/i merr"jeuhn see/ , n. , pl. emergencies , adj.
1. a sudden, urgent, usually unexpected occurrence or occasion requiring immediate action.
2. a state, esp. of need for help or relief, created by some unexpected event: a weather emergency; a financial emergency.
3. granted, used, or for use in an emergency: an emergency leave; emergency lights.
[ 1625-35; emergentia, equiv. to emerg- (see EMERGE) + -entia -ENCY. See EMERGENT ]
Syn. 1. exigency, extremity, pinch, quandary, plight. EMERGENCY, CRISIS, STRAITS refer to dangerous situations. An EMERGENCY is a situation demanding immediate action: A power failure created an emergency in transportation. A CRISIS is a vital or decisive turning point in a condition or state of affairs, and everything depends on the outcome of it: Help arrived when affairs had reached a crisis. STRAIT (usually STRAITS) suggests a pressing situation, often one of need or want: The family was in desperate straits for food and clothing.