improbable concurrence or near-concurrence of seemingly related events or circumstances that have no causal relation

Coincidence is a collection of two or more events or conditions, closely related by time, space, form, or other associations which appear unlikely to bear a relationship as either cause to effect or effects of a shared cause, within the observer's or observers' understanding of what cause can produce what effects.

See also:


  • People are entirely too disbelieving of coincidence. They are far too ready to dismiss it and to build arcane structures of extremely rickety substance in order to avoid it. I, on the other hand, see coincidence everywhere as an inevitable consequence of the laws of probability, according to which having no unusual coincidence is far more unusual than any coincidence could possibly be.
    • Isaac Asimov, "The Planet that Wasn't" originally published in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction (May 1975)
  • Nothing happens by itself. Events happen as a result of a focus of thought, and a thought is a thing, as you may know. A thought develops its own energy and brings about, by relationship, events which then become, as it were, coincidences. An event interacts with another event which interacts with another event which creates, “coincidentally”, a further event, and so on. People are reacting all the time to thoughts in the mindbelt... The mind-belt is saturated with thoughtforms. If the energy of a thoughtform and the energy of an individual are vibrating at more or less the same rate then the individual can ‘pull in’ that thoughtform and respond to it. You would not respond to something that was against your ideas, but to one which was in line with your own thinking. Others are doing the same and then you meet up because you are sharing the same thoughtform. “What a coincidence,” you say. It is not chance, there is no such thing as ‘chance’. There is such a thing as coincidence but it is because we share a mind-belt from which our minds are fed. We are naturally telepathic. The trick is to filter out the rubbish.
    • Benjamin Creme in Maitreya's Mission Vol. III, Share International Foundation,' (1997) p. 549
  • A “strange coincidence,” to use a phrase
    By which such things are settled nowadays.
    • George Gordon, Lord Byron (1788-1824), British poet. Don Juan. Canto vi. Stanza 78
  • This is just too much of a coincidence to be coincidence.
  • My liveliest interest is not so much in things, as in relations of things. I have spent much time thinking about the alleged pseudo-relations that are called coincidences. What if some of them should not be coincidences? My liveliest interest is not so much in things, as in relations of things. I have spent much time thinking about the alleged pseudo-relations that are called coincidences. What if some of them should not be coincidences?
  • By the laws of statistics we could probably approximate just how unlikely it is that it would happen. But people forget—especially those who ought to know better, such as yourself—that while the laws of statistics tell you how unlikely a particular coincidence is, they state just as firmly that coincidences do happen.
  • Coincidence may be described as the chance encounter of two unrelated causal chains which — miraculously, it seems — merge into a significant event.
    • Arthur Koestler (1905–1983), Hungarian-born British author. “Janus: A Summing Up”, Bricks to Babel: Selected Writings, with Comments by the Author (1980)
  • I have told you before there is no escaping the nature of the universe. it is that nature that has again brought you to me. Where some see 'coincidence', I see 'consequence'. Where others see 'chance', I see 'cost'.
  • Coincidence is a pimp and a cardsharper in ordinary fiction but a marvelous artist in the patterns of facts recollected by a non-ordinary memorist.
    • Vladimir Nabokov (1899–1977), Russian émigré American novelist and poet. Look at the Harlequins! Pt. VI, Ch. 1 (1974)
  • If Tom had learned anything, it was that you can't ascribe great cosmic significance to a simple Earthly event. Coincidence, that's all anything ever is. Nothing more, than coincidence. Tom had finally learned there are no miracles, there is no such thing as fate, nothing is meant to be. He knew, he was sure of it now. Tom was.. he was pretty sure.
  • Most coincidences are simply chance events that turn out to be far more probable than many people imagine.
    • Ivars Peterson (1997). The Jungles of Randomness. John Wiley & Sons. p. 188. ISBN 0-471-29587-6. 
  • In a world that operates largely at random, coincidences are to be expected, but any one of them must always be mistrusted.

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