Definition of “coincidence” - English Dictionary

“coincidence” in British English

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coincidencenoun

uk /kəʊˈɪn.sɪ.dəns/ us /koʊˈɪn.sɪ.dəns/

coincidence noun (SAME TIME)

B2 [ C ] an occasion when two or more similar things happen at the same time, especially in a way that is unlikely and surprising:

You chose exactly the same wallpaper as us - what a coincidence!
Is it just a coincidence that the wife of the man who ran the competition won first prize?
a series of strange/amazing coincidences

More examples

  • We hadn't planned to be in France at the same time as Ann and Charles - it was just a happy coincidence.
  • Meeting you here in Rome is a remarkable coincidence.
  • By some extraordinary coincidence, I sat down right opposite your mother in the train.
  • Do you think it was just a coincidence that she chose her own granddaughter's picture for first prize?
  • There were a whole series of spooky coincidences - for example we both married men with the same name and on the same day.

coincidence noun (CHANCE)

B2 [ U ] chance or luck:

Just by coincidence, I met my old schoolmate again 50 years later.
[ + that ] It was pure/sheer coincidence that I remembered his phone number.
By some strange coincidence, he was passing the house just when it happened.

More examples

  • We hadn't planned to be in France at the same time as Ann and Charles - it was just a happy coincidence.
  • Meeting you here in Rome is a remarkable coincidence.
  • By some extraordinary coincidence, I sat down right opposite your mother in the train.
  • Do you think it was just a coincidence that she chose her own granddaughter's picture for first prize?
  • There were a whole series of spooky coincidences - for example we both married men with the same name and on the same day.

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

“coincidence” in American English

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coincidencenoun [ C/U ]

us /koʊˈɪn·sɪ·dəns, -səˌdens/

an occasion when two or more things happen at the same time, esp. in a way that is unexpected or unlikely, or the unlikely fact of such things happening at the same time:

[ C ] Was our meeting here a coincidence?
[ U ] By coincidence, both teams happen to be coached by men.
coincidental
adjective [ not gradable ] us /koʊˌɪn·sɪˈden·təl/

Resemblances between their stories are purely coincidental.
coincidentally
adverb [ not gradable ] us /koʊˌɪn·sɪˈden·təl·i/

Mo shut his eyes and swung, the ball and the bat coincidentally arriving at the same place at the same time.

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