ex·​i·​gen·​cy | \ ˈek-sə-jən(t)-sē How to pronounce exigency (audio) , ig-ˈzi-jən(t)- How to pronounce exigency (audio) \
plural exigencies

Definition of exigency

1 : that which is required in a particular situation usually used in pluralexceptionally quick in responding to the exigencies of modern warfare— D. B. Ottaway
2a : the quality or state of being exigent
b : a state of affairs that makes urgent demands a leader must act in any sudden exigency

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Choose the Right Synonym for exigency

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 exigency in a Sentence

the exigencies requiring snap decisions that traders on the stock exchange face every day
Recent Examples on the Web Like any pilgrimage, a journey to the Berg imposes certain exigencies. Roxana Robinson, The New Yorker, "Holding Virginia Woolf in Your Hands," 29 Jan. 2020 The Trump administration argued against expedited Supreme Court consideration of the case, saying in a court brief that there were no exigencies that required it. WSJ, "Supreme Court Declines to Fast-Track Democratic Appeals on Affordable Care Act," 21 Jan. 2020 The compact was proposed as an alternative after the governor suggested $135 million in cuts, an act that forced regents to declare financial exigency. James Brooks, Anchorage Daily News, "Regents order 5% increase in resident tuition for University of Alaska," 18 Jan. 2020 Regents canceled their declaration of financial exigency. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "Some Alaska faculty say accreditor’s letter to UA validates their concerns, others say it’s too vague," 2 Oct. 2019 The business of government is driven by the exigencies of holding together fragile coalitions. The Economist, "Why politics in the south Pacific are so precarious," 7 Nov. 2019 Direct brain-to-brain communication has been a subject of intense interest for many years, driven by motives as diverse as futurist enthusiasm and military exigency. Robert Martone, Scientific American, "Scientists Demonstrate Direct Brain-to-Brain Communication in Humans," 29 Oct. 2019 Yet a reckoning with the reality of our changing earth must also come to terms with the exigencies of language. Abhrajyoti Chakraborty, The New Republic, "The Disaster Novelist," 8 Oct. 2019 Under financial exigency, for instance, UA would have to provide tenured faculty with 60 days’ notice of a layoff instead of one year. Tegan Hanlon, Anchorage Daily News, "University of Alaska regents set to reconsider ‘financial exigency’," 19 Aug. 2019

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

1588, in the meaning defined at sense 1

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Time Traveler for exigency

Time Traveler

The first known use of exigency was in 1588

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Last Updated

6 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Exigency.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/exigencies. Accessed 16 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for exigency


How to pronounce exigency (audio) How to pronounce exigency (audio)

English Language Learners Definition of exigency

formal : something that is necessary in a particular situation


ex·​i·​gen·​cy | \ ˈek-sə-jən-sē, ik-ˈsi-jən-sē How to pronounce exigency (audio) \
plural exigencies

Legal Definition of exigency

1 : that which is required in a particular situation usually used in pl.
2a : the quality or state of being exigent
b : a state of affairs that makes urgent demands

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