coincidence

noun
co·​in·​ci·​dence | \ kō-ˈin(t)-sə-dən(t)s How to pronounce coincidence (audio) , -sə-ˌden(t)s\

Definition of coincidence

1 : the act or condition of coinciding : correspondence … a perfect coincidence between truth and goodness …— Robert South
2 : the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection … causal connection requires something more than mere coincidence as to time and place …— Wayne R. LaFave also : any of these occurrences

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Examples of coincidence in a Sentence

It was mere coincidence that brought them together so far from Chicago. By coincidence, every man in the room was named Fred. “I'm going to Boston this weekend.” “What a coincidence! I am too.” It was no coincidence that he quit his job at the bank a day after the robbery. a series of strange coincidences By a fortunate coincidence, we arrived at the theater at the same time. Scientists have no explanation for the coincidence of these phenomena.
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Recent Examples on the Web

The similarities between the two films may well just be a coincidence. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Dial Code: Santa Claus is our new favorite holiday cult classic," 24 Dec. 2018 This is not a coincidence; these same individuals have been politically active in the GOP for decades, going back to the 1970s, and their understanding of scripture informs the Republican Party platform. Cindy Mallette, Vox, "In a year of hyperpartisanship, I did the unthinkable — I changed my mind about politics.," 20 Dec. 2018 But with the benefit of hindsight, his comment appears more important because of what might be a coincidence: The next day stocks began a 10% correction. James Mackintosh, WSJ, "Jerome Powell Shows His Cards on the Stock Market," 29 Nov. 2018 It’s no coincidence that Nintendo’s lifting its tough restrictions ahead of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launching on the Switch. Julia Alexander, The Verge, "Decision comes ahead of Super Smash Bros. Ultimate launch," 29 Nov. 2018 That Fort Scott has been left alone over the last 20 years is not a coincidence, said project manager Josh Bagley. J.k. Dineen, San Francisco Chronicle, "Glorious Presidio site seeks occupant: must be deep-pocketed do-gooder," 18 Jan. 2018 By an amazing coincidence college costs have been rising much faster than inflation ever since. James Freeman, WSJ, "Remember When Politicians Promised to Make College Affordable?," 17 Jan. 2019 To believe that neither Trump nor Banks colluded directly with Russia in 2016 is to believe in an awful lot of strange coincidences. Jonathan Chait, Daily Intelligencer, "Britain Has a Russia Collusion Scandal Now. It Looks Exactly Like Trump’s.," 22 June 2018 For some reason, every eel in this unfortunate situation has been lodged in the right nostril, which is probably a coincidence, but still weird. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "Why Are Seals Getting Eels Stuck in Their Noses?," 7 Dec. 2018

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'coincidence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

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First Known Use of coincidence

1605, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for coincidence

borrowed from Medieval Latin coincidentia, derivative of coincident-, coincidens, present participle of coincidere "to agree in nature, coincide"

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Last Updated

24 Mar 2019

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Time Traveler for coincidence

The first known use of coincidence was in 1605

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More Definitions for coincidence

coincidence

noun

English Language Learners Definition of coincidence

: a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected
formal : the occurrence of two or more things at the same time
formal : the state of two or more things being the same

coincidence

noun
co·​in·​ci·​dence | \ kō-ˈin-sə-dəns How to pronounce coincidence (audio) \

Kids Definition of coincidence

1 : a situation in which things happen at the same time without planning It was a coincidence that we chose the same week for vacation.
2 : a condition of coming together in space or time The coincidence of the two events was eerie.

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