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[ek-si-juhn-see, ig-zij-uhn-]
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noun, plural ex·i·gen·cies.
  1. exigent state or character; urgency.
  2. Usually exigencies. the need, demand, or requirement intrinsic to a circumstance, condition, etc.: the exigencies of city life.
  3. a case or situation that demands prompt action or remedy; emergency: He promised help in any exigency.
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Also ex·i·gence.

Origin of exigency

From the Medieval Latin word exigentia, dating back to 1575–85. See exigent, -ency


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Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

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Examples from the Web for exigences

Historical Examples

  • This may be fully allowed, yet it does not meet the exigences of the case.

    The Romance of Natural History, Second Series

    Philip Henry Gosse

  • Again I ask, who is to be judge when the exigences of trade require it?

    Political Pamphlets

    George Saintsbury

  • These exigences led to strenuous scenes in the Assembly, and the succession of Regents became still more rapid.

    South America

    W. H. Koebel

  • Miss Lillah McCarthy sacrificed something of her personality to the exigences of a flaxen chevelure.

  • Consequently, there are many who, though hard pressed by the exigences of nature, never use the place.

British Dictionary definitions for exigences


exigence (ˈɛksɪdʒəns)

noun plural -gencies or -gences
  1. the state of being exigent; urgency
  2. (often plural) an urgent demand; pressing requirement
  3. an emergency
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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

Word Origin and History for exigences



1580s, from Middle French exigence, from Latin exigentia "urgency," from exigentem (nominative exigens), from exigere "to demand, require; drive out" (see exact (v.)). Related: Exigencies (1650s).

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Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper