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

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 And according to the makeup brand, that's no coincidence. Sophie Saint Thomas, Allure, "Make Beauty Is Having a Big Sale on Its Makeup and Skin Care to Celebrate the Full Moon," 25 Oct. 2018 Friday turned out to be a day of coincidence for the Williams sisters, who both battled against players named Kiki. Sandra Harwitt, USA TODAY, "Luck on Serena Williams' side at Wimbledon as top seeds falter early," 6 July 2018 This story was already full of coincidences, but there was one more to this story. Jackie Montalvo, NBC News, "The long-lost sister my family never knew existed," 17 June 2018 Viewed in the light that Russia intervened in the 2016 election to benefit Trump, and that members of Trump's campaign are under investigation for possibly colluding in that effort, the number of coincidences really start to pile up. Jack Holmes, Esquire, "A Blockbuster New Yorker Story Sheds Light on Christopher Steele, and, Yes, the 'Pee Tape'," 5 Mar. 2018 The similarities may well just be a coincidence, since Home Alone first hit theaters on November 16 that same year. Jennifer Ouellette, Ars Technica, "Dial Code: Santa Claus is our new favorite holiday cult classic," 24 Dec. 2018 At a certain point, though, around the time of Barack Obama’s victory in 2008 (and the timing is unlikely to be a coincidence), whites started to flow out of the bucket as fast as non-whites flowed in. The Economist, "Demography is not destinyBuilding a multiracial coalition is more difficult than it seems," 12 July 2018 By seeming coincidence, the rate of decline in no-gun robberies, 17 per cent, is about the same as the increase in gun robberies. Martin Weil, Washington Post, "Gunpoint robberies rise in D.C. ; those without guns decline," 16 June 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

10 Feb 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



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


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).


to express emotion in a dramatic way

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