cir·cum·stance n
1 a: a condition, fact, or event accompanying, conditioning, or determining another
the circumstance s constituting fraud or mistake shall be statedFederal Rules of Civil Procedure Rule 9(b)
b: a piece of evidence that indicates the probability or improbability of an event
a statement...offered to exculpate the accused is not admissible unless corroborating circumstance s clearly indicate the trustworthiness of the statementState v. Lopez, 764 P.2d 1111 (1988)
2 pl: situation with regard to wealth
the circumstance s of the parties before the divorce

Merriam-Webster’s Dictionary of Law. . 1996.

index accident (chance occurrence), case (set of circumstances), chance (fortuity), condition (state), context, contingency, detail, experience (encounter), happenstance, occurrence, particular, plight, posture (situation), predicament, quirk (accident), situation, state (condition), status

Burton's Legal Thesaurus. . 2006

n. An act, condition, event, or fact connected with another act, condition, event, or fact either as an accessory or as a contributing or determining element.
@ aggravating circumstance
A circumstance that increases the culpability or liability of a person or the measure of damages or punishment for a crime or tort.
@ exigent circumstance
1 An urgent situation that demands extraordinary or immediate action. Such a circumstance often allows for the circumvention of procedures that would otherwise be required by law. For example, if a car hits a child, the fact that immediate medical attention is needed to save the child's life is an exigent circumstance that excuses the physician's treatment of the child before parental consent is obtained.
2 An urgent situation in which a law enforcement officer who has probable cause must take immediate steps to make an arrest, search, or seizure without a warrant because someone's life or safety is at risk or because there is an imminent threat that a suspect will escape or evidence will be removed or destroyed.
@ mitigating circumstance
1 A circumstance (such as having a mental defect at the time of the wrongdoing) that does not exonerate, but reduces the culpability of, a person for a tort or crime he has committed and that may result in a reduction of the damages or punishment to be imposed.
2 A circumstance (such as turning oneself in for arrest) that does not reduce a person's culpability for a crime he has committed, but that may result in a reduction of the punishment to be imposed.
See also negligence, defense.
n. A factual matter argued in defense that may lessen a defendant's liability or culpability, resulting in lesser damages or a shorter sentence.

Webster's New World Law Dictionary. . 2000.

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  • Circumstance — or circumstances can refer to: Rhetoric Circumstances (rhetoric) Legal terms Aggravating circumstance Attendant circumstance Exigent circumstance Extenuating circumstances Literature Circumstance (short story) Films Circumstance (film) Others… …   Wikipedia

  • circumstance — cir cum*stance (s[ e]r k[u^]m*st[a^]ns), n. [L. circumstantia, fr. circumstans, antis, p. pr. of circumstare to stand around; circum + stare to stand. See {Stand}.] 1. That which attends, or relates to, or in some way affects, a fact or event; an …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • circumstance — (n.) early 13c., conditions surrounding and accompanying an event, from O.Fr. circonstance circumstance, situation, also literally, outskirts (Mod.Fr. circonstance), from L. circumstantia surrounding condition, neut. pl. of circumstans (gen.… …   Etymology dictionary

  • circumstance — [sʉr′kəm stans΄, sʉr′kəmstəns] n. [OFr < L circumstantia, a standing around, condition < circumstare < circum, around + stare,STAND] 1. a fact or event accompanying another, either incidentally or as an essential condition or determining …   English World dictionary

  • circumstance — ► NOUN 1) a fact or condition connected with an event or action. 2) unforeseen events outside one s control: a victim of circumstance. 3) (circumstances) one s state of financial or material welfare. ● under (or in) the circumstances Cf. ↑under… …   English terms dictionary

  • Circumstance — Cir cum*stance, v. t. To place in a particular situation; to supply relative incidents. [1913 Webster] The poet took the matters of fact as they came down to him and circumstanced them, after his own manner. Addison. [1913 Webster] …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • circumstance — *occurrence, event, incident, episode Analogous words: *item, detail, particular: factor, constituent, component, *element …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • circumstance — The debate about the merits of in the circumstances and under the circumstances continued for most of the 20c. The pedantic view is that since circumstances are, etymologically speaking, around (circum) us, we must be in them and not under them;… …   Modern English usage

  • circumstance — [n] situation, condition accident, action, adjunct, affair, article, case, cause, coincidence, concern, contingency, crisis, destiny, detail, doom, element, episode, event, exigency, fact, factor, fate, feature, fortuity, go, happening,… …   New thesaurus

  • circumstance — noun 1 (usually circumstances) facts/events that affect sth ADJECTIVE ▪ favourable/favorable ▪ The plan might work better with more favourable/favorable circumstances. ▪ adverse, difficult, dire, tra …   Collocations dictionary

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