The Collaborative International Dictionary of English v.0.48:
circumstance \cir"cum*stance\ (s[~e]r"k[u^]m*st[a^]ns), n. [L.
circumstantia, fr. circumstans, -antis, p. pr. of circumstare
to stand around; circum + stare to stand. See Stand.]
1. That which attends, or relates to, or in some way affects,
a fact or event; an attendant thing or state of things.
The circumstances are well known in the country
where they happened. --W. Irving.
2. An event; a fact; a particular incident.
The sculptor had in his thoughts the conqueror
weeping for new worlds, or the like circumstances in
3. Circumlocution; detail. [Obs.]
So without more circumstance at all
I hold it fit that we shake hands and part. --Shak.
4. pl. Condition in regard to worldly estate; state of
property; situation; surroundings.
When men are easy in their circumstances, they are
naturally enemies to innovations. --Addison.
Not a circumstance, of no account. [Colloq.]
Under the circumstances, taking all things into
Syn: Event; occurrence; incident; situation; condition;
position; fact; detail; item. See Event.