- 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.
circumstance definition by Webster's New World
- 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: Old French ; from Classical Latin circumstantia, a standing around, condition ; from circumstare ; from circum, around plush stare, stand
- circumstanced adjective
circumstance definition by American Heritage Dictionary
- A condition or fact attending an event and having some bearing on it; a determining or modifying factor.
- A condition or fact that determines or must be considered in the determining of a course of action.
- 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.
- circumstances Financial status or means: “Prior came of a good family, much reduced in circumstances” (George Sherburn).
- Detail accompanying or surrounding an event, as in a narrative or series of events.
- Formal display; ceremony: the pomp and circumstance of a coronation.
- A particular incident or occurrence: Your arrival was a fortunate circumstance. See Synonyms at occurrence.
Origin: Middle 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.
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.
circumstance - Phrases/Idioms
under no circumstances
under the circumstances
under no circumstances