occur

verb
oc·​cur | \ ə-ˈkər \
occurred; occurring\ ə-​ˈkər-​iŋ , -​ˈkə-​riŋ \

Definition of occur

intransitive verb

1 : to be found or met with : appear This bird occurs in New England in the spring.
2 : to come into existence : happen The accident occurred at 5 p.m.
3 : to come to mind an idea that has occurred to me

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The Meaning of Occur and the Spelling of Its Forms

Occur has three meanings. It means "to be found or met with; appear," as in "a phenomenon that occurs around the world"; it means "to come into existence; happen," as in "an event that occurred on Friday"; and it means "to come to mind," as in "it occurs to me that the word is quite useful."

It's an unusual-looking word, being so small but with two c's up against each other, and then just a simple r at the end. The r is doubled, though, for the past tense: occurred. And the double r continues in the present participle: occurring.

Examples of occur in a Sentence

The event is scheduled to occur at noon tomorrow. No one was ready for what was about to occur. There's a chance that a similar event will occur in the future. The disease tends to occur in children under the age of five. The plant occurs naturally throughout South America.
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Recent Examples on the Web

Marble’s aforementioned issue with acids generally makes white the wisest choice for a countertop installation, because the shade is less likely to show the etching and scratches that can occur. Kelly Dawson, House Beautiful, "Everything You Need to Know About Having a Marble Countertop," 5 Feb. 2019 But the emission reductions required to hit the 2030 target dwarf those that have occurred so far. David Roberts, Vox, "California’s cap-and-trade system may be too weak to do its job," 12 Dec. 2018 What went wrong: More details Microsoft acknowledged a series of mistakes that occurred during the testing process leading up to the October 2018 Update. Mark Hachman, PCWorld, "Microsoft re-releases the Windows 10 October 2018 Update, admitting its testing needs to improve," 13 Nov. 2018 Most often, those sessions occur after television interviews conducted from the White House grounds. John Wagner, The Seattle Times, "Trump says he directed Sarah Sanders ‘not to bother’ with White House news briefings," 22 Jan. 2019 Lunar eclipses occur when the moon is full and in alignment with both the Earth and sun. Jill Kiedaisch, Popular Mechanics, "How a Total Lunar Eclipse Works," 18 Jan. 2019 Here's the problem: These things might occur in your body when consuming concentrated amounts of celery on an empty stomach, but the data is still limited on how bioavailable (actually usable) these compounds are in human beings. Jaclyn London, Ms, Rd, Cdn, Good Housekeeping, "Celery Juice "Benefits" Are Total B.S., According to Nutrition Science," 16 Jan. 2019 But, technically, a chalazion occurs when the oil glands become blocked rather than infected. Korin Miller, SELF, "Sam Smith Reveals He Had Surgery to Remove a Stye," 15 Jan. 2019 Easter occurs on the first Sunday after the Paschal full moon, which is the first full moon on or after the spring equinox, according to BBC. Woman's Day Staff, Woman's Day, "When Is Lent? Here's Everything You Need to Know," 11 Jan. 2019

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'occur.' 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 occur

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for occur

borrowed from Latin occurrere "to run to meet, confront in a hostile manner, be met, present itself (to the mind)," from oc-, assimilated variant of ob- ob- + currere "to run, roll, move swiftly" — more at current entry 1

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Learn More about occur

Statistics for occur

Last Updated

14 Feb 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for occur

The first known use of occur was in the 15th century

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More Definitions for occur

occur

verb

English Language Learners Definition of occur

somewhat formal : to happen
formal : to appear or exist : to be found

occur

verb
oc·​cur | \ ə-ˈkər \
occurred; occurring

Kids Definition of occur

1 : to come by or as if by chance : happen Success doesn't just occur, it is earned.
2 : to come into the mind It never occurred to me to ask.
3 : to be found or met with : appear It's a disease that occurs among cows.

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More from Merriam-Webster on occur

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with occur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occur

Spanish Central: Translation of occur

Nglish: Translation of occur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occur for Arabic Speakers

Comments on occur

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