- The definition of a circumstance is a state that you are in, the details surrounding a situation, or a condition that causes something to occur.
An example of a circumstance is when you are very poor.
- a fact or event accompanying another, either incidentally or as an essential condition or determining factor: circumstances alter cases
- any happening or fact; event
- conditions surrounding and affecting a person, esp. financial conditions: in comfortable circumstances
- chance; luck: circumstance would have it so
- ceremony; show: pomp and circumstance
- accompanying or surrounding detail
- fullness of detail
Origin of circumstanceOld French ; from Classical Latin circumstantia, a standing around, condition ; from circumstare ; from circum, around + stare, stand
under no circumstances
under the circumstances
- A condition or fact attending an event and having some bearing on it; a determining or modifying factor: set out a day early because of favorable circumstances.
- The sum of determining factors beyond willful control: a victim of circumstance.
- circumstances Financial status or means: “Prior came of a good family, much reduced in circumstances” (George Sherburn).
- Formal display; ceremony: the pomp and circumstance of a coronation.
- A particular incident or occurrence: Your arrival was a fortunate circumstance.
transitive verbcir·cum·stanced, cir·cum·stanc·ing, cir·cum·stanc·es
Origin of circumstanceMiddle English, from Old French circonstance, from Latin circumstantia, from circumstāns, circumstant-, present participle of circumstāre, to stand around : circum-, circum- + stāre, to stand; see stā- in Indo-European roots.
(third-person singular simple present circumstances, present participle circumstancing, simple past and past participle circumstanced)
- To place in a particular situation, especially with regard to money or other resources.
circumstance - Legal Definition
- An urgent situation that demands extraordinary or immediate action. Such a circumstance often allows for the circumvention of procedures that would otherwise be required by law. For example, if a car hits a child, the fact that immediate medical attention is needed to save the child’s life is an exigent circumstance that excuses the physician’s treatment of the child before parental consent is obtained.
- An urgent situation in which a law enforcement officer who has probable cause must take immediate steps to make an arrest, search, or seizure without a warrant because someone’s life or safety is at risk or because there is an imminent threat that a suspect will escape or evidence will be removed or destroyed.
- A circumstance (such as having a mental defect at the time of the wrongdoing) that does not exonerate, but reduces the culpability of, a person for a tort or crime he has committed and that may result in a reduction of the damages or punishment to be imposed. See also diminished capacity.
- A circumstance (such as turning oneself in for arrest) that does not reduce a person’s culpability for a crime he has committed, but that may result in a reduction of the punishment to be imposed. See also negligence and defense.