What does circumstance mean?

Definitions for circumstance
ˈsɜr kəmˌstæns; esp. Brit. -stənscir·cum·stance

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word circumstance.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. circumstancenoun

    a condition that accompanies or influences some event or activity

  2. context, circumstance, settingnoun

    the set of facts or circumstances that surround a situation or event

    "the historical context"

  3. circumstance, condition, considerationnoun

    information that should be kept in mind when making a decision

    "another consideration is the time it would take"

  4. circumstancenoun

    formal ceremony about important occasions

    "pomp and circumstance"


  1. circumstancenoun

    That which attends, or relates to, or in some way affects, a fact or event; an attendant thing or state of things.

  2. circumstancenoun

    An event; a fact; a particular incident.

  3. circumstancenoun

    Circumlocution; detail.

  4. circumstancenoun

    Condition in regard to worldly estate; state of property; situation; surroundings.

  5. circumstanceverb

    To place in a particular situation, especially with regard to money or other resources.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary


    Etymology: circumstantia, Latin.

    When men are ingenious in picking out circumstances of contempt, they do kindle their anger much. Francis Bacon, Essays.

    Our confessing or concealing persecuted truths, vary and change their very nature, according to different circumstances of time, place and persons. South.

    Of these supposed crimes give me leave,
    By circumstance, but to acquit myself. William Shakespeare, Rich. III.

    Sense outside knows, the soul thro’ all things sees:
    Sense, circumstance; she doth the substance view. Davies.

    He defended Carlisle with very remarkable circumstances of courage, industry, and patience. Edward Hyde, b. viii.

    The sculptor had in his thoughts the conqueror’s weeping for new worlds, or some other the like circumstance in history. Joseph Addison, on Italy.

    The poet has gathered those circumstances which most terrify the imagination, and which really happen in the raging of a tempest. Joseph Addison, Spectator, №. 489.

    None but a virtuous man can hope well in all circumstances. Francis Bacon, Ornam. Ration.

    We ought not to conclude, that if there be rational inhabitants in any of the planets, they must therefore have human nature, or be involved in the circumstances of our world. Richard Bentley.

    When men are easy in their circumstances, they are naturally enemies to innovations. Joseph Addison, Freeholder, №. 42.

  2. To Circumstanceverb

    To place in particular situation, or relation to the things.

    Etymology: from the noun.

    To worthiest things,
    Virtue, art, beauty, fortune, now I see,
    Rareness or use, not nature, value brings,
    And such as they are circumstanc’d, they be. John Donne.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Circumstancenoun

    that which attends, or relates to, or in some way affects, a fact or event; an attendant thing or state of things

  2. Circumstancenoun

    an event; a fact; a particular incident

  3. Circumstancenoun

    circumlocution; detail

  4. Circumstancenoun

    condition in regard to worldly estate; state of property; situation; surroundings

  5. Circumstanceverb

    to place in a particular situation; to supply relative incidents


  1. Circumstance

    "Circumstance" is an allegorical short story written by American author Harriet Elizabeth Prescott Spofford as a periodical in The Atlantic Monthly in 1860. The story takes place in the woods of Maine following an unnamed protagonist who travels to return to home after caring for a sick neighbor. She ventures into the woods where she comes in contact with the Indian Devil who assaults her throughout the story but in this life/death situation she realizes her reality and religion and comes to terms with her life, sexuality and fears. By the end of the story, her husband shoots the Devil with his shotgun in one hand and their baby in the other while the 'true Indian Devils' destroy their home and town.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Circumstance

    sėr′kum-stans, n. the logical surroundings of an action: an accident or event: ceremony: detail: (pl.) the state of one's affairs.—v.t. to place in particular circumstances:—pa.p. cir′cumstanced.—adj. Circumstan′tial, consisting of details: minute.—n. Circumstantial′ity, the quality of being circumstantial: minuteness in details: a detail.—adv. Circumstan′tially.—n.pl. Circumstan′tials, incidentals: details.—v.t. Circumstan′tiate, to prove by circumstances: to describe exactly.—Circumstantial evidence, evidence which is not positive nor direct, but which is gathered inferentially from the circumstances in the case.—In good or bad circumstances, prosperous or unprosperous; In, Under the circumstances, owing to certain conditions. [L. stans, stantis, standing—stāre, to stand.]

The Roycroft Dictionary

  1. circumstance

    1. The fresh banana-peel just around the corner. 2. _Ex-post-facto_ knowledge of a series of incidents, episodes and laws which, had we known before doing something that we should not have done anyhow, we would have done otherwise, in the same way, or not at all. 3. The Shadowy Iago that follows us up and down life's promenades. 4. Man Friday to Chance.

British National Corpus

  1. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'circumstance' in Nouns Frequency: #403

How to pronounce circumstance?

How to say circumstance in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of circumstance in Chaldean Numerology is: 4

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of circumstance in Pythagorean Numerology is: 3

Examples of circumstance in a Sentence

  1. Louisiana Gov. John Bel Edwards:

    The admitted and repeated use of racial slurs by a judge who has taken an oath to administer justice fairly and impartially is wrong, period. There is never any circumstance or context in which such derogatory and degrading language is okay, sadly, inequities still exist in society and in our judicial system. District Judge Jessie LeBlanc has compromised District Judge Jessie LeBlanc ability to preside as a judge, and District Judge Jessie LeBlanc has damaged the judiciary. District Judge Jessie LeBlanc should resign. The people of the 23rd Judicial District and our state deserve better.

  2. President Biden:

    None whatsoever, zero. What you had is you had entire brigades breaking through the gates of our embassy, six, if I’m not mistaken. The Taliban is not the south — the North Vietnamese army. They’re not — they’re not remotely comparable in terms of capability. There’s going to be no circumstance where you see people being lifted off the roof of an embassy … of the United States from Afghanistan. It is not at all comparable.

  3. Mohsen Nazemi:

    They have expressed concern about not being familiar with this type of gas collection and capture, it’s a very unusual circumstance.

  4. Jim Rivas:

    Employers that use our system never, under any circumstance, see individual employee data … the employee data is anonymized, aggregated.

  5. Greg Ives:

    Our entire team is absolutely devastated at the loss of Blakley Harrell and Blakley, they were such positive, giving and passionate people who could not have been a more perfect match. Blakley Harrell had an energetic and infectious personality. Blakley Harrell was the heart and soul of our team and always kept us motivated, no matter the circumstance.

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Translations for circumstance

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"circumstance." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2023. Web. 2 Jun 2023. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/circumstance>.

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    be hungry; go without food
    • A. scarper
    • B. famish
    • C. transpire
    • D. abash

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