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From Longman Dictionary of Contemporary Englishcircumstancecir‧cum‧stance /ˈsɜːkəmstæns, -stəns $ ˈsɜːr-/ ●●● S2 W1 AWL noun  1 [countable usually plural]SITUATION the conditions that affect a situation, action, event etc The Soviet Union had been forced by circumstances to sign a pact with Nazi Germany. I can’t imagine a circumstance in which I would be willing to steal.in ... circumstances The rules can only be waived in exceptional circumstances.under ... circumstances Prisoners can only leave their cells under certain circumstances.2 under no circumstances3 under/given the circumstances4 [uncountable] formalSITUATION the combination of facts, events etc that influence your life, and that you cannot control He was a victim of circumstance.5 circumstances pomp and circumstance at pompCOLLOCATIONSadjectivesin/under certain circumstances (=if particular conditions exist)In certain circumstances you may be refused a visa.exceptional/special circumstancesThe court may allow this evidence in exceptional circumstances.normal circumstancesIn normal circumstances, a child’s language will develop naturally.particular circumstances (=special or specific)There may be particular circumstances in which this rule will not apply.difficult circumstancesMany teachers are doing a very good job under difficult circumstances.suspicious circumstances (=making you think something illegal has happened)Officers said there were no suspicious circumstances surrounding his death.mysterious circumstances (=strange or suspicious)One of their colleagues had vanished in mysterious circumstances.unusual circumstancesThere were several unusual circumstances that night.unforeseen circumstances (=that you did not realize would happen)The tragedy was the result of a series of unforeseen circumstances.tragic circumstances (=extremely sad and unfortunate)Both parents had died in tragic circumstances.extenuating/mitigating circumstances (=conditions that make it reasonable for someone to break the rules or law)Hunger and poverty are not treated by the courts as extenuating circumstances.phrasesa set/combination of circumstancesThis was a very unusual set of circumstances.the circumstances surrounding somethingPolice are investigating the circumstances surrounding the accident.due to circumstances beyond somebody’s controlOccasionally flights are cancelled due to circumstances beyond our control.
Examples from the Corpus
circumstanceWomen of the same age and circumstance as you are less likely to live with their parents.Justified because so clearly embraced by circumstances they had only the subtlest hand in bringing into being?However, it has been claimed that some doctors in the province will perform abortions in certain circumstances.It may be that under certain circumstances one of the alternative methods of valuation is the most appropriate.Only in one particular circumstance could the court legally override the decision.Under these circumstances the Chinook can carry up to equipped men, and the Puma carries sixteen.Personally, I feel it was reasonable under those circumstances.For the first time in three years, circumstances prevented me from attending.in ... circumstancesIn the circumstances of 1921, Michael Joyce would have been ill-advised to seek reconciliation with the new order in Ireland.If there is an offence at all in such circumstances, it is probably under section 5 rather than section 4.But in other circumstances returns will be maximised by raising prices.But in such circumstances they are all we have.What would Sherlock Holmes do in the circumstances?It happened three times while I was there, each in very similar circumstances.Assume that a duty of care is owed by A to C as a rescue was reasonably foreseeable in the circumstances.This implies that very demanding quality assurance procedures and methods are needed in such circumstances.victim of circumstanceShe was feeling helpless, a victim of circumstances temporarily outside her control, and it was a feeling she loathed.Or is she a victim of circumstances?It can be said he was a victim of circumstances.As I have said, he was a victim of circumstances, and of a strong concentration of parental love.This argument has received wide currency, in part because it again presents Gloucester as the victim of circumstances rather than their manipulator.Of course, he was for ever the victim of circumstances.
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