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

In what was likely not a coincidence, the Justice Department on Friday unsealed an indictment charging 11 suspected MS-13 gang members in connection with the killings of two teens in Virginia. Jonathan Lemire And Darlene Superville,, "Dismissing 'phony stories of sadness' in immigration crisis, Trump meets with 'angel families'," 23 June 2018 That divergence isn’t a coincidence, and reflects the growing divide in the state between the liberal cities that drive the state’s economy and the conservative small towns and rural areas that control state politics. Ed Kilgore, Daily Intelligencer, "North Carolina Teachers March for More Education Funding," 16 May 2018 That divergence isn’t a coincidence, and reflects the growing divide in the state between the liberal cities that drive the state’s economy and the conservative small towns and rural areas that control state politics. Valerie Bauerlein, WSJ, "North Carolina Teachers Protest, Exposing a Rural-Urban Divide," 16 May 2018 Related Graduates say that is no coincidence, since the student body, largely Catholic, tends to skew politically conservative. Michelle Hackman, WSJ, "The All-Boys High School Producing GOP Bigwigs," 11 July 2018 The fact that this happened in a newspaper is no coincidence. Emma Green, The Atlantic, "The Capital Gazette Won’t Stop Reporting," 29 June 2018 The portfolio of small batch wines clad in old-school tattoo labels is mostly Mediterranean-themed, with solid white and red Grenache wines and fragrant Viognier, a recurring phenomenon in this region, probably not a coincidence. Tim Teichgraeber,, "Five vineyards you must see in Oregon’s lesser-known Rogue Valley region," 23 May 2018 This design flourish was no coincidence; the restaurant, until around 2014, was a combination KFC-Taco Bell. Nate Berg, Curbed, "McDonald’s 2.0," 11 Apr. 2018 And that’s no coincidence. Wage suppression is just like a tax: a tax on the labor of workers. Suresh Naidu, Eric Posner, Vox, "More and more companies have monopoly power over workers’ wages. That’s killing the economy.," 6 Apr. 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

20 Oct 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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