- a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.
- a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event: a weather emergency; a financial emergency.
- granted, used, or for use in an emergency: an emergency leave; emergency lights.
Origin of emergency
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for emergency
During an emergency that ratio could be allowed to drop to 8.5 people per orbit.Exclusive: U.S. Drone Fleet at ‘Breaking Point,’ Air Force Says
January 5, 2015
One specific kind of emergency is at the heart of this, such as when an airplane suffers a loss of stability at night.
Had they been properly trained, they could and should have flown themselves safely out of the emergency.
This suggests that the pilots were overtaken very rapidly by an emergency.Did Bad Weather Bring Down AirAsia 8501?
December 29, 2014
A click sends a user to a statement, a list of passenger nationalities, emergency call-center numbers, and other information.The Presumed Crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Is Nothing Like MH370
December 29, 2014
As far as we can learn there never was an emergency yet which the life-principle was not equipped to meet.The Conquest of Fear
Did she have a heart, then, or was it a feminine trait to turn pale in every emergency?Chip, of the Flying U
B. M. Bower
O'Mooney's presence of mind did not forsake him upon this emergency.Tales And Novels, Volume 4 (of 10)
He had not now the advantage of Russell's firmness to support him in this emergency.Tales And Novels, Volume 5 (of 10)
She sighed, put it back on the counter, and rose to the emergency.The Fortune Hunter
Louis Joseph Vance
- an unforeseen or sudden occurrence, esp of a danger demanding immediate remedy or action
- (as modifier)an emergency exit
- a patient requiring urgent treatment
- (as modifier)an emergency ward
- state of emergency a condition, declared by a government, in which martial law applies, usually because of civil unrest or natural disaster
- NZ a player selected to stand by to replace an injured member of a team; reserve
Word Origin and History for emergency
"unforeseen occurrence requiring immediate attention," 1630s, from Latin emergens, present participle of emergere (see emerge). Or from emerge + -ency.