occur

verb
oc·​cur | \ ə-ˈkər How to pronounce occur (audio) \
occurred; occurring\ ə-​ˈkər-​iŋ How to pronounce occurring (audio) , -​ˈkə-​riŋ \

Definition of occur

intransitive verb

1 : to be found or met with : appear This bird occurs in New England in the spring.
2 : to come into existence : happen The accident occurred at 5 p.m.
3 : to come to mind an idea that has occurred to me

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The Meaning of Occur and the Spelling of Its Forms

Occur has three meanings. It means "to be found or met with; appear," as in "a phenomenon that occurs around the world"; it means "to come into existence; happen," as in "an event that occurred on Friday"; and it means "to come to mind," as in "it occurs to me that the word is quite useful."

It's an unusual-looking word, being so small but with two c's up against each other, and then just a simple r at the end. The r is doubled, though, for the past tense: occurred. And the double r continues in the present participle: occurring.

Examples of occur in a Sentence

The event is scheduled to occur at noon tomorrow. No one was ready for what was about to occur. There's a chance that a similar event will occur in the future. The disease tends to occur in children under the age of five. The plant occurs naturally throughout South America.
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Recent Examples on the Web

One inch hail occurred in Danbury at 1:55 p.m. and Killingly had three-quarter inch hail at 3:05 p.m. Smaller hail was reported in a number of towns. courant.com, "Connecticut weather for Monday, July 1," 1 July 2019 But his first retirement as a player occurred in the same year Leonard was born. Bill Plaschke, latimes.com, "Magic Johnson as part of Lakers’ Kawhi Leonard free-agency pitch is a strange fit," 28 June 2019 The illnesses range from mid-January up to June 8, with the highest number occurring in April. Ryan Prior, CNN, "62 people have been sickened in a salmonella outbreak linked to fresh papayas," 28 June 2019 Though the meeting occurred in the early morning hours back in the United States, some were quick to denounce the president’s comments. Jonathan Lemire, BostonGlobe.com, "Trump jokes to Putin: ‘Don’t meddle in the election’," 28 June 2019 Two of the drownings occurred in Panama City, the other in Destin. Leada Gore | Lgore@al.com, al.com, "Updated beach conditions: Panama City Beach, Destin, Gulf Shores; latest rip current forecast," 27 June 2019 In a tweet, Stefan Rahmstorf — the head of Earth system analysis at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research — pointed out that the five hottest European summers since 1,500 AD have all occurred in the last two decades. Jason Duaine Hahn, PEOPLE.com, "Record-Breaking Intense Heat Wave Hits Europe and Sparks Massive Wildfire in Spain," 27 June 2019 One of the seva servers explained their event occurs annually in early June to commemorate the anniversary of the Indian government’s attacks on armed Sikh separatists in the Golden Temple. Ali Kazimi, Quartz India, "A Canadian artist is keeping the embers of Sikh separatism alive with false equivalences," 27 June 2019 On June 18, a similar shooting occurred in the same area. Kim Fu, The Mercury News, "Men lured on ‘dates’ are shot and left on Solano County roadside," 26 June 2019

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

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for occur

borrowed from Latin occurrere "to run to meet, confront in a hostile manner, be met, present itself (to the mind)," from oc-, assimilated variant of ob- ob- + currere "to run, roll, move swiftly" — more at current entry 1

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Learn More about occur

Statistics for occur

Last Updated

4 Jul 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for occur

The first known use of occur was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for occur

occur

verb

English Language Learners Definition of occur

somewhat formal : to happen
formal : to appear or exist : to be found

occur

verb
oc·​cur | \ ə-ˈkər How to pronounce occur (audio) \
occurred; occurring

Kids Definition of occur

1 : to come by or as if by chance : happen Success doesn't just occur, it is earned.
2 : to come into the mind It never occurred to me to ask.
3 : to be found or met with : appear It's a disease that occurs among cows.

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More from Merriam-Webster on occur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with occur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occur

Spanish Central: Translation of occur

Nglish: Translation of occur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occur for Arabic Speakers

Comments on occur

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