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intr.v. oc·curred, oc·cur·ring, oc·curs
1. To take place; come about. See Synonyms at happen.
2. To be found to exist or appear: Copper deposits occur in the region.
3. To come to mind: The idea never occurred to me.

[Latin occurrere : ob-, toward; see ob- + currere, to run; see kers- in Indo-European roots.]
American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition. Copyright © 2016 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.


vb (intr) , -curs, -curring or -curred
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)
[C16: from Latin occurrere to run up to, from ob- to + currere to run]
Usage: 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 and Unabridged, 12th Edition 2014 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1994, 1998, 2000, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2011, 2014



v.i. -curred, -cur•ring.
1. to happen; take place; come to pass.
2. to be met with or found; present itself; appear.
3. to suggest itself in thought; come to mind (usu. fol. by to).
[1520–30; < Latin occurrere to run to meet, arrive, come to mind =oc- oc- + currere to run]
Random House Kernerman Webster's College Dictionary, © 2010 K Dictionaries Ltd. Copyright 2005, 1997, 1991 by Random House, Inc. All rights reserved.


You can say that an event occurs.

The accident occurred at 8:40 a.m.
Mistakes are bound to occur.

However, you only use occur to talk about events which are not planned.

Occur is a fairly formal word. In conversation and in less formal writing, you usually say that an event happens.

You might have noticed what happened on Tuesday.
A curious thing has happened.
See happen

Be Careful!
Don't say that a planned event 'occurs' or 'happens'. Say that it takes place.

The first meeting of this committee took place on 9 January.
These lessons took place twice a week.

Don't use 'occur to' to say that someone is affected by an event. Don't say, for example, 'I wonder what's occurred to Jane'. Say 'I wonder what's happened to Jane'.

She no longer cared what happened to her.
It couldn't have happened to a nicer man.
Collins COBUILD English Usage © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 2004, 2011, 2012


Past participle: occurred
Gerund: occurring

I occur
you occur
he/she/it occurs
we occur
you occur
they occur
I occurred
you occurred
he/she/it occurred
we occurred
you occurred
they occurred
Present Continuous
I am occurring
you are occurring
he/she/it is occurring
we are occurring
you are occurring
they are occurring
Present Perfect
I have occurred
you have occurred
he/she/it has occurred
we have occurred
you have occurred
they have occurred
Past Continuous
I was occurring
you were occurring
he/she/it was occurring
we were occurring
you were occurring
they were occurring
Past Perfect
I had occurred
you had occurred
he/she/it had occurred
we had occurred
you had occurred
they had occurred
I will occur
you will occur
he/she/it will occur
we will occur
you will occur
they will occur
Future Perfect
I will have occurred
you will have occurred
he/she/it will have occurred
we will have occurred
you will have occurred
they will have occurred
Future Continuous
I will be occurring
you will be occurring
he/she/it will be occurring
we will be occurring
you will be occurring
they will be occurring
Present Perfect Continuous
I have been occurring
you have been occurring
he/she/it has been occurring
we have been occurring
you have been occurring
they have been occurring
Future Perfect Continuous
I will have been occurring
you will have been occurring
he/she/it will have been occurring
we will have been occurring
you will have been occurring
they will have been occurring
Past Perfect Continuous
I had been occurring
you had been occurring
he/she/it had been occurring
we had been occurring
you had been occurring
they had been occurring
I would occur
you would occur
he/she/it would occur
we would occur
you would occur
they would occur
Past Conditional
I would have occurred
you would have occurred
he/she/it would have occurred
we would have occurred
you would have occurred
they would have occurred
Collins English Verb Tables © HarperCollins Publishers 2011
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Verb1.occur - come to pass; "What is happening?"; "The meeting took place off without an incidence"; "Nothing occurred that seemed important"
recrudesce, develop, break - happen; "Report the news as it develops"; "These political movements recrudesce from time to time"
come up, arise - result or issue; "A slight unpleasantness arose from this discussion"
result - come about or follow as a consequence; "nothing will result from this meeting"
intervene - occur between other event or between certain points of time; "the war intervened between the birth of her two children"
transpire - come about, happen, or occur; "Several important events transpired last week"
give - occur; "what gives?"
operate - happen; "What is going on in the minds of the people?"
supervene - take place as an additional or unexpected development
proceed, go - follow a certain course; "The inauguration went well"; "how did your interview go?"
come - come to pass; arrive, as in due course; "The first success came three days later"; "It came as a shock"; "Dawn comes early in June"
fall - occur at a specified time or place; "Christmas falls on a Monday this year"; "The accent falls on the first syllable"
anticipate - be a forerunner of or occur earlier than; "This composition anticipates Impressionism"
develop - be gradually disclosed or unfolded; become manifest; "The plot developed slowly";
recur, repeat - happen or occur again; "This is a recurring story"
come off, go over, go off - happen in a particular manner; "how did your talk go over?"
roll around, come around - happen regularly; "Christmas rolled around again"
materialise, materialize, happen - come into being; become reality; "Her dream really materialized"
bechance, befall, happen - happen, occur, or be the case in the course of events or by chance; "It happens that today is my birthday"; "These things befell" (Santayana)
bechance, befall, betide - become of; happen to; "He promised that no harm would befall her"; "What has become of my children?"
coincide, concur - happen simultaneously; "The two events coincided"
backfire, backlash, recoil - come back to the originator of an action with an undesired effect; "Your comments may backfire and cause you a lot of trouble"
chance - be the case by chance; "I chanced to meet my old friend in the street"
break - happen or take place; "Things have been breaking pretty well for us in the past few months"
fall, shine, strike - touch or seem as if touching visually or audibly; "Light fell on her face"; "The sun shone on the fields"; "The light struck the golden necklace"; "A strange sound struck my ears"
turn out - prove to be in the result or end; "It turns out that he was right"
contemporise, contemporize, synchronise, synchronize - happen at the same time
2.occur - come to one's mind; suggest itself; "It occurred to me that we should hire another secretary"; "A great idea then came to her"
become - come into existence; "What becomes has duration"
3.occur - to be found to exist; "sexism occurs in many workplaces"; "precious stones occur in a large area in Brazil"
come along, appear - come into being or existence, or appear on the scene; "Then the computer came along and changed our lives"; "Homo sapiens appeared millions of years ago"
geminate, pair - occur in pairs
run - occur persistently; "Musical talent runs in the family"
collocate - have a strong tendency to occur side by side; "The words 'new' and 'world' collocate"
abound in, pullulate with, teem in - exist in large quantity
Based on WordNet 3.0, Farlex clipart collection. © 2003-2012 Princeton University, Farlex Inc.


