- 1 (usually circumstances) A fact or condition connected with or relevant to an event or action: we wanted to marry but circumstances didn’t permitMore example sentences
- In my view it was an opinion which is justified by the particular circumstances of the case.
- But the judgment whether exceptional circumstances exist is not quantitative only, but may be qualitative also.
- They have just faxed us to say there are unable to travel because of unforeseen circumstances beyond their control.
- 1.1An event or fact that causes or helps to cause something to happen, typically something undesirable: he was found dead but there were no suspicious circumstances [mass noun]: they were thrown together by circumstanceMore example sentences
- What is distracting about these two are the circumstances of their political demise.
- His parents have spoken of their concerns about the circumstances of his death.
- But they are thrown together by circumstance, of the imperative to experience every moment as if it were their last, which it might well be.
- 2 (circumstances) One’s state of financial or material welfare: the artists are living in reduced circumstancesMore example sentences
- The magistrates, who can grant financial help in extreme circumstances, turned down his request.
- Magistrates agreed not to impose any financial penalty due to his financial circumstances.
- In the end, however, moving home tends to be driven by personal rather than financial circumstances.
- 3 • archaic Ceremony and public display: pomp and circumstanceMore example sentences
- TV provided the circumstance of the Coronation in black and white, but the cinema adds the pomp.
- The pomp and the circumstance is all engineered by them, not by us.
- The celebration was a grand display of pomp and circumstance led by the students of the school.
circumstances alter cases
- • proverb One’s opinion or treatment of someone or something may vary according to the prevailing circumstances.More example sentences
- His summary of the central controversy in moral philosophy as ‘circumstances alter cases’ show his limits, however.
- The central question of moral philosophy and the question I briefly addressed is where we get the rules to decide how circumstances alter cases (among other things).
- Noses alter faces and circumstances alter cases, as the old saying puts it.
under (or in) the circumstances
- Given the difficult nature of the situation: she had every right to be cross under the circumstancesMore example sentences
- Otherwise it is difficult to discuss anything under the circumstances.
- The ground held up very well under the circumstances but footing was difficult and the ball was extremely greasy.
- Yet, something about his nature seemed odd under the circumstances.
under (or in) no circumstances
- Never, whatever the situation is or might be: under no circumstances may the child be identifiedMore example sentences
- You later apologise for losing your temper, but are then given a written warning and told that under no circumstances must you act the same way again.
- And remember - there is to be no short selling unless normal investors want to buy, and under no circumstances should you go short if you think the market might fall.
- However, under no circumstances will we transmit a piece of evidence if it could be used to back up a death sentence.
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- In this way, a social inequality arises between the powerful, the rich and the well-connected, and the poor who are not so fortunately circumstanced.
- To be interested in the preservation of a thing, is to be so circumstanced with respect to it as to have benefit from its existence, prejudice from its destruction.
- Time and tests alone will ascertain whether an antidote can be found for those trumpeters over-afflicted with this condition, but, circumstanced as you are, I think it definitely worth a try.
Middle English: from Old French circonstance or Latin circumstantia, from circumstare 'encircle, encompass', from circum 'around' + stare 'stand'.
More definitions of circumstanceDefinition of circumstance in:
- The US English dictionary