Synonym Chooser

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

Thesaurus Entries Near occurrence

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Thesaurus, Merriam-Webster, Accessed 14 Jun. 2024.

More from Merriam-Webster on occurrence

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