1. happen, take place, come about, follow, result, chance, arise, turn up (informal), come off (informal), ensue, crop up (informal), transpire (informal), befall, materialize, come to pass (archaic), betide, eventuate The deaths occurred when troops tried to disperse the demonstrators.
2. exist, appear, be found, develop, obtain, turn up, be present, be met with, manifest itself, present itself, show itself The disease occurs throughout Africa.
occur to someone come to mind, strike someone, dawn on someone, come to you, spring to mind, cross someone's mind, present itself to someone, enter someone's head, offer itself to someone, suggest itself to someone It didn't occur to me to check my insurance policy.
Usage: It is usually regarded as incorrect to talk of pre-arranged events occurring or happening. For this meaning a synonym such as take place would be more appropriate: the wedding took place (not occurred or happened) in the afternoon.
Collins Thesaurus of the English Language – Complete and Unabridged 2nd Edition. 2002 © HarperCollins Publishers 1995, 2002


2. To take place at a set time:
3. To enter a person's mind:
The American Heritage® Roget's Thesaurus. Copyright © 2013, 2014 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
يَحْدُثيَخْطُر في بالِه، يَتَبادَر إلى ذِهْنِهيَقَعُيَنْوَجِد
falde indfindesoptrædeske
dogoditi se
finnastkoma fyrirkoma í hug
ateiti į galvąreiškinys
atgadītiesbūt sastopamam/atrodamamienākt prātānotikt
vyskytovať sa
pojaviti sepripetiti sepriti na misel
olmakaklına gelmekbulunmakmeydana gelmek
xảy ra


[əˈkɜːʳ] VI
1. (= happen) → ocurrir, suceder
to occur againvolver a suceder, repetirse
don't let it (ever) occur againque no se vuelva a repetir (nunca)
if a vacancy occurssi se produce una vacante
if the opportunity occurssi se presenta la oportunidad
2. (= be found) → darse, encontrarse
the plant occurs all over Spainla planta se da en todas partes en España
3. (= come to mind) to occur to sbocurrírsele a algn
it occurs to me thatse me ocurre que ...
it occurred to me to ask himse me ocurrió preguntárselo
such an idea would never have occurred to hersemejante idea jamás se le hubiera ocurrido or pasado por la mente
Collins Spanish Dictionary - Complete and Unabridged 8th Edition 2005 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1971, 1988 © HarperCollins Publishers 1992, 1993, 1996, 1997, 2000, 2003, 2005


[əˈkɜːr] vi
(= happen) [incident, event] → se produire; [phenomenon, error] → se produire
The accident occurred yesterday → L'accident s'est produit hier.
the chances of an accident occurring → les chances qu'un accident se produise
Mistakes are bound to occur → Il est inévitable que des erreurs se produisent.
(= appear) [phrase, word] → apparaître
The phrase occurs often in the Quran → L'expression apparaît souvent dans le Coran.
(= be present) → être présent
Racism and sexism occur in all institutions → Le racisme et le sexisme sont présents dans toutes les institutions.
to occur naturally in sth → être naturellement présent dans qch
Nitrates are chemicals that occur naturally in water → Les nitrates sont des substances chimiques qui sont naturellement présentes dans l'eau
[difficulty, opportunity] → se présenter
to occur to sb [idea, thought] → venir à l'esprit de qn
It suddenly occurred to me that → Il m'est soudain venu à l'esprit que ...
It never occurred to me to ask → Il ne m'est jamais venu à l'esprit de demander.
Collins English/French Electronic Resource. © HarperCollins Publishers 2005


