emergency

noun, often attributive
emer·​gen·​cy | \ i-ˈmər-jən(t)-sē How to pronounce emergency (audio) \
plural emergencies

Definition of emergency

1 : an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action
2 : an urgent need for assistance or relief the mayor declared a state of emergency after the flood

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Choose the Right Synonym for emergency

juncture, exigency, emergency, contingency, pinch, strait (or straits) crisis mean a critical or crucial time or state of affairs. juncture stresses the significant concurrence or convergence of events. an important juncture in our country's history exigency stresses the pressure of restrictions or urgency of demands created by a special situation. provide for exigencies emergency applies to a sudden unforeseen situation requiring prompt action to avoid disaster. the presence of mind needed to deal with emergencies contingency implies an emergency or exigency that is regarded as possible but uncertain of occurrence. contingency plans pinch implies urgency or pressure for action to a less intense degree than exigency or emergency. come through in a pinch strait, now commonly straits, applies to a troublesome situation from which escape is extremely difficult. in dire straits crisis applies to a juncture whose outcome will make a decisive difference. a crisis of confidence

Examples of emergency in a Sentence

Her quick thinking in an emergency saved the baby's life. an alert, quick-thinking girl who is good to have around in an emergency

Recent Examples on the Web

The American Red Cross was called in to help those residents arrange for emergency lodging. San Diego Union-Tribune, "One injured, at least 10 displaced by fire at Spring Valley assisted-living home," 8 June 2019 The Mountain Fire, which was reported Friday afternoon, has burned about 6,200 acres in the national forest northeast of Phoenix, according to InciWeb, an interagency emergency management service. Tina Burnside And Ralph Ellis, CNN, "Fire consumes 6,000 acres in Tonto National Forest in Arizona," 8 June 2019 The program’s perks include free maintenance as required by the manufacturer the first two years, lifetime car washes, road hazard and tire protection, roadside assistance and emergency rental car coverage. Jeff Yip, Houston Chronicle, "Central Houston Nissan wraps up massive expansion," 8 June 2019 That emergency caused a 20-minute delay in the San Francisco Airport, Daly City and East Bay directions. George Kelly, The Mercury News, "Long delays expected as BART’s Transbay Tube reopens following closure," 7 June 2019 Then, structure talks about emergency moves, like storing drinking water and untying livestock, using a sorting game adapted from one by the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre. Laura Pappano, New York Times, "From Albania to Singapore, U.S. Students Look for Tailored Experiences Abroad," 7 June 2019 Longtime homeless advocate Tanya Tull helped develop emergency shelters in Los Angeles in the 1980s. Dakota Smith, latimes.com, "Garcetti faces heat over L.A.’s homeless crisis but remains optimistic. Is he being realistic?," 6 June 2019 Moore shared with People magazine after enduring an emergency cesarean section. Jasmine Grant, Essence, "These Celebrity Babies Aren't Even A Year Old And They've Already Stolen Our Hearts," 6 June 2019 On May 20, 2016 Millie's mother, Candra Modesitt, underwent an emergency C-section. Shari Rudavsky, Indianapolis Star, "The machine that saved Millie — and 999 other Riley kids before her," 6 June 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'emergency.' 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 emergency

circa 1631, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Statistics for emergency

Last Updated

12 Jun 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for emergency

The first known use of emergency was circa 1631

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More Definitions for emergency

emergency

noun

English Language Learners Definition of emergency

: an unexpected and usually dangerous situation that calls for immediate action

emergency

noun
emer·​gen·​cy | \ i-ˈmər-jən-sē How to pronounce emergency (audio) \
plural emergencies

Kids Definition of emergency

: an unexpected situation that requires immediate action a medical emergency

emergency

noun
emer·​gen·​cy | \ i-ˈmər-jən-sē How to pronounce emergency (audio) \
plural emergencies

Medical Definition of emergency

: an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action: as
a : a sudden bodily alteration (as a ruptured appendix or surgical shock) such as is likely to require immediate medical attention
b : a usually distressing event or condition that can often be anticipated or prepared for but seldom exactly foreseen

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emergency

noun
emer·​gen·​cy
plural emergencies

Legal Definition of emergency

1 : an unforeseen combination of circumstances or the resulting state that calls for immediate action
2 : an urgent need for assistance or relief a state of emergency

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Comments on emergency

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