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emergency

[ih-mur-juh n-see] /ɪˈmɜr dʒən si/
noun, plural emergencies.
1.
a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.
2.
a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event:
a weather emergency; a financial emergency.
adjective
3.
granted, used, or for use in an emergency:
an emergency leave; emergency lights.
Origin
1625-1635
1625-35; < Medieval Latin ēmergentia, equivalent to ēmerg- (see emerge) + -entia -ency. See emergent
Related forms
nonemergency, adjective, noun, plural nonemergencies.
postemergency, adjective
preemergency, adjective, noun, plural preemergencies.
Synonyms
1. exigency, extremity, pinch, quandary, plight. Emergency, crisis, straits refer to dangerous situations. An emergency is a situation demanding immediate action: A power failure created an emergency in transportation. A crisis is a vital or decisive turning point in a condition or state of affairs, and everything depends on the outcome of it: Help arrived when affairs had reached a crisis. Strait (usually straits ) suggests a pressing situation, often one of need or want: The family was in desperate straits for food and clothing.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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Examples from the web for emergency
  • T he climate crisis may at times appear to be happening slowly, but in fact it is a true planetary emergency.
  • When an emergency arises, you may be injured or stressed and unable to think clearly.
  • Learn the secrets of emergency survival-in any situation.
  • The improved access and evacuation ability would be helpful in the case of emergency.
  • emergency jobs, and the need to take advantage of all good weather, make for long spells from home and family.
  • The simplicity and speed of this dish are reminders that few staple ingredients are more useful than eggs for emergency meals.
  • The dean will oversee the mathematics, science, social science and emergency services disciplines.
  • emergency services, though quick to react, were swamped by the scale of the damage.
  • Designate an out-of-town emergency contact-long-distance calls may be easier to make than local ones.
  • There are many, many emergency kits and disaster plans out there.
British Dictionary definitions for emergency

emergency

/ɪˈmɜːdʒənsɪ/
noun (pl) -cies
1.
  1. an unforeseen or sudden occurrence, esp of a danger demanding immediate remedy or action
  2. (as modifier): an emergency exit
2.
  1. a patient requiring urgent treatment
  2. (as modifier): an emergency ward
3.
state of emergency, a condition, declared by a government, in which martial law applies, usually because of civil unrest or natural disaster
4.
(NZ) a player selected to stand by to replace an injured member of a team; reserve
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012
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Word Origin and History for emergency
n.

"unforeseen occurrence requiring immediate attention," 1630s, from Latin emergens, present participle of emergere (see emerge). Or from emerge + -ency.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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