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 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 The two buses were racing to collect passengers, a common occurrence in the city, which is regularly gridlocked by traffic chaos. Julhas Alam, Fox News, "Police, protesters clash in Bangladesh capital; many injured," 4 Aug. 2018 Based on a true occurrence, the show looks at a Midwestern town whose residents were beset by unsettling dreams — blamed on an unidentified corpse discovered along a local road and then put on display … for decades. Matthew J. Palm, OrlandoSentinel.com, "Review: 13 Dead Dreams of "Eugene" - Fringe 2018," 14 May 2018 That’s how former Mansfield Summit boys basketball coach Jason Mutterer is taking on his daughter’s rare occurrence of cancer. Randy Sachs, star-telegram, "This former Summit coach sees divine intervention in his decision to quit," 25 Jan. 2018 The upgrade will be able to extend LIGO’s range by almost seven times, which should make picking up a gravitational wave event an almost daily occurrence. Avery Thompson, Popular Mechanics, "LIGO Gravitational Wave Observatory Getting $30 Million Upgrade," 15 Feb. 2019 Press briefings, which used to be a near-daily occurrence, have become a rarity in the Trump White House. John Wagner, The Seattle Times, "Trump says he directed Sarah Sanders ‘not to bother’ with White House news briefings," 22 Jan. 2019

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

24 May 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 speak slightingly about or to degrade

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