Definition of incidence in English:


Syllabification: in·ci·dence
Pronunciation: /ˈinsədəns


1The occurrence, rate, or frequency of a disease, crime, or something else undesirable: an increased incidence of cancer
More example sentences
  • Trees can help reduce the incidence of respiratory diseases as well as lung cancer.
  • Panchayats should take the initiative to reduce the incidence of the disease at grass-root levels.
  • There are different skull shapes, different frequencies of blood types, different incidences of heritable diseases.
occurrence, prevalence;
rate, frequency;
amount, degree, extent
1.1The way in which the burden of a tax falls upon the population: the entire incidence falls on the workers
More example sentences
  • For example, he treated the incidences of taxes on capital and land in lieu of examining the effects of a property tax per se.
  • Tax incidence is clearly an important issue - where does the burden really fall?
  • In practice, the eventual receipts of any party will be reduced by the incidence of income tax.
2 Physics The intersection of a line, or something moving in a straight line, such as a beam of light, with a surface. See also angle of incidence.
More example sentences
  • Due to the glancing incidence of the ion beam, argon is not implanted into the sample surface.
  • With grazing incidence diffraction a monoclinic tilted chain lattice is found in the condensed phase.
  • The optical output to which a given beam travels depends on the beam's respective direction of incidence.


late Middle English (denoting a casual or subordinate event or circumstance): from Old French, or from medieval Latin incidentia, from Latin incidere 'fall upon, happen to' (see incident). sense 1 dates from the early 19th century.


Incidence and incidents sound the same, but incidence is more often used in technical contexts, referring to the frequency with which something occurs: increased ultraviolet light is likely to cause increased incidence of skin cancer. Incidents is simply the plural of incident, an event: the police are supposed to investigate any incidents of domestic violence. The form incidences should be avoided.

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