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

What happens next: The key remaining issue is whether military commanders will let robots decide to kill, particularly at moments when communication links have been disrupted—a likely occurrence in wartime. Adam Lashinsky, Fortune, "Inside the Private Meeting of Top Crypto Investors and Government Officials—Data Sheet," 5 Sep. 2019 Since those disturbing occurrences, the town's population decreased sharply. Caitlin Morton, Condé Nast Traveler, "Creepy Catacombs, Islands of Dolls, and 18 Other Terrifying Places for Thrill Seekers," 4 Sep. 2019 And who doesn’t love a bonfire with s’mores fixings (a regular occurrence here), followed by a rousing sing-along? Pamela Wright, BostonGlobe.com, "Bring on the sing-alongs and s’mores at Sebasco Harbor Resort," 3 Sep. 2019 The key remaining issue is whether military commanders will let robots decide to kill, particularly at moments when communication links have been disrupted—a likely occurrence in wartime. The Atlantic, "Coming Soon to a Battlefield: Robots That Can Kill," 3 Sep. 2019 After a trial judge agreed with the Broward School Board, an appeals court asked the Supreme Court to answer the question of whether each victim represents a separate occurrence. Washington Post, "Parents, county clash in court over Parkland shootings," 28 Aug. 2019 Yet, each game has its own distinct occurrences and storyline. Rich Lowry, National Review, "Baseball on the Radio," 22 Aug. 2019 The Corolla Wild Horse Fund recently shared a photo of a two-foot cattle egret riding on the back of a brown horse named Amadeo Jr. on Facebook—a common occurrence amongst wild horse populations. Meghan Overdeep, Southern Living, "WATCH: There’s a Very Good Explanation for This Wild Horse-Riding Bird, Thank You Very Much," 21 Aug. 2019 Officers will be responsible for logging any occurrences when completing an incident report. Bree Burkitt, azcentral, "Phoenix police must now self-report whenever they point a gun at someone," 19 Aug. 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

13 Sep 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).


concealment of treason or felony

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