Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary


noun \i-ˈvent\

Simple Definition of event

  • : something (especially something important or notable) that happens

  • : a planned occasion or activity (such as a social gathering)

  • : any one of the contests in a sports program

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of event

  1. 1 a archaic :  outcome b :  the final outcome or determination of a legal action c :  a postulated outcome, condition, or eventuality <in the event that I am not there, call the house>

  2. 2 a :  something that happens :  occurrence b :  a noteworthy happening c :  a social occasion or activity d :  an adverse or damaging medical occurrence <a heart attack or other cardiac event>

  3. 3 :  any of the contests in a program of sports

  4. 4 :  the fundamental entity of observed physical reality represented by a point designated by three coordinates of place and one of time in the space-time continuum postulated by the theory of relativity

  5. 5 :  a subset of the possible outcomes of an experiment

eventless play \-ləs\ adjective
at all events
  1. :  in any case

in any event
  1. :  in any case

in the event

chiefly British

  1. :  as it turns out

Examples of event in a sentence

  1. The article recounted the events of the past year.

  2. the last major event of the summer

  3. He had no memory of the events that happened afterwards.

  4. The accident was caused by an unusual sequence of events.

  5. She likes to arrive at social events early.

  6. It's the only event on the golf tour that she hasn't yet won.

Origin of event

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin eventus, from evenire to happen, from e- + venire to come — more at come

First Known Use: 1549

Synonym Discussion of event

occurrence, event, incident, episode, circumstance mean something that happens or takes place. occurrence may apply to a happening without intent, volition, or plan <an encounter that was a chance occurrence>. event usually implies an occurrence of some importance and frequently one having antecedent cause <the events following the assassination>. incident suggests an occurrence of brief duration or secondary importance <a minor wartime incident>. episode stresses the distinctiveness or apartness of an incident <a brief romantic episode in a life devoted to work>. circumstance implies a specific detail attending an action or event as part of its setting or background <couldn't recall the exact circumstances>.

EVENT Defined for Kids


noun \i-ˈvent\

Definition of event for Students

  1. 1 :  something important or notable that happens <historical events>

  2. 2 :  a social occasion (as a party)

  3. 3 :  the fact of happening <in the event of rain>

  4. 4 :  a contest in a program of sports <Olympic events>

Word Root of event

The Latin word venīre, meaning “to come,” and its form ventus give us the roots ven and vent. Words from the Latin venīre have something to do with coming. To invent is to come up with a new idea or device that no one has thought of before. To convene is to come together for a purpose. An event is an occasion when many people come together.

Medical Dictionary


noun \i-ˈvent\

Medical Definition of event

  1. :  an adverse or damaging medical occurrence <a heart attack or other cardiac event>

Law Dictionary



Legal Definition of event

  1. 1 :  something that happens :  occurrence

  2. 2 :  the issue or outcome of a legal action or proceeding as finally determined

Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up event? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


marked by grandiloquent style

Get Word of the Day daily email!


Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!


Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

disapprove reduce perplex soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!


Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.