Meaning of “circumstance” in the English Dictionary


"circumstance" in English

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uk /ˈsɜː.kəm.stɑːns/ us /ˈsɝː.kəm.stæns/

B2 [ C usually plural ] a fact or event that makes a situation the way it is:

I think she coped very well under the circumstances.
Obviously we can't deal with the problem until we know all the circumstances.
She died in suspicious circumstances.
We oppose capital punishment in/under any circumstances.
Under no circumstances should you (= you should not) approach the man.
The meeting has been cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.

[ U ] formal events that change your life, over which you have no control:

They were victims of circumstance.
We were obliged to go by force of circumstance.

how much money someone has:

Grants are available depending on your circumstances.
By now she was alone and living in reduced circumstances (= with little money).

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(Definition of “circumstance” from the Cambridge Advanced Learner’s Dictionary & Thesaurus © Cambridge University Press)

"circumstance" in American English

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circumstancenoun [ C/U ]

us /ˈsɜr·kəmˌstæns/

an event or condition connected with what is happening or has happened:

[ C ] The circumstances of the theft of the painting were not known.
[ C ] The circumstances surrounding his disappearance are under investigation.
[ C ] He said that under no circumstances was he returning to Phoenix.
[ U ] Mrs. Smith's lawyers say she was victim of circumstance, not a murderer.

(Definition of “circumstance” from the Cambridge Academic Content Dictionary © Cambridge University Press)