See more synonyms for occur on Thesaurus.com
verb (used without object), oc·curred, oc·cur·ring.
  1. to happen; take place; come to pass: When did the accident occur?
  2. to be met with or found; present itself; appear.
  3. to suggest itself in thought; come to mind (usually followed by to): An idea occurred to me.

Origin of occur

1520–30; < Latin occurrere to run to meet, arrive, meet, equivalent to oc- oc- + currere to run
Related formspre·oc·cur, verb (used without object), pre·oc·curred, pre·oc·cur·ring.re·oc·cur, verb (used without object), re·oc·curred, re·oc·cur·ring.un·oc·cur·ring, adjective

Synonyms for occur

See more synonyms for on Thesaurus.com
1. befall. See happen. 2. arise, offer.
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for occurred

Contemporary Examples of occurred

Historical Examples of occurred

  • The voyage was more than half completed, and nothing of importance had occurred to mark it.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • It occurred to him that he could sell them at a market store in the village.

    Brave and Bold

    Horatio Alger

  • As these occurred, a rustling and a murmur expressed the subdued applause.

  • A sudden memory of words that Viviette had used the day before occurred to him.


    William J. Locke

  • Do not say a word to anybody about what has occurred to-night.

    Life in London

    Edwin Hodder

British Dictionary definitions for occurred


verb -curs, -curring or -curred (intr)
  1. to happen; take place; come about
  2. to be found or be present; exist
  3. (foll by to) to be realized or thought of (by); suggest itself (to)

Word Origin for occur

C16: from Latin occurrere to run up to, from ob- to + currere to run


It is usually regarded as incorrect to talk of pre-arranged events occurring or happening : the wedding took place (not occurred or happened) in the afternoon
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 occurred



1520s, "meet, meet in argument," from Middle French occurrer "happen unexpectedly" or directly from Latin occurrere "run to meet, run against, befall, present itself," from ob "against, toward" (see ob-) + currere "to run" (see current (adj.)). Sense development is from "meet" to "present itself" to "appear" to "happen" ("present itself in the course of events"). Meaning "to come into one's mind" is from 1620s. Related: Occurred; occurring.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper