• (America) IPA: /ˈæk.sə.dənt/, /ˈæk.sə.dɛnt/


  1. An unexpected event with negative consequences occurring without the intention of the one suffering the consequences.
    • c.1603, William Shakespeare, The Tragedy of Othello, The Moor of Venice, I-iii,
      Wherein I spake of most disastrous chances, / Of moving accidents by flood and field […]
    to die by an accident
  2. (transport, vehicle) Especially, a collision or similar unintended event that causes damage or death.
    There was a huge accident on I5 involving 15 automobiles.
    My insurance went up after the second accident in three months.
  3. Any chance event.
  4. (uncountable) Chance.
    • c.1861-1863, Richard Chevenix Trench, in 1888, Letters and memorials, Volume 1,
      Thou cam'st not to thy place by accident, / It is the very place God meant for thee; […]
  5. Any property, fact, or relation that is the result of chance or is nonessential.
    • 1883, J. P. Mahaffy, Social life in Greece from Homer to Menander‎,
      This accident, as I call it, of Athens being situated some miles from the sea, which is rather the consequence of its being a very ancient site, […]
    Beauty is an accident.
  6. (euphemistic) An instance of incontinence.
    • 2009, Marcia Stedron, My Roller Coaster Life as an Army Wife, Xlibris Corporation, ISBN 1462817890, page 56 ↗:
      We weren’t there long when Karin asked about our dog. When we told her Chris was in the car, she insisted we bring him up to the apartment. I rejected her offer and said he might have an accident on the carpet and I didn’t want to worry about it.
  7. (euphemistic) An unintended pregnancy.
  8. (philosophy, logic) A quality or attribute in distinction from the substance, as sweetness, softness.
    • 1902, William James, The Varieties of Religious Experience, Folio Society 2008, page 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.
  9. (grammar) A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, such as gender, number, or case.
    • a 1799, John Parkhurst, A Hebrew and English lexicon without points, page 25
      An adjective, so called because adjectitious, or added to a substantive, denotes some quality or accident of the substantive to which it is joined […]
  10. (geology) An irregular surface feature with no apparent cause.
  11. (geology) A sudden discontinuity of ground such as fault of great thickness, bed or lentil of unstable ground.
  12. (heraldry) A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms.
  13. (legal) casus; such unforeseen, extraordinary, extraneous interference as is out of the range of ordinary calculation.
  14. (uncountable, philosophy, uncommon) Appearance, manifestation.
    • 14thC, Geoffrey Chaucer, The Pardoner's Prologue and Tale in The Canterbury Tales,
      These cookes how they stamp, and strain, and grind, / And turne substance into accident, / To fulfill all thy likerous talent!
    • 1677, Heraclitus Christianus: or, the Man of Sorrow, chapter 3, page 14:
      But as to Man, all the Fruits of the Earth, all sorts of Herbs, Plants and Roots, the Fishes of the Sea, and the Birds of the Air do not suffice him, but he must disguise, vary, and sophisticate, change the substance into accident, that by such irritations as these, Nature might be provoked, and as it were necessitated.
Synonyms Translations Translations Translations Translations
  • Russian: слу́чай
Translations Translations
  • German: Unfall
  • Portuguese: acidente
  • Russian: несча́стный слу́чай

Proper noun
  1. A town in Maryland.

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