Definition of occur
- This bird occurs in New England in the spring.
- The accident occurred at 5 p.m.
- an idea that has occurred to me
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.
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.
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.
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Winter Words Quiz