(= take place) (event)geschehen, sich ereignen, vorkommen; (difficulty)sich ergeben; (change)stattfinden; that doesn’t occur very oftendas kommt nicht oft vor, das gibt es nicht oft; don’t let it occur againlassen Sie das nicht wieder vorkommen, dass das nicht wieder passiert!; should a fault occursollte ein Fehler auftreten; if the opportunity occurswenn sich die Gelegenheit bietet or ergibt
(= be found: disease) → vorkommen
(= come to mind)einfallen, in den Sinn kommen (geh)(to sb jdm); if it occurs to you that he is wrongfalls es Ihnen so vorkommt, als habe er sich geirrt; it occurs to me that …ich habe den Eindruck, dass …; the idea just occurred to mees ist mir gerade eingefallen; it never occurred to medarauf bin ich noch nie gekommen; it didn’t even occur to him to asker kam erst gar nicht auf den Gedanken, zu fragen; did it ever occur to you to apologize?hast du eigentlich je daran gedacht, dich zu entschuldigen?
Collins German Dictionary – Complete and Unabridged 7th Edition 2005. © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1980 © HarperCollins Publishers 1991, 1997, 1999, 2004, 2005, 2007


[əˈkɜːʳ] vi
a. (event) → accadere; (difficulty, opportunity) → presentarsi; (phenomenon) → aver luogo; (error, word, plant) → essere presente, trovarsi
to occur again → ripetersi
b. (come to mind) to occur to sbvenire in mente a qn
such an idea would never have occurred to her → una tale idea non le sarebbe mai venuta in mente
Collins Italian Dictionary 1st Edition © HarperCollins Publishers 1995


(əˈkəː) past tense, past participle ocˈcurred verb
1. to take place. The accident occurred yesterday morning.
2. (with to) to come into one's mind. An idea occurred to him; It occurred to me to visit my parents.
3. to be found. Oil occurs under the sea.
ocˈcurrence (-ˈka-) , ((American) -ˈkə:-) noun
a strange occurrence.

occurrence, ~occurred and occurring have two rs.
Kernerman English Multilingual Dictionary © 2006-2013 K Dictionaries Ltd.


يَقَعُ nastat optræde geschehen συμβαίνω ocurrir tapahtua se produire dogoditi se accadere 起こる 발생하다 gebeuren inntreffe zdarzyć się ocorrer случаться inträffa เกิดขึ้น olmak xảy ra 发生
Multilingual Translator © HarperCollins Publishers 2009
References in classic literature ?
We may take it that memory-images, when they occur in true memory, are (a) known to be copies, (b) sometimes known to be imperfect copies (cf.
When a remembered event has a remembered context, this may occur in two ways, either (a) by successive images in the same order as their prototypes, or (b) by remembering a whole process simultaneously, in the same way in which a present process may be apprehended, through akoluthic sensations which, by fading, acquire the mark of just-pastness in an increasing degree as they fade, and are thus placed in a series while all sensibly present.
Succession can occur within the specious present, of which we can distinguish some parts as earlier and others as later.
This simple thought could not occur to the doctors (as it cannot occur to a wizard that he is unable to work his charms) because the business of their lives was to cure, and they received money for it and had spent the best years of their lives on that business.
Moreover, he was too conscientious to do anything to enfeeble his impressions and unwilling to alter any of the customary conditions under which the manifestations were said to occur.
"They say that things were uncommonly quiet out there," the editor said, trifling with a paper-weight upon which he had dropped his eyes, "did anything occur?"
"No; but she might suppose that something would occur in your favour; that your own family might in time relent.
It did occur to Dunsey that it might be wise for him to give up the day's hunting, proceed at once to Batherley, and, having waited for Bryce's return, hire a horse to carry him home with the money in his pocket.
Can it, then, be thought improbable, seeing that variations useful to man have undoubtedly occurred, that other variations useful in some way to each being in the great and complex battle of life, should sometimes occur in the course of thousands of generations?
We have reason to believe, as stated in the first chapter, that a change in the conditions of life, by specially acting on the reproductive system, causes or increases variability; and in the foregoing case the conditions of life are supposed to have undergone a change, and this would manifestly be favourable to natural selection, by giving a better chance of profitable variations occurring; and unless profitable variations do occur, natural selection can do nothing.
There is no absurdity in supposing that he may have laid his labors aside for a time, or turned from one work to another; and such interruptions would be more likely to occur in the case of a long than of a short writing.
For the plan grows under the author's hand; new thoughts occur to him in the act of writing; he has not worked out the argument to the end before he begins.