Definition of emergency in English:



  • 1A serious, unexpected, and often dangerous situation requiring immediate action.

    ‘your quick response in an emergency could be a lifesaver’
    ‘times of emergency’
    • ‘Severe blood loss from a bleeding or perforated ulcer is a medical emergency and requires immediate medical attention.’
    • ‘The search for blood and donors would not be alien to anyone who has faced a medical emergency requiring blood transfusion.’
    • ‘In addition, any deterioration in mental status or deterioration in physical condition is a medical emergency.’
    • ‘What if there's a family emergency at home?’
    • ‘Acute pulmonary edema is a medical emergency and requires immediate care.’
    • ‘Currently there are no universal guidelines for handling in-flight medical emergencies.’
    • ‘In times of dire national emergency the president must exercise prerogative power.’
    • ‘The most severe cases are medical emergencies and require the most skilled care of a physician in hospital to avoid death.’
    • ‘Similarly, there might be agreement that in medical emergencies treatments could be given in the context of an approved research study without informed consent.’
    • ‘The policy statement introduces a public health initiative to help schools prepare to handle life-threatening medical emergencies.’
    • ‘Outbreaks of diarrhoeal diseases are still one of the major public health emergencies in India.’
    • ‘Because research evidence for the management of such medical emergencies in primary care is scarce, there is a need for such initiatives to be evaluated.’
    • ‘Between the hours of 9am and 6 pm these appliances will not be crewed unless a dire emergency arises.’
    • ‘If they declare a public health emergency, governments can skip the negotiating.’
    • ‘When Sardinia and Prussia joined the war in July, the assembly declared a national emergency.’
    • ‘The whole of the Gulf Coast has been declared a public health emergency.’
    • ‘Pulmonary hemorrhage is an acute medical emergency that requires prompt diagnosis and treatment.’
    • ‘However, our study found the equipment and staff required to manage common medical emergencies are not always available at sites of student assessments.’
    • ‘Pyloric stenosis is a medical emergency that requires immediate treatment.’
    • ‘Could not one analogously argue that the Suspension Clause authorizes suspension in times of dire national emergency?’
    crisis, urgent situation, extremity, exigency
    accident, disaster, catastrophe, calamity
    difficulty, plight, predicament, tight spot, tight corner, mess
    quandary, dilemma
    unforeseen circumstances, desperate straits, dire straits, danger
    scrape, jam, fix, pickle, spot, hole, hot water, crunch, panic stations
    View synonyms
    1. 1.1[as modifier]Arising from or needed or used in an emergency.
      ‘an emergency exit’
      • ‘All sites had a typical emergency medical services response time of three to 15 minutes.’
      • ‘Should police be able to invoke emergency powers to prevent a terrorist attack, and if so, how?’
      • ‘Teachers gave a single lesson on emergency contraception to year 10 pupils.’
      • ‘I handled all the emergency calls and extra work.’
      • ‘The 737 made an emergency landing at Richmond, pulling up to a gate.’
      • ‘The regiment will be ready to install the new system during emergency operations by the end of the year.’
      • ‘Aviation-Safety has a compilation gallery of emergency exits.’
      • ‘The team carried out emergency operations day and night by torchlight.’
      • ‘The state Labor government has threatened to invoke emergency powers to stop the strike going ahead.’
      • ‘And a year ago, it was extended to offer emergency contraception and condoms.’
      • ‘Emergency surgery calls for expedited preoperative cardiac assessment and management.’
      • ‘The crippled US plane made an emergency landing on the Chinese island of Hainan.’
      • ‘They crashed while trying to make an emergency landing in Jefferson City, Mo.’
      • ‘A Tory government again invoked emergency powers, against striking rail workers.’
      • ‘History of depression or depression during pregnancy was not associated with emergency caesarean section.’
      • ‘Officials of the main labour federation convened an emergency meeting yesterday on the reverberations throughout the economy.’
      • ‘Abigail was born by emergency caesarean in a hospital in Rotherham, says Karen.’
      • ‘For terrorism, they include intelligence, investigation, and emergency response preparedness.’
      • ‘Bad as this staircase was, the two other emergency exits were worse, McIntyre later said.’
      • ‘It said emergency exits were blocked, floors were dirty and there were no female toilets.’
      urgent, crisis
      alternative, substitute, replacement, spare, extra, standby, auxiliary, reserve, backup, fill-in, fallback, in reserve
      View synonyms
    2. 1.2A person with a medical condition requiring immediate treatment.
      • ‘The 69% remaining were most commonly patients admitted as medical or surgical emergencies.’
      • ‘First medical and surgical emergencies were referred directly to the acute care firms and were seen initially by house officers.’
    3. 1.3North American
      ‘he was rushed into emergency’
      short for emergency room


Mid 17th century: from medieval Latin emergentia, from Latin emergere arise, bring to light (see emerge).