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 ofthe 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 Although these occurrences are uncommon, the Redford Township Police department has posted some tips as to how to deal with situations like this. Andrea Perez Balderrama, Detroit Free Press, "Oakland County's Michael Bouchard pulls over alleged fake cop: 'I'm the sheriff'," 7 Feb. 2020 According to a 2013 study indexed in the National Institutes of Health, bacterial endocarditis can stem from dental treatment, but the occurrence is rare. Monica Haider, CNN, "New Jersey dentist suspended after 1 patient dies and 14 others suffer heart infections," 4 Feb. 2020 In the workplace, the most notable occurrence in the season might be the annual holiday party. Amy Lindgren, Twin Cities, "Working Strategies: Resolve to resist holiday temptation during recovery," 9 Nov. 2019 Although a tragedy was averted, such occurrences are not uncommon in the Jharia region of Jharkhand, which produces some of the finest coal in India. Gurvinder Singh, Quartz India, "The coal mining region in India where the ground beneath shakes and belches fire," 4 Oct. 2019 Naval vessels are a rare sight in Unalaska, with the most common occurrence in recent years being the unscheduled arrivals of submarines dropping off crew members needing to fly home fast because of family emergencies. Author: Jim Paulin, Anchorage Daily News, "Unalaska prepares for visit by 1,000 Navy sailors and Marines," 26 Sep. 2019 SeaWorld Christmas Celebration is a daily occurrence between Nov. 21 and Dec. 31. Dewayne Bevil, orlandosentinel.com, "Halloween, beer, after-dark spectaculars crowd into Disney, Universal, SeaWorld events," 26 Sep. 2019 The most recent occurrence was in 2008, when Democrat Jeanne Shaheen scored 52% of the vote in New Hampshire to defeat incumbent Republican Sen. John Sununu. al.com, "How the odds are stacked against Roy Moore," 21 June 2019 Still, fluke occurrences can be beneficial on an evolutionary timescale. Quanta Magazine, "‘Broadband’ Networks of Viruses May Help Bacteria Evolve Faster," 16 Oct. 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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Time Traveler for occurrence

Time Traveler

The first known use of occurrence was in 1539

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Statistics for occurrence

Last Updated

15 Feb 2020

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occurrence?pronunciation&lang=en_us&dir=o&file=occurr01. Accessed 18 Feb. 2020.

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More Definitions for occurrence


How to pronounce occurrence (audio)

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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