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[uh-kur] /əˈkɜr/
verb (used without object), occurred, occurring.
to happen; take place; come to pass:
When did the accident occur?
to be met with or found; present itself; appear.
to suggest itself in thought; come to mind (usually followed by to):
An idea occurred to me.
Origin of occur
1520-30; < Latin occurrere to run to meet, arrive, meet, equivalent to oc- oc- + currere to run
Related forms
preoccur, verb (used without object), preoccurred, preoccurring.
reoccur, verb (used without object), reoccurred, reoccurring.
unoccurring, adjective
1. befall. See happen. 2. arise, offer. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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Examples from the Web for occur
Contemporary Examples
Historical Examples
  • If they must occur, at least postpone them as long as possible.

  • It did not occur to him to question his fitness for the work.

    Within the Law Marvin Dana
  • That was not what bothered him: not that something might occur, but what might occur.

    A Fine Fix R. C. Noll
  • Zegarra gives a useful vocabulary at the end of all the words which occur in the drama.

    Apu Ollantay Anonymous
  • It did not occur to him to call to her or go and see what she was doing.

    One Day At Arle Frances Hodgson Burnett
British Dictionary definitions for occur


verb (intransitive) -curs, -curring, -curred
to happen; take place; come about
to be found or be present; exist
(foll by to) to be realized or thought of (by); suggest itself (to)
Usage note
It is usually regarded as incorrect to talk of pre-arranged events occurring or happening: the wedding took place (not occurred or happened) in the afternoon
Word Origin
C16: from Latin occurrere to run up to, from ob- to + currere to run
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 occur

1520s, "meet, meet in argument," from Middle French occurrer "happen unexpectedly" or directly from Latin occurrere "run to meet, run against, befall, present itself," from ob "against, toward" (see ob-) + currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). Sense development is from "meet" to "present itself" to "appear" to "happen" ("present itself in the course of events"). Meaning "to come into one's mind" is from 1620s. Related: Occurred; occurring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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