co·in·ci·dence | \ kō-ˈin(t)-sə-dən(t)s , -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

Physicists and astronomers, however, aren't usually convinced that two phenomena are connected until there's no more than a one in 3.5 million, or 5 sigma, probability of a coincidence. Daniel Clery, Science | AAAS, "Ghostly particle caught in polar ice ushers in new way to look at the universe," 12 July 2018 This accounts, in a philosophical sort of way, for de la Pava’s explicit embrace of the principles of screwball comedy—specifically, its reliance on the idea of coincidence. Elif Batuman, The New Yorker, "A Public Defender’s Polyphonic Novel of Football and Social Justice," 30 Apr. 2018 Another fun coincidence: Clapp attended Brother Martin. Larry Holder,, "The Saints love LSU players! (Plus drafting Will Clapp makes sense)," 28 Apr. 2018 Japanese Support: March 31 It’s no coincidence that the bond rout that began in September coincided with Japanese investors cutting their holdings of U.S. Treasuries., "Bond Market Déjà Vu? Here's What Will Show If Rout Has Legs," 27 Feb. 2018 By coincidence, Myers said that right before a pause in the debate, to coordinate with a live radio broadcast. David Weigel, Washington Post, "In Wisconsin, a Democratic star finds himself in a primary brawl," 9 July 2018 My friend was dumbfounded by the coincidence, but Farquaad acted fast. Emilia Petrarca, The Cut, "Lord Farquaad Is a Style Icon," 29 June 2018 And is if any of the players needed another dose of reality, early in the scrimmage they were reminded of their teammate by an eerie coincidence. Jim Derry,, "Hannan baseball community focused on CF Brandon Klein after batting cage accident," 15 Feb. 2018 By coincidence Mette-Marit also played an important symbolic role in the darkest moment in Norway’s recent history—when her stepbrother was killed in the mass shooting by Anders Breivik in 2011. Michael Joseph Gross, Town & Country, "How Commoners Are Saving the Royal Families of Europe," 17 Jan. 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

8 Sep 2018

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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



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

: the occurrence of two or more things at the same time

: the state of two or more things being the same


co·in·ci·dence | \ kō-ˈin-sə-dəns \

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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Comments on coincidence

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


alleviating pain or harshness

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