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

Chief Kerr said police had been collecting video evidence of individuals entering and leaving Orchids of Asia Day Spa, where acts of prostitution allegedly occurred. Andrew Beaton, WSJ, "New England Patriots Owner Robert Kraft Charged With Soliciting Prostitution," 22 Feb. 2019 Moms Demand Action gave me the power to speak up when the tragedy of Parkland occurred. Alison Caporimo, Seventeen, "11 Teen Gun Violence Survivors and Activists on the Parkland Shooting Anniversary," 14 Feb. 2019 When that occurs, the OSIRIS-REx team will make history, as Bennu will be the smallest Solar System object to ever be orbited by a spacecraft. Loren Grush, The Verge, "After a two-year journey, a NASA spacecraft arrives at its target asteroid," 3 Dec. 2018 Many people would agree that this, too, is part of family life, particularly when change occurs. Victoria Murphy, Town & Country, "Are Kate Middleton and Meghan Markle Really Feuding?," 3 Dec. 2018 Wiggins was discovered by a Tennessee Highway Patrol trooper near where the shooting occurred, the Tennessean reported, citing the Hickman County Sheriff’s Office. Ryan Gaydos, Fox News, "Alleged Tennessee cop killer arrested after manhunt, police say," 2 Oct. 2018 Because fruit juices and fruit purees are concentrated forms of naturally occurring sugar, they're often added to products to sweeten the taste. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Is Jamba Juice Healthy? Smoothie Fans Might Not Like the Answer," 29 Aug. 2018 This will be the first of two baby showers that Markle will be having, the second will occur in the U.K. after her upcoming trip to Morocco. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Meghan Markle Is Having a Baby Shower in New York—Here's Everything We Know About It So Far," 20 Feb. 2019 If placed in the dishwasher, bleed can occur between the handle and the blade. Elle Decor Editors, ELLE Decor, "Everything You Need to Know About Caring for Tabletop Accessories," 11 Feb. 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

14 Mar 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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