accident

noun
ac·​ci·​dent | \ ˈak-sə-dənt How to pronounce accident (audio) , -ˌdent How to pronounce accident (audio) , ˈaks-dənt \

Definition of accident

1a : an unforeseen and unplanned event or circumstance Their meeting was an accident.
b : lack of intention or necessity : chance They met by accident rather than by design.
2a : an unfortunate event resulting especially from carelessness or ignorance was involved in a traffic accident
b medical : an unexpected and medically important bodily event especially when injurious a cerebrovascular accident
c law : 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 US, informal used euphemistically to refer to an uncontrolled or involuntary act or instance of urination or defecation (as by a baby or a pet)The puppy had an accident on the rug.
3 : a nonessential property or quality of an entity or circumstance the accident of nationality

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Synonyms for accident

Synonyms

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Frequently Asked Questions About accident

What is the difference between accidental and incidental?

Accidental describes what was not planned or intended. It means "happening by accident" or "happening as an accident," as in "an accidental discovery" and "an accidental injury." Incidental typically means "happening as a minor part or result of something else," as in "a chapter that is incidental to the novel's plot." For more information read the full article.

Do you say 'on accident' or 'by accident'?

While both "by accident" and "on accident" are used, "by accident" is far more common.

What does 'accident waiting to happen' mean?

The phrase "an accident waiting to happen" refers to a person or thing that is dangerous or unsafe. For example, a very clumsy person and a rickety ladder might both be referred to as "an accident waiting to happen."

Examples of accident in a Sentence

He was injured in an accident at work. The accident happened when her car slid on a patch of ice. Investigators are still trying to determine the cause of the accident. Their meeting was an accident. She says that her pregnancy was an accident.
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First Known Use of accident

14th century, in the meaning defined at sense 3

History and Etymology for accident

Middle English, "happening, nonessential property, diseased condition, disturbance (of the mind)," borrowed from Anglo-French, "irregularity, incident, symptom," borrowed from Latin accident-, accidens "chance event, contingent attribute" (translating Greek symbebēkós), from present participle of accidere "to fall down, impinge on, be heard, happen," from ad- ad- + cadere "to fall" — more at chance entry 1

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Time Traveler for accident

Time Traveler

The first known use of accident was in the 14th century

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Statistics for accident

Last Updated

18 May 2020

Cite this Entry

“Accident.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/accident. Accessed 2 Jun. 2020.

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More Definitions for accident

accident

noun
How to pronounce accident (audio) How to pronounce accident (audio)

English Language Learners 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

accident

noun
ac·​ci·​dent | \ ˈak-sə-dənt How to pronounce accident (audio) , -sə-ˌdent \

Kids Definition of accident

1 : something that happens by chance or from unknown causes and that often causes injury or damage : mishap an automobile accident
2 : chance entry 1 sense 1 We met by accident.

accident

noun
ac·​ci·​dent | \ ˈak-səd-ənt How to pronounce accident (audio) , -sə-ˌdent; ˈaks-dənt How to pronounce accident (audio) \

Medical Definition of accident

1 : an unfortunate event resulting from carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes
2 : an unexpected bodily event of medical importance especially when injurious a cerebrovascular accident
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

Other Words from accident

accidental \ ˌak-​sə-​ˈdent-​ᵊl How to pronounce accidental (audio) \ adjective
accidentally \ -​ˈdent-​lē, -​ᵊl-​ē How to pronounce accidentally (audio) \ also accidently \ -​ˈdent-​lē How to pronounce accidently (audio) \ adverb

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accident

noun
ac·​ci·​dent

Legal Definition of accident

: an unexpected usually sudden event that occurs without intent or volition although sometimes through carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes and that produces an unfortunate result (as an injury) for which the affected party may be entitled to relief under the law or to compensation under an insurance policy — see also unavoidable accident

Note: The term accident has been held to include intentional acts (such as an assault and battery) under workers' compensation laws.

Other Words from accident

accidental adjective
accidentally also accidently adverb

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Comments on accident

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