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 That’s happened seven times, with the most recent occurrence in 2007 with the eventual Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Amie Just | Staff Writer, NOLA.com, "As Saints face Bucs (again), is it actually harder to win a 3rd game? The math says no," 16 Jan. 2021 After the world’s first occurrence of domoic acid poisoning in 1987, three people died. Sara Harrison, Wired, "A Unique Alliance Could Help Warn Us of Toxic Algae," 23 Dec. 2020 Except in 2020, with budgets in media being slashed, fewer cameras at games has understandably become a more frequent occurrence. John Canzano, oregonlive, "Canzano: Pac-12 Conference officiating under the microscope," 2 Dec. 2020 Bexar County records show an extremely low occurrence of rabid coyotes in Texas, according to Animal Care Services. René A. Guzman, ExpressNews.com, "Coyote sightings common at San Antonio Spurs games and, increasingly, in the wild," 24 Nov. 2020 Or would there be less loathing for a far-right organization critiquing a city where protests have become an almost-nightly occurrence? Washington Post, "The Proud Boys avoided violence in Portland, an attempt to make their group more palatable," 28 Sep. 2020 Extreme wildfires are predicted to become a regular occurrence due to climate change. Katheryn Houghton, SFChronicle.com, "Wildfires’ toxic air leaves damage long after smoke clears," 19 Sep. 2020 But this year, when most activities and social interactions require time outdoors, spending a good portion of your weekend in freezing temperatures is a more regular occurrence. Cnt Editors, Condé Nast Traveler, "Your Shopping Guide to Staying Warm This Winter," 29 Jan. 2021 And this excitement over alcohol has become a regular occurrence in many people's lives. Hannah Rimm, refinery29.com, "Why Was 2020 So *Hard*?," 30 Dec. 2020

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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Time Traveler for occurrence

Time Traveler

The first known use of occurrence was in 1539

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Statistics for occurrence

Last Updated

25 Feb 2021

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occurrence. Accessed 6 Mar. 2021.

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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

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