accidence

noun
ac·​ci·​dence | \ ˈak-sə-dən(t)s, -ˌden(t)s\

Definition of accidence

grammar
: a part of grammar that deals with inflections (see inflection sense 3a) Inflectional morphology studies the way in which words vary (or "in-flect"), in order to express grammatical contrasts in sentences, such as singular/plural or past/present tense. In older grammar books, this branch of the subject was referred to as "accidence."— David Crystal Grammar has become that branch of linguistics that deals with a language's inflexions (accidence), other structures of words (morphology), its phonetics system (phonology), and the arrangement of its words in sentences (syntax).— Philip Howard

Examples of accidence in a Sentence

Recent Examples on the Web

But there also were people there who became celebrities by the accidence of violence. Charles P. Pierce, Esquire, "'They Come for My Rights in the Morning, They Will Come for Yours in the Afternoon.'," 15 Aug. 2016

These example sentences are selected automatically from various online news sources to reflect current usage of the word 'accidence.' Views expressed in the examples do not represent the opinion of Merriam-Webster or its editors. Send us feedback.

First Known Use of accidence

15th century, in the meaning defined above

History and Etymology for accidence

Middle English accidens "set of grammatical endings," borrowed from Late Latin accidentia "categories applicable to a word class (such as gender, number, and case for nouns)," from neuter plural of Latin accident-, accidens "contingent attribute" — more at accident

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Last Updated

14 Jan 2019

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The first known use of accidence was in the 15th century

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More from Merriam-Webster on accidence

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with accidence

Britannica.com: Encyclopedia article about accidence

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