noun \ˈin(t)-sə-dənt, -ˌdent\

: an unexpected and usually unpleasant thing that happens

: an event or disagreement that is likely to cause serious problems in relations between countries

Full Definition of INCIDENT

:  something dependent on or subordinate to something else of greater or principal importance
a :  an occurrence of an action or situation that is a separate unit of experience :  happening
b :  an accompanying minor occurrence or condition :  concomitant
:  an action likely to lead to grave consequences especially in diplomatic matters <a serious border incident>

Examples of INCIDENT

  1. We just want to put that embarrassing incident behind us.
  2. Two people were shot yesterday in two separate incidents.
  3. Aside from a few isolated incidents, the crowd was well-behaved.
  4. Many such incidents go unreported.
  5. The bombing caused an international incident.

Origin of INCIDENT

Middle English, from Middle French, from Medieval Latin incident-, incidens, from Latin, present participle of incidere to fall into, from in- + cadere to fall — more at chance
First Known Use: 15th century



Definition of INCIDENT

:  occurring or likely to occur especially as a minor consequence or accompaniment <the confusion incident to moving day>
:  dependent on or relating to another thing in law
:  falling or striking on something <incident light rays>

First Known Use of INCIDENT

15th century


adjective \ˈin(t)-səd-ənt, -sə-ˌdent\   (Medical Dictionary)

Medical Definition of INCIDENT

: falling or striking on something <incident light rays> <incident radiation>


Next Word in the Dictionary: incidental (adjective)
Previous Word in the Dictionary: incidency
All Words Near: incident

Seen & Heard

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

Get Our Free Apps
Voice Search, Favorites,
Word of the Day, and More
Join Us on FB & Twitter
Get the Word of the Day and More