Date: 1100-1200
Language: Old French
Origin: Latin circumstantia, from circumstare 'to stand around', from circum- ( CIRCUM-) + stare 'to stand'


cir‧cum‧stance S1 W1
1 [countable usually plural] 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 (=if particular conditions exist).
He was found dead in suspicious circumstances (=in a way that makes you think something illegal has happened).
Unless there are extenuating circumstances (=reasons which make it reasonable to break a rule), all students must be present on the day of the exam.

under no circumstances

also in no circumstances British English used to emphasize that something must definitely not happen:
Under no circumstances are you to go out.

under/given the circumstances

also in the circumstances British English used to say that a particular situation makes an action, decision etc necessary, acceptable, or true when it would not normally be:
It's the best result that could be expected under the circumstances.
4 [uncountable] formal the combination of facts, events etc that influence your life, and that you cannot control:


[plural] formal the conditions in which you live, especially how much money you have
economic/financial/personal etc circumstances
Whether or not you qualify for a loan will depend on your financial circumstances.
people living in difficult social circumstances
in reduced circumstances old-fashioned (=with much less money than you used to have)

➔ pomp and circumstance

at pomp

Dictionary results for "circumstance"
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