[ uh-kur ]
See synonyms for: occuroccurredoccurringoccurs 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: Modest amounts of fructose occur naturally in fruits and vegetables.

  1. to suggest itself in thought; come to mind (usually followed by to): An idea occurred to me.

Origin of occur

First recorded in 1520–30; from Latin occurrere “to run to meet, arrive, meet,” equivalent to oc- oc- + currere “to run”

synonym study For occur

1. See happen.

Other words for occur

Other words from occur

  • pre·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

Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2023

How to use occur in a sentence

British Dictionary definitions for occur


/ (əˈkɜː) /

verb-curs, -curring or -curred (intr)
  1. to happen; take place; come about

  2. to be found or be present; exist

  1. (foll by to) to be realized or thought of (by); suggest itself (to)

Origin of occur

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

usage For occur

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