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 occurrence of side effects, including headache, fatigue and chills, varies from person to person, and some groups experience them more severely. Kellie Hwang, San Francisco Chronicle, "COVID vaccine side effects: Does my age matter, and should I windmill my arm?," 15 Apr. 2021 To many, what has happened may be little more than a commonplace occurrence, a thing of frequency to be tolerated and accepted. Jack Fowler, National Review, "A Problematic Assumption: When Anti-Racism Runs Amok," 11 Mar. 2021 In the midst of providing guidelines on an unprecedented pandemic, the Center for Disease Control updated its tips to prepare for another extreme occurrence: A zombie apocalypse. Kaanita Iyer, USA TODAY, "The CDC wants you to prepare for a zombie apocalypse. (Yes, you read that right.)," 6 Mar. 2021 And the rate doesn’t account for how many infections might have occurred during this time period that won’t be discovered until later - a regular occurrence. Rich Exner, cleveland, "Just when can Ohio expect a lifting of state-ordered coronavirus restrictions? Gov. DeWine’s goal shows he isn’t rushing it," 5 Mar. 2021 Members of the White House coronavirus response team spoke to journalists for an hour on Wednesday in what is expected to be a three-times-per-week occurrence, designed to draw a line under the previous administration’s strategy. Rob Crilly, Washington Examiner, "In departure from freewheeling Trump, Biden puts scientists at forefront of coronavirus briefings," 27 Jan. 2021 Unfortunately, the disappearance of useful official data series in China is also a common occurrence—oftentimes after that data begins to show trends counter to the narrative that the government is pushing. Nathaniel Taplin, WSJ, "China’s Economic Data: A Guide for the Dazed and Confused," 4 Jan. 2021 As the tree becomes older, the occurrence of puffy fruit decreases. Dan Gill, NOLA.com, "Garden Advice: You can't fix puffy fruit; but you can fertilize some plants this time of year," 25 Nov. 2020 An employer is required to report a workplace death within eight hours of its occurrence, McFarland said. Sarah Nelson, The Indianapolis Star, "St. Elmo longtime bartender dies after COVID diagnosis, employees say; restaurant reopens," 6 Apr. 2021

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

26 Apr 2021

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occurrence. Accessed 7 May. 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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