incidence

play
noun in·ci·dence \ˈin(t)-sə-dən(t)s, -ˌden(t)s\

Definition of incidence

  1. 1a :  angle of incidenceb :  the arrival of something (such as a projectile or a ray of light) at a surface

  2. 2a :  an act or the fact or manner of falling upon or affecting :  occurrenceb :  rate of occurrence or influence a high incidence of crime

incidence was our Word of the Day on 10/09/2015. Hear the podcast!

Examples of incidence in a Sentence

  1. an increased incidence of diabetes

  2. a high incidence of criminal behavior

Recent Examples of incidence from the Web

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'incidence'. Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Did You Know?

The words incident, incidence, and instance may seem similar (and, in fact, incident and incidence are closely related), but they are not used identically. In current use, incidence usually means "rate of occurrence" and is often qualified in some way ("a high incidence of diabetes"). Incident usually refers to a particular event, often something unusual or unpleasant ("many such incidents go unreported"). Instance suggests a particular occurrence that is offered as an example ("another instance of bureaucratic bumbling"); it can also be synonymous with case ("many instances in which the wrong form was submitted"). The plural incidences sometimes occurs in such contexts as "several recent incidences of crime," but this use is often criticized as incorrect.

First Known Use of incidence

1626


INCIDENCE Defined for English Language Learners

incidence

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noun

Definition of incidence for English Language Learners

  • : the number of times something happens or develops : the rate at which something occurs

  • : the angle at which a ray (such as a ray of light) hits a surface


Medical Dictionary

incidence

play
noun in·ci·dence \ˈin(t)-səd-ən(t)s, -sə-ˌden(t)s\

Medical Definition of incidence

  1. 1a:  angle of incidenceb:  the arrival of something (as a ray of light) at a surface

  2. 2a:  an act or the fact or manner of occurring or affecting diseases of domestic incidenceScienceb:  rate of occurrence or influence; especially :  the rate of occurrence of new cases of a particular disease in a population being studied—compare prevalence


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