the rate or range of occurrence or influence of something, especially of something unwanted: the high incidence of heart disease in men over 40.
a falling upon, affecting, or befalling; occurrence: The incidence of murder that Sunday afternoon shocked the sleepy village.
Optics, Physics.
the striking of a ray of light, beam of electrons, etc., on a surface, or the direction of striking.
angle of incidence ( def 1 ).
the fact or the manner of being incident.
Geometry. partial coincidence of two figures, as of a line and a plane containing it.

1375–1425; late Middle English < Late Latin incidentia. See incident, -ence

incidence, incidents, incidental. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
incidence (ˈɪnsɪdəns)
1.  degree, extent, or frequency of occurrence; amount: a high incidence of death from pneumonia
2.  the act or manner of impinging on or affecting by proximity or influence
3.  physics See also angle of incidence the arrival of a beam of light or particles at a surface
4.  geometry the partial coincidence of two configurations, such as a point that lies on a circle

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American Heritage
Medical Dictionary

incidence in·ci·dence (ĭn'sĭ-dəns)

  1. The extent or rate of occurrence, especially the number of new cases of a disease in a population over a period of time.

  2. The arrival of radiation or a projectile at a surface.

in'ci·dent adj.
The American Heritage® Stedman's Medical Dictionary
Copyright © 2002, 2001, 1995 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.
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Example sentences
It is uncommon, but studies indicate that its incidence may be increasing.
The incidence of persons attracted to persons of the same gender has not
The incidence of part-time working varies widely across rich countries.
They have a low fertility rate, a high incidence of birth defects and weak
  immune systems.
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