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 In a horrific coincidence, this occurred on the very same day in May that George Floyd was killed by police in Minneapolis. Val Cunningham Contributing Writer, Star Tribune, "St. Paul group among those working to broaden the face of bird-watching," 4 Aug. 2020 But the national party’s rhetoric against voter fraud reached a new level—and this is undoubtedly a total coincidence—in 2008, after the Democrats had chosen the first Black nominee for president. Libby Watson, The New Republic, "The Anti-Election Party," 4 Aug. 2020 The arrangement could be more by design than a coincidence, and the Herrmann Building connection between the governor and Pioneer Technical Services goes deeper. Emily Larsen, Washington Examiner, "As Steve Bullock rebukes Republican attack ad, paper trail reveals close relationship with his brother's company," 3 Aug. 2020 In an eerie coincidence, two presidents and Founding Fathers died on July 4, 1826 -- 50 years after the Declaration of Independence was passed. Washington Post, "How much do you know about the Fourth of July?," 3 July 2020 In a hilarious coincidence, Anna and Justin both reached for toy versions of their respective Trolls characters, Poppy and Branch. Tierney Mcafee, Country Living, "Kelly Clarkson’s Kids Adorably Crashed Her 'Trolls' Interview with Justin Timberlake and Anna Kendrick," 14 Apr. 2020 The rule was due to take effect Aug. 26 — by coincidence, the 100th anniversary of the constitutional amendment granting women the right to vote. Bob Egelko,, "Trump administration barred from requiring separate bill for abortion insurance services," 10 July 2020 There is such a thing as coincidence, and sanctions mean maintenance issues can be more frequent. Nick Paton Walsh, CNN, "Mystery fire at Iranian nuclear facility is the latest in a series of unexplained incidents," 6 July 2020 This correlation is not a coincidence, according to a 2018 research brief by the Institute for Local Self-Reliance, which advocates for small businesses. Alec Macgillis, ProPublica, "How Dollar Stores Became Magnets for Crime and Killing," 29 June 2020

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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Learn More about coincidence

Time Traveler for coincidence

Time Traveler

The first known use of coincidence was in 1605

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Statistics for coincidence

Last Updated

10 Aug 2020

Cite this Entry

“Coincidence.” Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Aug. 2020.

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More Definitions for coincidence


How to pronounce coincidence (audio)

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 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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