Synonyms of occurrence

See the Dictionary Definition 

Frequently Asked Questions About occurrence

How is the word occurrence distinct from other similar nouns?

Some common synonyms of occurrence are circumstance, episode, event, and incident. While all these words 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

When is it sensible to use circumstance instead of occurrence?

The words circumstance and occurrence can be used in similar contexts, but circumstance implies a specific detail attending an action or event as part of its setting or background.

couldn't recall the exact circumstances

In what contexts can episode take the place of occurrence?

Although the words episode and occurrence have much in common, episode stresses the distinctiveness or apartness of an incident.

a brief romantic episode in a life devoted to work

When is event a more appropriate choice than occurrence?

In some situations, the words event and occurrence are roughly equivalent. However, event usually implies an occurrence of some importance and frequently one having antecedent cause.

the events following the assassination

When would incident be a good substitute for occurrence?

The meanings of incident and occurrence largely overlap; however, incident suggests an occurrence of brief duration or secondary importance.

a minor wartime incident

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More About occurrence

Time Traveler for occurrence

Time Traveler

The first known use of occurrence was in 1539

See more words from the same year

Thesaurus Entries Near occurrence

occurred (to)



See More Nearby Entries 

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 25 Oct. 2021.

Style: MLA
MLACheck Mark Icon ChicagoCheck Mark Icon APACheck Mark Icon Merriam-WebsterCheck Mark Icon

More from Merriam-Webster on occurrence

Nglish: Translation of occurrence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occurrence for Arabic Speakers


Test Your Vocabulary

Dog Words Quiz

  • shiba puppy more or less demanding cuddles
  • Which of the following animals has a dog in its etymology?
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!