Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Medical
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary

accident

play
noun ac·ci·dent \ˈak-sə-dənt, -ˌdent; ˈaks-dənt\

Simple Definition of accident

  • : a sudden event (such as a crash) that is not planned or intended and that causes damage or injury

  • : an event that is not planned or intended : an event that occurs by chance

Full Definition of accident

  1. 1 a :  an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance b :  lack of intention or necessity :  chance <met by accident rather than by design>

  2. 2 a :  an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance b :  an unexpected and medically important bodily event especially when injurious <a cerebrovascular accident> c :  an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured but for which legal relief may be sought d —used euphemistically to refer to an involuntary act or instance of urination or defecation

  3. 3 :  a nonessential property or quality of an entity or circumstance <the accident of nationality>

Examples of accident

  1. He was injured in an accident at work.

  2. The accident happened when her car slid on a patch of ice.

  3. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident.

  4. Their meeting was an accident.

  5. It is just an accident that they arrived when they did.

  6. She says that her pregnancy was an accident.



Origin of accident

Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin accident-, accidens nonessential quality, chance, from present participle of accidere to happen, from ad- + cadere to fall — more at chance


First Known Use: 14th century



ACCIDENT Defined for Kids

accident

play
noun ac·ci·dent \ˈak-sə-dənt, -sə-ˌdent\

Definition of accident

  1. 1 :  something that happens by chance or from unknown causes and that often causes injury or damage :  mishap <an automobile accident>

  2. 2 :  1chance 1 <We met by accident.>




Medical Dictionary

accident

play play
noun ac·ci·dent \ˈak-səd-ənt, -sə-ˌdent; ˈaks-dənt\

Medical Definition of accident

  1. 1:  an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes

  2. 2:  an unexpected bodily event of medical importance especially when injurious <a cerebrovascular accident>

  3. 3:  an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured but for which legal relief may be sought

  4. ac·ci·den·tal \ˌak-sə-ˈdent-əl\play adjective
    ac·ci·den·tal·ly \-ˈdent-lē, -əl-ē\play also ac·ci·dent·ly \-ˈdent-lē\play adverb





Seen and Heard

What made you want to look up accident? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).

WORD OF THE DAY

February 9, 2016

marked by high spirits and laughter

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

image1037863653

Which of the following refers to thin, bending ice, or to the act of running over such ice?

spindrift kittly-benders duvet pince-nez
Name That Thing

10 quick questions: hear them, spell them, and see how your skills compare to the crowd.

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

TAKE THE QUIZ