Quantcast
Merriam-Webster Logo
  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
  • Scrabble
  • Spanish Central
  • Learner's Dictionary
1

accidental

play
adjective ac·ci·den·tal \ˌak-sə-ˈden-təl\

Simple Definition of accidental

  • : happening in a way that is not planned or intended : happening by accident : happening as an accident

Source: Merriam-Webster's Learner's Dictionary

Full Definition of accidental

  1. 1 :  arising from extrinsic causes :  incidental, nonessential

  2. 2 a :  occurring unexpectedly or by chance b :  happening without intent or through carelessness and often with unfortunate results

accidentallyplay \-ˈdent-lē, -ˈden-təl-ē\ also accidently play \-ˈdent-lē\ adverb
accidentalness play \-ˈden-təl-nəs\ noun

Examples of accidental in a sentence

  1. an accidental discovery of oil

  2. The timing of the announcement was purely accidental.

  3. The death was ruled accidental.



14th Century

First Known Use of accidental

14th century

Synonym Discussion of accidental

accidental, fortuitous, casual, contingent mean not amenable to planning or prediction. accidental stresses chance <any resemblance to actual persons is entirely accidental>. fortuitous so strongly suggests chance that it often connotes entire absence of cause <a series of fortuitous events>. casual stresses lack of real or apparent premeditation or intent <a casual encounter with a stranger>. contingent suggests possibility of happening but stresses uncertainty and dependence on other future events for existence or occurrence <the contingent effects of the proposed law>.

2

accidental

noun ac·ci·den·tal

Definition of accidental

  1. 1 :  a nonessential property

  2. 2 a :  a note foreign to a key indicated by a signature b :  a prefixed sign indicating an accidental



1651

First Known Use of accidental

1651


ACCIDENTAL Defined for Kids

accidental

play
adjective ac·ci·den·tal \ˌak-sə-ˈden-təl\

Definition of accidental for Students

  1. 1 :  happening by chance or unexpectedly <an accidental discovery>

  2. 2 :  not happening or done on purpose <an accidental shooting>

accidentally adverb <I broke it accidentally.>




Seen and Heard

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

WORD OF THE DAY

tending to dismiss important matters

Get Word of the Day daily email!

WORD GAMES

Take a 3-minute break and test your skills!

alt-5746713d76276

Which of these is a synonym of nonplus?

reduce perplex disapprove soothe
Name That Thing

Test your visual vocabulary with our 10-question challenge!

TAKE THE QUIZ
SCRABBLE® Sprint

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

TAKE THE QUIZ