occur

verb
oc·​cur | \ ə-ˈkər How to pronounce occur (audio) \
occurred; occurring\ ə-​ˈkər-​iŋ How to pronounce occur (audio) , -​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 Administration officials say 29 of the 62 have received final clearances to return to the United States, which should occur after travel arrangements are made. Elliot Spaghat, The Arizona Republic, 9 June 2021 In 2015, data scientist Sherry Towers found that in the 13 days after a mass shooting there was a temporary increase in probability that another would occur. Katherine Riley, WSJ, 8 June 2021 Administration officials say 29 of the 62 have received final clearances to return to the United States, which should occur after travel arrangements are made. BostonGlobe.com, 8 June 2021 It was also intended to encourage victims of ransomware attacks — which occur every eight minutes, on average — to notify the authorities to help recover ransoms. New York Times, 7 June 2021 Here are six things that would occur if the Texas Legislature met on a full-time basis. Gromer Jeffers Jr., Dallas News, 31 May 2021 Last month's Kaiser poll suggested that this would occur. Harry Enten, CNN, 30 May 2021 Westbrook said that in any other setting, such incidents wouldn't occur. NBC News, 27 May 2021 People only need to register once to be considered for all five drawings, which will occur over the next five Wednesdays, ending June 23. Laura Hancock, cleveland, 24 May 2021

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

Time Traveler for occur

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for occur

Last Updated

12 Jun 2021

Cite this Entry

“Occur.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occur. Accessed 14 Jun. 2021.

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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 How to pronounce occur (audio) \
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.

More from Merriam-Webster on occur

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for occur

Nglish: Translation of occur for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occur for Arabic Speakers

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