Circumstance

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Related to circumstances: unforeseen circumstances

in the circumstances

Due to the conditions or particular situation; such as the case is. Of course we wish that we could pay each employee a proper Christmas bonus, but in the circumstances, that is just not feasible. I'm sorry for my sudden resignation, but I'm afraid that, in the circumstances, I just can't work here any longer.
See also: circumstance

in no circumstances

Never; in no case or situation; irrespective of events or conditions. In no circumstances are you allowed to drive home after you've had more than one drink! I'm sorry for my sudden resignation, but in no circumstances will I work for some sexist manager like him.
See also: circumstance

comfortable circumstances

The state of having enough money to live well. We used to have barely enough money to pay rent, but ever since Pat got that promotion, we've been living in comfortable circumstances.

Circumstances alter cases.

Prov. In unusual situations, people are allowed to do unusual things. Cashier: I'm sorry, this store does not accept personal checks. Customer: But I need this medicine, and I don't have any cash. I've shopped at this store for fifteen years. Surely you can trust me this once. Cashier: Well, all right. Circumstances alter cases.
See also: alter, case, Circumstance

extenuating circumstances

special (but otherwise unspecified) circumstances that account for an irregular or improper way of doing something. Mary was permitted to arrive late because of extenuating circumstances. Due to extenuating circumstances, the teacher will not meet with the class today.
See also: circumstance

in reduced circumstances

Euph. in poverty. After Frederick lost his position, we lived in reduced circumstances while waiting for my inheritance.
See also: circumstance, reduce

under certain circumstances

 and under certain conditions
Fig. depending on or influenced by something; because of something. Under certain conditions, you can see across the lake to the other side. Under certain circumstances, what you propose to do is all right.

under no circumstances

 and not under any circumstances
Fig. absolutely never. Andy: Under no circumstances will I ever go back there again! Rachel: Why? What happened? Sue: Can I talk you into serving as a referee again? Mary: Heavens, no! Not under any circumstances!
See also: circumstance

under normal circumstances

Fig. normally; usually; typically. "We'd be able to keep the dog at home under normal circumstances," said Mary to the vet. "Under normal circumstances you'd be able to return to work in a week," explained the doctor.
See also: circumstance, normal

under the circumstances

Fig. in a particular situation; because of the circumstances. I'm sorry to hear that you're ill. Under the circumstances, you may take the day off. We won't expect you to come to work for a few days, under the circumstances.
See also: circumstance

under certain circumstances

because of particular conditions Your insurance will pay for that surgery, but only under certain circumstances, for example if it's an emergency.

under no circumstances

not for any reason Abby's mother said that under no circumstances could Abby go out with her pals.
See also: circumstance

under the circumstances

also under these circumstances
because of the particular situation Going to see the scene of the explosion was, under the circumstances, a really stupid thing to do. The storm was very dangerous, so under the circumstances I think we were lucky to have had only one tree blown down.
Usage notes: also used in the form under those circumstances: There is an ongoing investigation, and under those circumstances, it wouldn't be right for me to comment.
See also: circumstance

pomp and circumstance

formal ceremony The royal visit was accompanied by all the usual pomp and circumstance.
See also: and, circumstance

in reduced circumstances

  (slightly formal)
if someone, especially someone from a high social class, is in reduced circumstances, they have a lot less money than they did before They found him living in reduced circumstances in a flat off Fulham Road.
See also: circumstance, reduce

extenuating circumstances

A situation or condition that provides an excuse for an action, as in Although Nancy missed three crucial rehearsals, there were extenuating circumstances, so she was not dismissed . This expression was originally legal terminology, denoting circumstances that partly excuse a crime and therefore call for less punishment or damages. [c. 1600]
See also: circumstance

under any circumstances

Also, under no circumstances. See under the circumstances.
See also: any, circumstance

under the circumstances

Also, in the circumstances. Given these conditions, such being the case, as in Under the circumstances we can't leave Mary out. This idiom uses circumstance in the sense of "a particular situation," a usage dating from the late 1300s. It may also be modified in various ways, such as under any circumstances meaning "no matter what the situation," as in We'll phone her under any circumstances; under no circumstances, meaning "in no case, never," as in Under no circumstances may you smoke; under any other circumstances, meaning "in a different situation," as in I can't work under any other circumstances; and under the same circumstances, meaning "given the same situation," as in Under the same circumstances anyone would have done the same.
See also: circumstance

under no circumstances

In no case; never.
See also: circumstance
References in classic literature ?
As soon as General Clark, then at the Falls of the Ohio, who was ever our ready friend, and merits the love and gratitude of all his country-men, understood the circumstances of this unfortunate action, he ordered an expedition, with all possible haste, to pursue the savages, which was so expeditiously effected, that we overtook them within two miles of their towns, and probably might have obtained a great victory, had not two of their number met us about two hundred poles before we come up.
One inauspicious circumstance there was, which awakened a hardly concealed displeasure in the breasts of a few of the more punctilious visitors.
It was a folly, with the materiality of this daily life pressing so intrusively upon me, to attempt to fling myself back into another age, or to insist on creating the semblance of a world out of airy matter, when, at every moment, the impalpable beauty of my soap-bubble was broken by the rude contact of some actual circumstance.
Owing to this circumstance, I was fortunately a witness of all that passed in her interview with her lover.
I like, monsieur, to take my knitting in my hands, and to sit quietly down in my chair; circumstances defile past me; I watch their march; so long as they follow the course I wish, I say nothing, and do nothing; I don't clap my hands, and cry out
The general, however, had had an opportunity of seeing him once or twice since the eventful evening, and had spoken very seriously with him; but though he had seen the prince, as I say, he told his family nothing about the circumstance.
But he also knew (or rather felt at the bottom of his heart) that by resigning himself now to the force of circumstances and to those who were guiding him, he was not only doing nothing wrong, but was doing something very important- more important than anything he had ever done in his life.
Can you find out for me what will become, under the circumstances, of Mr.
In accordance with our instructions, we answered that the death and burial of Lord Montbarry abroad made it desirable to obtain more complete information relating to his illness, and to the circumstances which had attended it, than could be conveyed in writing.
I see a plain inference of matrimonial consent in the circumstances which you have related to me and I say you are a married woman.
He left me early in February; and the moment he was gone, I breathed again, and felt my vital energy return; not with the hope of escape - he has taken care to leave me no visible chance of that - but with a determination to make the best of existing circumstances.
It is no wonder, therefore, that in circumstances which would have warranted a much more romantic and wild undertaking, it should occur to him to serve as a volunteer in this expedition.
He passed his younger days perpetually occupied by the affairs of his country; a variety of circumstances had prevented his marrying early, nor was it until the decline of life that he became a husband and the father of a family.
Ablewhite was shown into it) under circumstances which lead to the suspicion that he was examining the room.
When his experience fails, he will retire from the position of narrator; and his task will be continued, from the point at which he has left it off, by other persons who can speak to the circumstances under notice from their own knowledge, just as clearly and positively as he has spoken before them.