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definition of the word accident

by the Wiktionnary

French accident, from Latin accidens, -dentis, present participle of accidere (to happen); ad + cadere (to fall). See cadence, case.



accident (plural accidents)

  1. 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.
    • Trench:
      Thou cam'st not to thy place by accident: It is the very place God meant for thee.
  2. (grammar) A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, as gender, number, case.
  3. (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.
  4. (Heraldry) A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms
  5. (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.
  6. Any accidental property, fact, or relation; an accidental or nonessential
    Beauty is an accident.
  7. (obsolete) Unusual appearance or effect - Chaucer
  8. (law) casus; such unforeseen, extraordinary, extraneous interference as is out of the range of ordinary calculation.
  9. (automotive) An unintended collision.
    There was a huge accident on I5 involving 15 automobiles.
    My insurance is expenive now, mostly because of those two accidents.

Definition from Wiktionary
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