[ek-si-juhn-see, ig-zij-uhn-]

noun, plural ex·i·gen·cies.

exigent state or character; urgency.
Usually exigencies. the need, demand, or requirement intrinsic to a circumstance, condition, etc.: the exigencies of city life.
a case or situation that demands prompt action or remedy; emergency: He promised help in any exigency.

Also ex·i·gence.

Origin of exigency

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

Synonyms for exigency

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for exigency

Historical Examples of exigency

  • He could quiet the horses, but not a woman, in so vague an exigency.

    Tiverton Tales

    Alice Brown

  • His speaking was unequal, and always rose with the subject and the exigency.

    Patrick Henry

    Moses Coit Tyler

  • In this exigency the pirate desisted from his plan against the lady.

    Sir Henry Morgan, Buccaneer

    Cyrus Townsend Brady

  • But this exigency might arise again; indeed, most frequently did arise.

  • Riley obeyed the call of the exigency; but Forsythe resisted.

    The Wreck of the Titan

    Morgan Robertson

British Dictionary definitions for exigency


exigence (ˈɛksɪdʒəns)

noun plural -gencies or -gences

the state of being exigent; urgency
(often plural) an urgent demand; pressing requirement
an emergency
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 exigency

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).

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper