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Definition of "circumstance" []

  • A condition or fact attending an event and having some bearing on it; a determining or modifying factor. (noun)
  • A condition or fact that determines or must be considered in the determining of a course of action. (noun)
  • The sum of determining factors beyond willful control. Often used in the plural: a victim of circumstance; work that will begin on Monday if circumstances permit. (noun)
  • Financial status or means: "Prior came of a good family, much reduced in circumstances” ( George Sherburn). (noun)
  • Detail accompanying or surrounding an event, as in a narrative or series of events. (noun)

American Heritage(R) Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright (c) 2011 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.

Use "circumstance" in a sentence
  • "The Enlightenment ideal appropriate to this circumstance is the "pursuit of happiness" which has limited the government's responsibility for my own happiness since 1776."
  • "Another circumstance is the "The Sparrow" by Mary Doria Russell, sometimes not shelved by bookstores or libraries in their SF sections; of course, the book is about first contact with aliens and travel to an alien planet, it might be Spec."
  • "And when so detected they betrayed no recognition of their masters, for no soldier can recognize his dog — so heinous a circumstance is attempted stowaway."