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

The scene is just one of many flashbacks in this episode, but what's still unclear is if Frank will continue to appear on the show, or if this was a one-time occurrence. Caroline Hallemann, Town & Country, "What Tobias Menzies's Return to Outlander Reveals About Frank Randall," 17 Dec. 2018 Halloween episodes were a yearly occurrence on the original Roseanne series — one even featured the birth of Roseanne Conner’s youngest son, Jerry. Megan Friedman, Good Housekeeping, "‘The Conners’ Just Gave a Sneak Peek of Its Halloween Episode," 26 Oct. 2018 Sheriff’s Deputy Scott Wilson said Wednesday that the mine’s appearance was a unique occurrence in his 24 years with the agency. Asia Fields, The Seattle Times, "Navy says mystery mine found off Bainbridge Island was from 2005 exercise," 31 Aug. 2018 Reportedly, however, players who stop and watch the movie are getting killed by jerks who really want that Victory Royale, which is not a new occurrence for the game. Patricia Hernandez, The Verge, "Fortnite’s rift-to-go patch hides a bunch of cool stuff," 23 Aug. 2018 Golf, and the PGA Tour, needs to get real, and the occasional disaster is a healthy occurrence. Mac Engel, star-telegram, "Golf wins with a disaster U.S. Open," 17 June 2018 The one-two punch of fire and mudslides is a common occurrence in California, where hills stripped of grass and other vegetation by flames in the fall are less able to soak up the winter rains that follow. Cameron Mcwhirter, WSJ, "Deadliest Fire in California History Deemed Contained," 25 Nov. 2018 When the bells last played is unclear, but newspaper reports from the last several decades highlighting events where the bells played indicate that hearing them was not a common occurrence in the village. Jennifer Johnson, chicagotribune.com, "Niles Village Board approves Leaning Tower bell restoration project," 4 June 2018 But in Jennifer Lopez's world, a workout is such a natural occurrence, that a to-the-streets translation takes direct notes from the cardio session rather than combating it. Calin Van Paris, Vogue, "Jennifer Lopez's Weekend Beauty Look Took Its Cues From the Gym," 6 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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Dictionary Entries near occurrence






occur to


Statistics for occurrence

Last Updated

7 Jun 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 move with exaggerated bouncy motions

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