Definition of coincidence in English:


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  • 1A remarkable concurrence of events or circumstances without apparent causal connection.

    ‘they met by coincidence’
    • ‘it's no coincidence that this new burst of innovation has occurred in the free nations’
    • ‘By coincidence I was trailing two unsuspecting girls also apparently going to the show.’
    • ‘By coincidence, the factory closed down in 1912, the year the Titanic went down at sea with such a huge loss of life.’
    • ‘By coincidence, my friend Nat Gertler was at the same performance last night of The Producers.’
    • ‘By coincidence, I got there a few minutes before Bob Hager, who had an appointment.’
    • ‘By coincidence, he lived in my same building where I had just bought an apartment but I still hadn't moved in yet.’
    • ‘By coincidence, both of October's plays were other people's ideas.’
    • ‘By coincidence, a few hours earlier one of White's many underworld contacts had phoned offering information.’
    • ‘We can even make sense of such a coincidence in the case of events such as battles and headaches.’
    • ‘‘It is hard to believe that so many events and coincidences occurred in just 12 months,’ he writes.’
    • ‘Identical twins are about to marry a pair of lookalike sisters in a double ceremony next month to cap 25 years of remarkable coincidences.’
    • ‘We would share stories of mistaken identity, confused publicists and editors, odd coincidences and connections.’
    • ‘By one of the most remarkable coincidences in all sport, that very same year saw the publication for the first time of the laws of cricket.’
    • ‘The win was a remarkable coincidence for Hazel, who worked as a domestic cleaner for one of the Turnbull family more than ten years ago.’
    • ‘In a remarkable coincidence, the front of his home was demolished in a freak car accident for the second time - by the same man.’
    • ‘Especially toward the end, these coincidences and connections between the characters become almost comical.’
    • ‘And the bizarre events and coincidences pile up more and more as the story proceeds.’
    • ‘It beggars belief to think that these concurrent developments are mere coincidences.’
    • ‘His theory explains what appears to be a remarkable coincidence.’
    • ‘It is a remarkable coincidence that the elections were held on the eleventh anniversary of these dramatic events.’
    • ‘The Pennine Acute Trust said the timing of the letter was a coincidence and not connected to the Observer story.’
    accident, chance, serendipity, fate, a twist of fate, destiny, fortuity, fortune, providence, freak, hazard
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  • 2Correspondence in nature or in time of occurrence.

    ‘the coincidence of interest between the mining companies and certain politicians’
    • ‘For most of the time, this coincidence of interest was recognized.’
    • ‘There is little coincidence of interest between the consumer and a state-owned utility.’
    • ‘This surprising degree of coincidence of territory and national identity has been achieved in two ways.’
    • ‘Several coincidences between genes encoding for enzymes of N metabolism and QTLs for the traits studied were observed.’
    co-occurrence, coexistence, conjunction, simultaneity, simultaneousness, contemporaneity, contemporaneousness, concomitance, synchronicity, synchrony
    correspondence, agreement, accord, concurrence, match, fit, consistency, conformity, harmony, compatibility, dovetailing, correlation, parallelism
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  • 3Physics
    The presence of ionizing particles or other objects in two or more detectors simultaneously, or of two or more signals simultaneously in a circuit.

    ‘In their estimation, nothing could explain the coincidences except the momentary passing of a gravitational wave.’
    • ‘When the beams were in phase, they detected five times as many coincidences as when they were out of phase.’
    • ‘One of the most famous anthropic coincidences was discovered by the English physicist Sir Fred Hoyle in 1954.’



/kōˈinsədns/ /koʊˈɪnsədns/


Early 17th century (in the sense ‘occupation of the same space’): from medieval Latin coincidentia, from coincidere ‘coincide, agree’ (see coincide).