oc·​cur·​rence | \ ə-ˈkər-ən(t)s How to pronounce occurrence (audio) , -ˈkə-rən(t)s \

Definition of occurrence

1 : something that occurs a startling occurrence Lightning is a natural occurrence.
2 : the action or fact of happening or occurring often used with of the repeated occurrence of petty theft in the locker room

Choose the Right Synonym for occurrence

occurrence, event, incident, episode, circumstance mean something that happens or takes place. occurrence may apply to a happening without intent, volition, or plan. an encounter that was a chance occurrence event usually implies an occurrence of some importance and frequently one having antecedent cause. the events following the assassination incident suggests an occurrence of brief duration or secondary importance. a minor wartime incident episode stresses the distinctiveness or apartness of an incident. a brief romantic episode in a life devoted to work circumstance implies a specific detail attending an action or event as part of its setting or background. couldn't recall the exact circumstances

Examples of occurrence in a Sentence

Getting headaches has become a common occurrence for her. the recent occurrences of the disease Lightning is a natural occurrence.
Recent Examples on the Web The staff says that these unsuccessful adoptions aren’t from the pandemic, but are a yearly occurrence. Justin Raystaff Writer, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2022 That's happened in the past, and close calls are a frequent occurrence. Jackie Wattles, CNN, 13 May 2022 But this version of Schrader is only a recent occurrence. Daniel Strauss, The New Republic, 11 May 2022 Total team defense from opponents is a nightly occurrence. Jim Owczarski, Milwaukee Journal Sentinel, 2 May 2022 Neural adaptations are a subconscious occurrence while the mind-muscle connection is a conscious act. Men's Health, 18 Apr. 2022 Failure is a natural occurrence of human existence. Brian H. Robb, Forbes, 12 Apr. 2022 This is a once-in-a-lifetime occurrence, as the last time these two planets collided in the sign of Pisces was 1856 and won’t happen again until 2188. Meghan Rose, Glamour, 12 Apr. 2022 But Hustavenes explained that this was now a common occurrence—deer love eating fresh roses from graves. Nick Romeo, The New Yorker, 4 May 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occurrence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of occurrence

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for occurrence

occurr(ent) entry 1 + -ence, perhaps after Middle French occurrence "circumstance"

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Time Traveler for occurrence

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The first known use of occurrence was in 1539

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Statistics for occurrence

Last Updated

20 May 2022

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occurrence. Accessed 20 May. 2022.

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More Definitions for occurrence


oc·​cur·​rence | \ ə-ˈkər-əns How to pronounce occurrence (audio) \

Kids Definition of occurrence

1 : something that happens Lightning is a natural occurrence.
2 : the action or process of happening There's been a lower occurrence of the disease.



Legal Definition of occurrence

: something that takes place especially : an accident, event, or continuing condition that causes personal or property damage that is unintended or unexpected from the standpoint of an insured party making a claim

More from Merriam-Webster on occurrence

Nglish: Translation of occurrence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occurrence for Arabic Speakers


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