under the circumstances


[sur-kuhm-stans or, esp. British, -stuhns]
a condition, detail, part, or attribute, with respect to time, place, manner,agent, etc., that accompanies, determines, or modifies a fact or event; a modifying or influencing factor: Do not judge his behavior without considering every circumstance.
Usually, circumstances. the existing conditions or state of affairs surrounding and affecting an agent: Circumstances permitting, we sail on Monday.
an unessential or secondary accompaniment of any fact or event; minor detail: The author dwells on circumstances rather than essentials.
circumstances, the condition or state of a person with respect to income and material welfare: a family in reduced circumstances.
an incident or occurrence: His arrival was a fortunate circumstance.
detailed or circuitous narration; specification of particulars: The speaker expatiated with great circumstance upon his theme.
Archaic. ceremonious accompaniment or display: pomp and circumstance.
verb (used with object), circumstanced, circumstancing.
to place in particular circumstances or relations: The company was favorably circumstanced by the rise in tariffs.
to furnish with details.
to control or guide by circumstances.
under no circumstances, regardless of events or conditions; never: Under no circumstances should you see them again.
under the circumstances, because of the conditions; as the case stands: Under the circumstances, there is little hope for an early settlement. Also, in the circumstances.

1175–1225; Middle English < Latin circumstantia (circumstant-, stem of circumstāns, present participle of circumstāre to stand round), equivalent to circum- circum- + stā- stand + -nt present participle suffix + -ia noun suffix; see -ance

7. ritual, formality, splendor.
Dictionary.com Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
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World English Dictionary
circumstance (ˈsɜːkəmstəns)
1.  (usually plural) a condition of time, place, etc, that accompanies or influences an event or condition
2.  an incident or occurrence, esp a chance one
3.  accessory information or detail
4.  formal display or ceremony (archaic except in the phrase pomp and circumstance)
5.  under no circumstances, in no circumstances in no case; never
6.  under the circumstances because of conditions; this being the case
7.  in bad circumstances (of a person) in a bad financial situation
8.  in good circumstances (of a person) in a good financial situation
9.  to place in a particular condition or situation
10.  obsolete to give in detail
[C13: from Old French circonstance, from Latin circumstantia, from circumstāre to stand around, from circum- + stāre to stand]

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin & History

early 13c., "conditions surrounding and accompanying an event," from L. circumstantia "surrounding condition," neut. pl. of circumstans (gen. circumstantis), prp. of circumstare "stand around," from circum "around" + stare "to stand" from PIE base *sta- "to stand" (see
stet). Meaning "a person's surroundings, environment" is from mid-14c. Obsolete sense of "formality about an important event" (late 14c.) lingers in Shakespeare's phrase pomp and circumstance ("Othello" III, iii).
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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American Heritage
Idioms & Phrases

under the circumstances

Also, in the circumstances. Given these conditions, such being the case, as in Under the circumstances we can't leave Mary out. This idiom uses circumstance in the sense of "a particular situation," a usage dating from the late 1300s. It may also be modified in various ways, such as under any circumstances meaning "no matter what the situation," as in We'll phone her under any circumstances; under no circumstances, meaning "in no case, never," as in Under no circumstances may you smoke; under any other circumstances, meaning "in a different situation," as in I can't work under any other circumstances; and under the same circumstances, meaning "given the same situation," as in Under the same circumstances anyone would have done the same.

The American Heritage® Dictionary of Idioms by Christine Ammer.
Copyright © 1997. Published by Houghton Mifflin.
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