Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. An unexpected and undesirable event, especially one resulting in damage or harm: car accidents on icy roads.
  • n. An unforeseen incident: A series of happy accidents led to his promotion.
  • n. An instance of involuntary urination or defecation in one's clothing.
  • n. Lack of intention; chance: ran into an old friend by accident.
  • n. Logic A circumstance or attribute that is not essential to the nature of something.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. An unexpected event with negative consequences occurring without the intention of the one suffering the consequences.
  • n. Any chance event.
  • n. Chance.
  • n. An unintended event such as a collision that causes damage or death.
  • n. Any property, fact, or relation that is the result of chance or is nonessential.
  • n. An instance of incontinence.
  • n. An unintended pregnancy.
  • n. A quality or attribute in distinction from the substance, as sweetness, softness.
  • n. A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, as gender, number, case.
  • n. An irregular surface feature with no apparent cause.
  • n. A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms.
  • n. casus; such unforeseen, extraordinary, extraneous interference as is out of the range of ordinary calculation.
  • n. An unplanned event that results in injury (including death) or occupational illness to person(s) and/or damage to property, exclusive of injury and/or damage caused by action of an enemy or hostile force.
  • n. Appearance, manifestation.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. Literally, a befalling; an event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an undesigned, sudden, and unexpected event; chance; contingency; often, an undesigned and unforeseen occurrence of an afflictive or unfortunate character; a casualty; a mishap.
  • n. A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, as gender, number, case.
  • n. A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms.
  • n.
  • n. A property or quality of a thing which is not essential to it, as whiteness in paper; an attribute.
  • n. A quality or attribute in distinction from the substance, as sweetness, softness.
  • n. Any accidental property, fact, or relation; an accidental or nonessential.
  • n. Unusual appearance or effect.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. In general, anything that happens or begins to be without design, or as an unforeseen effect; that which falls out by chance; a fortuitous event or circumstance.
  • n. Specifically, an undesirable or unfortunate happening; an undesigned harm or injury; a casualty or mishap.
  • n. The operation of chance; an undesigned contingency; a happening without intentional causation; chance; fortune: as, it was the result of accident; I was there by accident.
  • n. That which exists or occurs abnormally; something unusual or phenomenal; an uncommon occurrence or appearance.
  • n. Irregularity; unevenness; abruptness.
  • n. An irregularity of surface; an undulation: as, the enemy was favored by the accidents of the ground.
  • n. A non-essential.
  • n. In grammar, a variation or inflection of a word, not essential to its primary signification, but marking a modification of its relation, as gender, number, and case. See accidence.
  • n. Synonyms Chance, mischance, hap, mishap, fortune, misfortune, luck, bad luck, casualty, calamity, disaster.
  • n. Property, Attribute, etc. See quality.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. an unfortunate mishap; especially one causing damage or injury
  • n. anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause

Etymologies

Middle English, chance event, from Old French, from Latin accidēns, accident-, present participle of accidere, to happen : ad-, ad- + cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)

Examples

Comments

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  • "They're funny things, Accidents. You never have them till you're having them."
    -- Winnie the Pooh

    September 24, 2009

  • "It was not an accident! You're not careful!"

    -Neal, to Jeff.

    August 15, 2008

  • Accident, a town in Garrett County, Maryland, United States.

    January 1, 2008