oc·​cur·​rence | \ ə-ˈkər-ən(t)s How to pronounce occurrence (audio) , -ˈkə-rən(t)s \

Definition of occurrence

1 : something that occurs a startling occurrence Lightning is a natural occurrence.
2 : the action or fact of happening or occurring often used with of the repeated occurrence of petty theft in the locker room

Choose the Right Synonym for occurrence

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

Examples of occurrence in a Sentence

Getting headaches has become a common occurrence for her. the recent occurrences of the disease Lightning is a natural occurrence.
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Recent Examples on the Web Dear Debugging: Use this daily occurrence as a reason to get up and out. Annie Lane, oregonlive, 25 Sep. 2021 Dear Debugging: Use this daily occurrence as a reason to get up and out. cleveland, 25 Sep. 2021 Screaming, profanity-laden insults are a daily occurrence. Nick Ehli, Anchorage Daily News, 25 Sep. 2021 Eventually, this will be a daily occurrence and nothing to write home about per se. Lance Eliot, Forbes, 29 Aug. 2021 Witney Sejour, a 25-year-old saleswoman here, said seeing dead bodies lying on the road on her way home from work has turned into an almost daily occurrence. Kejal Vyas, WSJ, 12 July 2021 Wildfires are a natural occurrence in forest ecosystems, but certain fire management practices have also contributed to the scope of fires occurring today, according to experts. Julia Jacobo, ABC News, 11 Nov. 2021 Since that first occurrence, Singles Day has ballooned into a shopping frenzy observed not just by Alibaba, but also by other e-commerce companies that offer their own steep discounts and promotions. Laura He, CNN, 10 Nov. 2021 Over the next year, each of the top statewide offices in Maryland will feature new faces, a rare occurrence in state history that may offer an opportunity for fresh ideas to take root — or not, depending on who wins. Pamela Wood, baltimoresun.com, 7 Nov. 2021

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

1539, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for occurrence

occurr(ent) entry 1 + -ence, perhaps after Middle French occurrence "circumstance"

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Time Traveler for occurrence

Time Traveler

The first known use of occurrence was in 1539

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Statistics for occurrence

Last Updated

28 Nov 2021

Cite this Entry

“Occurrence.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/occurrence. Accessed 8 Dec. 2021.

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More Definitions for occurrence



English Language Learners Definition of occurrence

: something that happens
: the fact of happening or occurring


oc·​cur·​rence | \ ə-ˈkər-əns How to pronounce occurrence (audio) \

Kids Definition of occurrence

1 : something that happens Lightning is a natural occurrence.
2 : the action or process of happening There's been a lower occurrence of the disease.



Legal Definition of occurrence

: something that takes place especially : an accident, event, or continuing condition that causes personal or property damage that is unintended or unexpected from the standpoint of an insured party making a claim

More from Merriam-Webster on occurrence

Nglish: Translation of occurrence for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of occurrence for Arabic Speakers


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