noun, plural e·mer·gen·cies.
- a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.
- a state, especially of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event: a weather emergency; a financial emergency.
- granted, used, or for use in an emergency: an emergency leave; emergency lights.
noun plural -cies
- an unforeseen or sudden occurrence, esp of a danger demanding immediate remedy or action
- (as modifier)an emergency exit
- a patient requiring urgent treatment
- (as modifier)an emergency ward
- state of emergency a condition, declared by a government, in which martial law applies, usually because of civil unrest or natural disaster
- 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.