Definition of emergency in English:


Syllabification: e·mer·gen·cy
Pronunciation: /iˈmərjənsē

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, extraordinaryreserve, standby, backup, fallback, in reserve
  • 1.2A person with a medical condition requiring immediate treatment.
    More 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).

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