2: the occurrence of events that happen at the same time by accident but seem to have some connection
Interestingly enough, MW thinks “coincidence” is either super important or super confusing because it provides links to alternate definitions following this main one.
There’s a link for kids that takes you here, where you’ll find almost the exact same definition as the one above.
Then there’s a link for those who are not native English speakers, which takes you to the “Learner’s” version of MW, where they break it down a little further, and in a way that is actually more relevant in to my point here, especially in the example sentences that follow the definition. Check it out:
1:a situation in which events happen at the same time in a way that is not planned or expected
It was mere/pure/sheer coincidence that brought them together so far from Chicago.
By coincidence, every man in the room was named Fred.
Our meeting happened by coincidence. [=by chance
“I’m going to Boston this weekend.” “What a coincidence! I am too.”
It was no coincidence that he quit his job at the bank a day after the robbery.
a series of strange coincidences.
By a fortunate/happy coincidence, we arrived at the theater at the same time.
2: [singular]formal:the occurrence of two or more things at the same time. • Scientists have no explanation for the coincidence of these phenomena.
3: [singular]formal:the state of two or more things being the same – often/of. • There is a coincidence of interests between the companies. [=the companies share the same interests]
Synchronicity didn’t get the same treatment as its friend Coincidence, but it is the proud owner of additional definitions belonging to different words that define it, within its definition – haha! Take a look:
4a:having the same period; also: having the same period and phase
4b:geostationary (being or having an equatorial orbit at an altitude of about 22,300 miles (35,900 kilometers) requiring an angular velocity the same as that of the earth so that the position of a satellite in such an orbit is fixed with respect to the earth)
5: of, used in, or being digital communication (as between computers) in which a common timing signal is established that dictates when individual bits can be transmitted and which allows for very high rates of data transfer
2: the coincidental occurrence of events and especially psychic events (such as similar thoughts in widely separated persons or a mental image of an unexpected event before it happens) that seem related but are not explained by conventional mechanisms of causality—used especially in the psychology of C. G. Jung
I would bet that you’re more comfortable and familiar with “coincidence,” right? You’ve heard people say it over and over all your life, and you’ve probably used the term dozens, maybe even hundreds or thousands of times in your life. In ways like: “What a coincidence!” “It was such a coincidence that we happened to be there at the same time!” “Coincidentally, we live on the same street!” etc., etc.
I know I’ve said it more times that I could even begin to count and most of those times it was more like a reflex, like a “filler” word that I used in the appropriate context, but that kind of lost its meaning somewhere along my life.
What I mean is, I didn’t end those example coincidence sentences above with exclamation points for no reason. “Coincidence” was like a treat when I was younger. It was amazing in a way that I never appreciated but always felt. Then sometime, I don’t know when, it stopped feeling like magic and more like commonplace. I didn’t even realize there had been a change until I stopped believing in the word entirely. But I’m getting a little ahead of myself, my bad.
As for “synchronicity,” I barely knew the word. It seemed to be either super geeky “synchronize watches, men!” or super hippy/artsy “whoa, the synchronicity you have with that plant is exponential.” Other than while reading someone else’s words, I can’t think of a single time that I would have thought it the most appropriate word to leave these lips. Well, until a couple years ago.
Now that brings us to my spiritual health. Now, I’ve never been an atheist, not at all, but I had neglected my relationship with my Higher Power for…well, longer than I care to admit here, and through a series of life-changing events, including the passing of 2 people that I love dearly, I was lovingly, but quite assertively plopped down in front of myself by Himself, and made to observe…myself.
It wasn’t pretty, but it was one of the most significant events of my life. In the darkness that ensued, I found my light.
Well, I shouldn’t say “found,” because that insinuates that it was hiding somewhere of its own volition, which isn’t true. I had stacked some worthless crap that the world told me was important in front of it, as well as my ego and a lot of booze. A little spring cleaning and we were back in business.
I’m not gonna sit here and tell you that it was easy to dump things that I had placed such huge values on for all of my adult life, cause that would be bullshit. It was tough – it still is in more ways than I’m comfortable with, but I’m working on that. Bottom line was that, at the end of the day, I gave way too many f&%ks about all the wrong shit and for all the wrong reasons and for a whole mess of the wrong people.
Once I let go of the false dependency on meaningless things, it was like a door — no a fricken drawbridge! — opened and a whole horde of connections that I had never made but that had, apparently, been there all along, stampeded across my heart — in a good way!
I think a great way to explain it is like learning another language; a language that had been spoken to and around you always; a language that you thought you knew how to speak until you finally understood it.
My point, the one I’m rambling about, is — wait for it…. there is no such thing as a coincidence.
Nothing in life is coincidental or accidental, there’s lots of transcendental, but mostly, there are synchronicities. Forget what you read up top, the real meaning of synchronicities is connections. Coincidence alludes to the connections of events, but as more of a secondary, “honorable mention”-esque sort of thing. In truth, the connection IS the event.