American English

Definition of coincidence noun from the Oxford Advanced American Dictionary



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  1. 1[countable, uncountable] the fact of two things happening at the same time by chance, in a surprising way a strange/an extraordinary/a remarkable coincidence What a coincidence!I wasn't expecting to see you here. It's not a coincidence that none of the directors are women (= it did not happen by chance). By (sheer) coincidence, I met the person we'd been discussing the next day. Thesaurusluckchance coincidence accident fate destinyThese are all words for things that happen or the force that causes them to happen.luck the force that causes good or bad things to happen to people:This ring has always brought me good luck.chance the way that some things happen without any cause that you can see or understand:The results could simply be due to chance.coincidence the fact of two things happening at the same time by chance, in a surprising way:They met through a series of strange coincidences.accident something that happens unexpectedly and is not planned in advance:I discovered the book by accident while shopping for a birthday present.fate the power that is believed to control everything that happens and that cannot be stopped or changed:Fate decreed that she would not get married that day.destiny the power that is believed to control events:I believe there's some force guiding us—call it God, destiny, or fate.fate or destiny?Fate can be kind, but this is an unexpected gift; just as often, fate is cruel and makes people feel helpless. Destiny is more likely to give people a sense of power: people who have a strong sense of destiny usually believe that they are meant to be great or do great things.Patterns by …luck/chance/coincidence/accident It's no coincidence/accident >that…> pure/sheer luck/chance/coincidence/accident to believe in luck/coincidences/fate/destiny
  2. 2[singular] (formal) the fact of things being present at the same time the coincidence of inflation and unemployment
  3. 3[singular] (formal) the fact of two or more opinions, etc. being the same a coincidence of interests between the two partners
See the Oxford Advanced Learner's Dictionary entry: coincidence