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emergency Syllabification: e·mer·gen·cy
Pronunciation: /əˈmərjənsē/

Definition of emergency in English:

noun (plural emergencies)

1A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action: your quick response in an emergency could be a lifesaver times of emergency
More example sentences
  • Currently there are no universal guidelines for handling in-flight medical emergencies.
  • The policy statement introduces a public health initiative to help schools prepare to handle life-threatening medical emergencies.
  • If they declare a public health emergency, governments can skip the negotiating.
crisis, urgent situation, extremity, exigency;
accident, disaster, catastrophe, calamity;
difficulty, plight, predicament, danger
1.1 [as modifier] Arising from or needed or used in an emergency: an emergency exit
More example sentences
  • The team carried out emergency operations day and night by torchlight.
  • It said emergency exits were blocked, floors were dirty and there were no female toilets.
  • Bad as this staircase was, the two other emergency exits were worse, McIntyre later said.
urgent, crisis;
impromptu, extraordinary
reserve, standby, backup, fallback, in reserve
1.2A person with a medical condition requiring immediate treatment.
Example sentences
  • The 69% remaining were most commonly patients admitted as medical or surgical emergencies.
  • First medical and surgical emergencies were referred directly to the acute care firms and were seen initially by house officers.
1.3North American short for emergency room. he was rushed into emergency


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin emergentia, from Latin emergere 'arise, bring to light' (see emerge).

Words that rhyme with emergency

convergency, insurgency, urgency
Definition of emergency in:
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