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.
- 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)
- 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.
- Said by Geoff Chester of the Naval Observatory in Washington, in connection with a boom and flash of light seen over Virginia Sunday night (March 29, 2009) during the same time frame the second stage of the Soyuz rocket launched the prior Thursday was slated to return to Earth.
- Andrea Thompson, Mystery flash traced to Russian space junk MSNBC, Mar. 30, 2009.
- 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?
- Charles Fort, Wild Talents, ch. 2 (1932)
- 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.
- Robert A. Heinlein, The Door Into Summer, ch. 8 (1957)
- 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.
- In a world that operates largely at random, coincidences are to be expected, but any one of them must always be mistrusted.
- Rex Stout, Champagne for One (1958)