete) History.
  • * 1644 , (John Milton), (Aeropagitica) :
  • who is so unread or so uncatechis'd in story , that hath not heard of many sects refusing books as a hindrance, and preserving their doctrine unmixt for many ages, only by unwritt'n traditions.
  • A sequence of events, or a situation, such as might be related in an account.
  • Usage notes

    * (soap opera) Popularized in the 1950s, when soap operas were often billed as "continuing stories", the term "story" to describe a soap opera fell into disuse by the 21st century and is now used chiefly among older people and in rural areas. Other English-speaking countries used the term at its zenith as a "loaned" word from the United States.


    * (account) tome * (lie) See * (floor) floor, level * (soap opera) soap opera, serial * narrative

    Derived terms

    * Banbury story of a cock and a bull * bedtime story * chain story * cock-and-bull story * cover story * end of story * fish story * ghost story * horror story * just-so story * likely story * love story * my stories * shaggy-dog story * short short story * short story * sob story * storiation * story editor * storybook * storyline * story of my life * storyteller * storytelling * success story * tall story * to cut a long story short * war story


  • To tell as a story; to relate or narrate about.
  • * Shakespeare
  • How worthy he is I will leave to appear hereafter, rather than story him in his own hearing.
  • * Bishop Wilkins
  • It is storied of the brazen colossus in Rhodes, that it was seventy cubits high.