Definition of circumstance
1a : a condition, fact, or event accompanying, conditioning, or determining another : an essential or inevitable concomitant the weather is a circumstance to be taken into considerationb : a subordinate or accessory (see 2accessory 2) fact or detail cost is a minor circumstance in this casec : a piece of evidence that indicates the probability or improbability of an event (such as a crime) the circumstance of the missing weapon told against him the circumstances suggest murder
2a : the sum of essential and environmental factors (as of an event or situation) constant and rapid change in economic circumstance — G. M. Trevelyanb : state of affairs : eventuality open rebellion was a rare circumstance —often used in plural a victim of circumstancesc circumstances plural : situation with regard to wealth he was in easy circumstances rose from difficult circumstances
3 : attendant formalities and ritualistic display especially as contrasted with essential procedure pride, pomp, and circumstance of glorious war — William Shakespeare
4 : an event that constitutes a detail (as of a narrative or course of events) considering each circumstance in turn
Examples of circumstance in a Sentence
I can't imagine a circumstance in which I would do that.
The circumstances of his death are suspicious.
She says that her client is a victim of circumstance and should not be blamed for the accident.
He was a victim of circumstances.
Recent Examples of circumstance from the Web
Revenge porn is never OK under any circumstances, but there are also questions surrounding whether or not Rob can be legally charged with a crime under California law.
Some are realized through circumstance, as Romans discovered as a child cultivating his racing career while working on the Churchill Downs backstretch just miles from his Shively home.
For the first time, most people – no matter their struggle or station in life – could hop in their cars, hit the road and escape from the places and circumstances that bound them.
Beware of tree topping: A good arborist will never recommend — or agree to — topping a tree except under rare circumstances (such as to save the tree after severe physical damage to the crown).
Despite their circumstances, Alexis was always positive and took care of everyone, especially her mother.
Operating under special circumstances doesn’t seem to bother him, though.
After the hearing, McGarvey, who sponsored similar, unsuccessful measures in the last two sessions of the General Assembly, said be believes public attitudes are beginning to shift in favor of allowing use of medical marijuana in some circumstances.
Some presidents are unfortunate enough to face one of these circumstances; with the midterms still more than a year away, Donald Trump already seems to have all those bases covered.
These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'circumstance'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.
Synonym Discussion of circumstance
CIRCUMSTANCE Defined for English Language Learners
Definition of circumstance for English Language Learners
: a condition or fact that affects a situation
circumstances : the way something happens : the specific details of an event
: an event or situation that you cannot control
CIRCUMSTANCE Defined for Kids
Definition of circumstance for Students
1 : a fact or event that affects a situation Illness is the only circumstance that will excuse your absence.
2 circumstances plural : conditions at a certain time or place Under the circumstances, I think we did well.
3 circumstances plural : the way something happens Please explain the circumstances of the accident.
4 circumstances plural : the conditions in which someone lives “When the Lord puts us in certain circumstances He doesn't mean for us to imagine them away.” — Lucy Maud Montgomery, Anne of Green Gables
5 : an uncontrollable event or situation a victim of circumstance
Legal Definition of circumstance
1a : a condition, fact, or event accompanying, conditioning, or determining another must state with particularity the circumstances constituting fraud or mistake — Federal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 9(b) b : a piece of evidence that indicates the probability or improbability of an event a statement…offered to exculpate the accused is not admissible unless corroborating circumstances clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statement — State v. Lopez, 764 P.2d 1111 (1988)
2 pl : situation with regard to wealth the circumstances of the parties before the divorce
Learn More about circumstance
See words that rhyme with circumstance Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for circumstance Spanish Central: Translation of circumstance Nglish: Translation of circumstance for Spanish speakers Britannica English: Translation of circumstance for Arabic speakers Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about circumstance
Seen and Heard
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