1
a
: something that happens : occurrence
b
: a noteworthy happening
c
: a social occasion or activity
d
: an adverse or damaging medical occurrence
a heart attack or other cardiac event
2
: any of the contests in a program of sports
3
a
: a postulated outcome, condition, or eventuality
in the event that I am not there, call the house
b
: the final outcome or determination of a legal action
c
archaic : outcome
4
: the fundamental entity of observed physical reality represented by a point designated by three coordinates of place and one of time in the space-time continuum postulated by the theory of relativity
5
: a subset of the possible outcomes of an experiment
eventless adjective
Phrases
at all events
: in any case
in any event
: in any case
in the event
chiefly British
: as it turns out
Choose the Right Synonym for event

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

Example Sentences

The article recounted the events of the past year. the last major event of the summer He had no memory of the events that happened afterwards. The accident was caused by an unusual sequence of events. She likes to arrive at social events early. It's the only event on the golf tour that she hasn't yet won. See More
Recent Examples on the Web Ever cookie decorating event with Santa from 10 to 11 a.m. or noon to 1 p.m. Dec. 4. Sam Boyer, cleveland, 18 Nov. 2022 The second mountain rally is already scheduled for September 2023, while an arctic event (finishing in the Arctic Circle) and a rally in Morocco and the Saharan desert are also in the works. Charlie Thomas, Robb Report, 18 Nov. 2022 The move was the latest sign of the tension of hosting the event, which is not just a sports tournament but also a monthlong party, in the conservative Muslim emirate where the sale of alcohol is heavily restricted. Graham Dunbar, Anchorage Daily News, 18 Nov. 2022 That was the worst animal-health event in U.S. history, when 50 million birds died. Sarah Bowman, The Indianapolis Star, 18 Nov. 2022 Since the first Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year in 2000, this is the first time that the celebrated person of the year opened their own event, and Marco Antonio Solís had jaws dropped. Isabela Raygoza, Billboard, 17 Nov. 2022 The year-long event, which begins in parks on Jan. 27, will celebrate 100 years of Disney while looking ahead to the next 100, with all new events and offerings throughout 2023. Kelly Wynne, Peoplemag, 17 Nov. 2022 The Courier Journal sat down with Bourbon with Heart's founder and director, Morgan Hancock, to learn more about what to expect from the new nonprofit and its first event. Maggie Menderski, The Courier-Journal, 16 Nov. 2022 The event, held at the Madrid Royal Palace, was a Royal Gala Dinner in honor of Chinese president Xi Jinping and wife Peng Liyuan. The Editors, Town & Country, 16 Nov. 2022 See More

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'event.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

Word History

Etymology

Middle French or Latin; Middle French, from Latin eventus, from evenire to happen, from e- + venire to come — more at come

First Known Use

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 3c

Time Traveler
The first known use of event was in 1539

Dictionary Entries Near event

Cite this Entry

“Event.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/event. Accessed 29 Nov. 2022.

Kids Definition

1
a
: something usually of importance that happens
b
: a social occasion or activity (as a party)
2
: eventuality
in the event of rain the ceremony will be held indoors
3
: any of the contests in a program of sports
track-and-field events
4
: a possible result in an experiment in probability or statistics
rolling a 7 is an event in the throwing of two dice

Medical Definition

: an adverse or damaging medical occurrence
a heart attack or other cardiac event

Legal Definition

event

noun

1
: something that happens : occurrence
2
: the issue or outcome of a legal action or proceeding as finally determined

More from Merriam-Webster on event

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