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

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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.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Trump frequently criticized the closure plans during the 2016 campaign, and promised to prevent similar occurrences in the future. Zeke Miller, The Seattle Times, "Angry over cutbacks, Trump threatens to end subsidies to GM," 27 Nov. 2018 In June, the temperature at Cincinnati hit at least 90 on six consecutive days, making it the longest such occurrence in June at the site since June of 2005, the National Weather Service said. Sarah Brookbank, Cincinnati.com, "Cincinnati weather: Why is it so hot? Blame the heat dome," 5 July 2018 Trucks smacking into bridges and overpasses is becoming a frequent occurrence in Michigan. Detroit Free Press Staff, Detroit Free Press, "I-94 lanes blocked in Detroit after semi-truck hits Warren Ave. bridge," 10 May 2018 The refusal of the military justices to expose what goes on in the Military Juvenile Court denied us the opportunity to witness a rare occurrence in the military courts—an actual trial. Yael Stein, Newsweek, "It Is Not In Ahed Tamimi’s Best Interest To Have A Secret Trial, It's In Israel's," 20 Mar. 2018 The crackling of thunder and flashes of lightning amid freezing temperatures have created a rare occurrence in the Kansas City area, according to the National Weather Service. Kaitlyn Schwers, kansascity, "Yes, ‘thunder ice’ is a thing, National Weather Service says," 20 Feb. 2018 The sequence of occurrences and your decisions will vary, but one of the strongest assets of this design will fade over time. Charlie Theel, Ars Technica, "Arkham Horror Third Edition: The classic Lovecraft adventure returns," 24 Nov. 2018 But, according to experts, that’s not the most accurate description for this kind of terrifying occurrence. Cassie Shortsleeve, SELF, "Is There a Difference Between an Anxiety Attack and a Panic Attack?," 12 Sep. 2018 In fact, there have been a number of occurrences in recent decades in which ground personnel made off with aircraft. Jeff Wise, Popular Mechanics, "It's Troublingly Common for Ground Crew Members To Steal Planes," 13 Aug. 2018

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.

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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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Statistics for occurrence

Last Updated

1 Mar 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for occurrence

The first known use of occurrence was in 1539

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More Definitions for occurrence



English Language Learners Definition of occurrence

: something that happens
: the fact of happening or occurring


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

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Comments on occurrence

What made you want to look up occurrence? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to boil down or concentrate

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