occur

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

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.
Recent Examples on the Web About two lunar eclipses occur each year, and the next will be a total lunar eclipse in November, Petro said. Katie Hunt, Megan Marples And Ashley Strickland, CNN, 16 May 2022 Taxes might be paid more gradually, but that may occur with increasing longevity anyhow. WSJ, 16 May 2022 Earthquakes in New England occur on faults within bedrock, usually miles deep, the USGS website said. Globe Staff, BostonGlobe.com, 15 May 2022 Well, the thing that this tragedy shows us is that this can occur anywhere. NBC News, 15 May 2022 Experts say there are several reasons why these disparities occur between white people and people of color. Kiara Alfonseca, ABC News, 13 May 2022 Data from the Arizona Department of Transportation shows most pedestrian fatalities occur in metro Phoenix. Perry Vandell, The Arizona Republic, 12 May 2022 That means that even though this latest discovery was a false alarm, malicious dependency confusion attacks do occur in the wild. Dan Goodin, Ars Technica, 11 May 2022 For example, health officials can predict each year when the flu season will start and end, what strains may appear and how many cases may occur. Adrianna Rodriguez, USA TODAY, 9 May 2022 See More

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.

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

Learn More About occur

Time Traveler for occur

Time Traveler

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

See more words from the same century

Dictionary Entries Near occur

occupy

occur

occurrence

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Statistics for occur

Last Updated

19 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Occur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occur. Accessed 28 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for occur

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.

More from Merriam-Webster on occur

Nglish: Translation of occur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occur for Arabic Speakers

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