Definition of accident
French accident, from Latin accīdēns, -dentis, present participle of accīdō ("to happen"); ad + cadere ("to fall").
accident (plural accidents)
- Literally, a befalling; an event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an undesigned, sudden, and unexpected event; often, an undesigned and unforeseen occurrence of an afflictive or unfortunate character
to die by an accident
* Shakespeare, Othello, I-iii:
Of moving accidents by flood and field.
Thou cam'st not to thy place by accident: It is the very place God meant for thee.
- (grammar) A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, as gender, number, case.
- (military) 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.
- (heraldry) A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms
- (logic) A quality or attribute in distinction from the substance, as sweetness, softness.
* 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Folio Society 2008, p. 171:
If they went through their growth-crisis in other faiths and other countries, although the essence of the change would be the same [...], its accidents would be different.
- Any accidental property, fact, or relation; an accidental or nonessential
Beauty is an accident.
* J. P. Mahaffy:
This accident, as I call it, of Athens being situated some miles from the sea.
- (obsolete) Unusual appearance or effect - Geoffrey Chaucer
- (law) casus; such unforeseen, extraordinary, extraneous interference as is out of the range of ordinary calculation.
- (transport) An unintended collision or event that causes damage or death.
There was a huge accident on I5 involving 15 automobiles.
My insurance is expenive now, mostly because of those two accidents.
- (event that takes place without foresight or expectation): befalling, chance, contingency, casualty, mishap
- freak accident
- accident in Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary, G. & C. Merriam, 1913
- accident in The Century Dictionary, The Century Co., New York, 1911
- accident at OneLook Dictionary Search
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