[ in-si-duhns ]
See synonyms for: incidenceincidences on

  1. the rate or range of occurrence or influence of something, especially of something unwanted: the high incidence of heart disease in men over 40.

  2. a falling upon, affecting, or befalling; occurrence: The incidence of murder that Sunday afternoon shocked the sleepy village.

  1. Optics, Physics.

  2. the fact or the manner of being incident.

  3. Geometry. partial coincidence of two figures, as of a line and a plane containing it.

Origin of incidence

First recorded in 1375–1425; late Middle English, from Late Latin incidentia. See incident, -ence

Words that may be confused with incidence Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2024

How to use incidence in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for incidence


/ (ˈɪnsɪdəns) /

  1. degree, extent, or frequency of occurrence; amount: a high incidence of death from pneumonia

  2. the act or manner of impinging on or affecting by proximity or influence

  1. physics the arrival of a beam of light or particles at a surface: See also angle of incidence

  2. geometry the partial coincidence of two configurations, such as a point that lies on a circle

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