from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 5th Edition.

  • noun A particular occurrence, especially one of minor importance. synonym: occurrence.
  • noun An event in a narrative or drama.
  • noun A usually violent or disruptive occurrence, especially one that precipitates a larger crisis.
  • noun An occurrence that interrupts normal procedure or functioning; a mishap.
  • noun Law Something contingent on or related to something else.
  • adjective Tending to arise or occur as a result or accompaniment.
  • adjective Law Related to or dependent on another thing.
  • adjective Physics Falling upon or striking a surface.

from The Century Dictionary.

  • Same as afferent
  • : noting the nerves which convey impressions from the periphery to the nervous centers.
  • Falling or striking upon something, as a ray of light or a projectile; impinging or acting upon anything from without.
  • Likely to happen; apt to occur; hence, naturally appertaining; necessarily conjoined.
  • Appertaining to or following another thing; conjoined as a subordinate to a principal thing; appurtenant: as, rent is incident to a reversion.
  • Subordinate; casual; incidental.
  • noun That which falls out or takes place; an occurrence; something which takes place in connection with an event or a series of events of greater importance.
  • noun A thing necessarily or frequently depending upon, appertaining to, or legally passing with another that is the principal or more important; a natural or characteristic accompaniment.
  • noun In decorative art, the representation of any action, often much conventionalized, but still to be recognized: thus, a frieze may consist of a number of incidents relating collectively some historical event.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English.

  • adjective Falling or striking upon, as a ray of light upon a reflecting surface.
  • adjective Coming or happening accidentally; not in the usual course of things; not in connection with the main design; not according to expectation; casual; fortuitous.
  • adjective Liable to happen; apt to occur; befalling; hence, naturally happening or appertaining.
  • adjective (Law) Dependent upon, or appertaining to, another thing, called the principal.
  • adjective (Logic) a proposition subordinate to another, and introduced by who, which, whose, whom, etc.; as, Julius, whose surname was Cæsar, overcame Pompey.
  • noun That which falls out or takes place; an event; casualty; occurrence.
  • noun That which happens aside from the main design; an accidental or subordinate action or event.
  • noun (Law) Something appertaining to, passing with, or depending on, another, called the principal.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License.

  • noun An event or occurrence.
  • noun A relatively minor event that is incidental to, or related to others
  • noun An event that may cause or causes an interruption or a crisis
  • noun In safety, an incident of workplace illness or injury
  • adjective Arising as the result of an event, inherent
  • adjective physics (of a stream of particles or radiation) falling on or striking a surface (e.g. "The incident light illuminated the surface.")

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

  • adjective (sometimes followed by `to') minor or casual or subordinate in significance or nature or occurring as a chance concomitant or consequence
  • noun a public disturbance
  • noun a single distinct event
  • adjective falling or striking of light rays on something


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

[Middle English, from Old French, apt to happen, an incident, from Latin incidēns, incident-, present participle of incidere, to happen : in-, on; see in– + cadere, to fall; see kad- in Indo-European roots.]

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

Recorded since 1412, from Latin incidens, the present active participle of incidō ("to happen, befall"), itself from in- ("on") + -cidō, the combining form of cadō ("to fall").


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