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

While folliculitis can occur simply from the trauma of waxing, it can also be caused by exposure to bacteria in the wax and result in an infection. Nicole Saporita, Good Housekeeping, "12 Must-Know Things to Consider Before Waxing Your Face," 30 Apr. 2019 The important thing to remember is that accidents like this are extremely rare: Data showed that one fatal accident occurred for every 16 million flights in 2017. Barbara Peterson, Condé Nast Traveler, "The FAA, Boeing Issue Alerts for 737 Max 8 Planes After Lion Air Crash," 9 Nov. 2018 At least 207 people are dead, and over 400 are wounded, after a series of coordinated bombings occurred across Sri Lanka today. Christian Allaire, Vogue, "Over 200 Dead in Sri Lanka Bombings," 21 Apr. 2019 More recent research suggests that many of CBD’s effects may occur outside of CB receptors, Jordan Tishler, M.D., medical cannabis expert at InhaleMD in Boston, tells SELF. Sarah Jacoby, SELF, "Do Topical CBD Products Actually Do Anything for Pain?," 19 Apr. 2019 Norton was on a school trip with classmates from Briar Cliff University when the accident occurred, CNN reports. Kaylen Ralph, Teen Vogue, "20-Year-Old College Student Andrea Norton Died Taking a Photo at Ozark National Forest," 17 Apr. 2019 Microsoft is also working out some of the worst kinks, and giving users more control over when and how updates occur. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Sophos, Avast warn of Windows machines failing to boot after latest Microsoft patch," 15 Apr. 2019 But that's come with a negative side effect of a loud noise occurring every time a person flushes. David Grossman, Popular Mechanics, "Using Physics To Build a Quieter Airplane Toilet," 5 Apr. 2019 Testimony revealed there was an Alaskan couple camping at the pullout where the crash occurred. Lauren Smiley, Glamour, "Sarah Hart Was ‘Intoxicated’: Everything We’ve Learned So Far About the Hart Family From the Coroner’s Inquest," 5 Apr. 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

9 May 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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