noun, plural e·mer·gen·cies.

  1. a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.
  2. a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event: a weather emergency; a financial emergency.


  1. granted, used, or for use in an emergency: an emergency leave; emergency lights.

noun plural -cies

    1. an unforeseen or sudden occurrence, esp of a danger demanding immediate remedy or action
    2. (as modifier)an emergency exit
    1. a patient requiring urgent treatment
    2. (as modifier)an emergency ward
  1. state of emergency a condition, declared by a government, in which martial law applies, usually because of civil unrest or natural disaster
  2. NZ a player selected to stand by to replace an injured member of a team; reserve

n.“unforeseen occurrence requiring immediate attention,” 1630s, from Latin emergens, present participle of emergere (see emerge). Or from emerge + -ency.

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