incident

noun
in·​ci·​dent | \ ˈin(t)-sə-dənt How to pronounce incident (audio) , -ˌdent\

Definition of incident

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : something dependent on or subordinate to something else of greater or principal importance
2a : an occurrence of an action or situation that is a separate unit of experience : happening
b : an accompanying minor occurrence or condition : concomitant
3 : an action likely to lead to grave consequences especially in diplomatic matters a serious border incident

incident

adjective

Definition of incident (Entry 2 of 2)

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

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Choose the Right Synonym for incident

Noun

occurrence, event, incident, episode, circumstance mean something that happens or takes place. occurrence may apply to a happening without intent, volition, or plan. an encounter that was a chance occurrence event usually implies an occurrence of some importance and frequently one having antecedent cause. the events following the assassination incident suggests an occurrence of brief duration or secondary importance. a minor wartime incident episode stresses the distinctiveness or apartness of an incident. a brief romantic episode in a life devoted to work circumstance implies a specific detail attending an action or event as part of its setting or background. couldn't recall the exact circumstances

Noun

incident, occurrence, and event mean something that happens. incident is used for something that is brief and unimportant. Except for one incident, the trip was fun. occurrence may be used for something that is not planned or expected. Such occurrences can't be predicted. event is often used of something that is important. They discussed the big events of last year.

Examples of incident in a Sentence

Noun

We just want to put that embarrassing incident behind us. Two people were shot yesterday in two separate incidents. Aside from a few isolated incidents, the crowd was well-behaved. Many such incidents go unreported. The bombing caused an international incident.
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Recent Examples on the Web: Noun

The incident occurred right outside of a vaporizer store two days before Brown died. Sam Blum, Popular Mechanics, "Texas Man Dies After Exploding E-Cigarette Sends Shrapnel into His Neck," 5 Feb. 2019 The incident occurred last Friday, November 30th at 3:37AM PT, when officers observed a car going 70 mph on Highway 101 with a driver that appeared to be asleep. Dami Lee, The Verge, "Police may have used Tesla’s Autopilot feature to stop driver asleep at the wheel," 3 Dec. 2018 The man, who is in his thirties, immediately reported the incident to his superior. Noemie Bisserbe And Francis X. Rocca, WSJ, "Vatican Envoy to France Is Investigated for Sexual Assault Allegation," 15 Feb. 2019 The Baraboo School District is currently investigating the incident, according to a statement from superintendent Lori Mueller posted on the district's Twitter page. Suzannah Weiss, Teen Vogue, "Wisconsin High School Investigates Photo of Students Seemingly Doing Nazi Salute," 12 Nov. 2018 Kavanaugh’s friend Mark Judge, a conservative writer who has written controversial things about women, and is an alleged witness to the incident, has declined to testify. Recode Staff, Recode, "Recode Daily: How two direct-to-consumer startups iterated their way to success," 19 Sep. 2018 Twitter user Rufus Jones highlighted one such incident, which had been included in a review of a memoir by David Nott. Chloe Foussianes, Town & Country, "Queen Elizabeth Helped a Distressed War Doctor by Having Him Pet Her Corgis," 27 Feb. 2019 The incident happened in Cyprus, where the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge were visiting military families who will be away from home this Christmas. Christopher Rosa, Glamour, "Kate Middleton Just Put Prince William on Blast For This 'Nightmare' Habit," 6 Dec. 2018 The incident happened in 1987 in the skies over the Baltic Sea. Kyle Mizokami, Popular Mechanics, "Swedish Pilots Win Medals for Top Secret 1987 SR-71 Incident," 29 Nov. 2018

Recent Examples on the Web: Adjective

An Oregon Department of Transportation incident response worker was hit by a car while answering a call on the roadway around 7:30 p.m., according to Don Hamilton, an agency spokesman. Everton Bailey Jr., OregonLive.com, "Icy roads contributing to traffic hazards in Portland area," 20 Feb. 2018

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

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First Known Use of incident

Noun

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Adjective

15th century, in the meaning defined at sense 1

History and Etymology for incident

Noun

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

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Statistics for incident

Last Updated

8 Apr 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incident

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

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More Definitions for incident

incident

noun

English Language Learners Definition of incident

: an unexpected and usually unpleasant thing that happens
: an event or disagreement that is likely to cause serious problems in relations between countries

incident

noun
in·​ci·​dent | \ ˈin-sə-dənt How to pronounce incident (audio) \

Kids Definition of incident

: an often unimportant happening that may form a part of a larger event

incident

adjective
in·​ci·​dent | \ ˈin(t)-səd-ənt, -sə-ˌdent How to pronounce incident (audio) \

Medical Definition of incident

: falling or striking on something incident light rays incident radiation

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incident

noun
in·​ci·​dent | \ ˈin-sə-dənt, -ˌdənt How to pronounce incident (audio) \

Legal Definition of incident

 (Entry 1 of 2)

1 : a distinct occurrence or event an incident of sexual harassment
2 : a subordinate, dependent, or consequential element the search was a legitimate incident to the arrest child support and other incidents of divorce

incident

adjective

Legal Definition of incident (Entry 2 of 2)

: having a subordinate or dependent relation to something specified a search incident to arrest

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More from Merriam-Webster on incident

Rhyming Dictionary: Words that rhyme with incident

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incident

Spanish Central: Translation of incident

Nglish: Translation of incident for Spanish Speakers

Britannica English: Translation of incident for Arabic Speakers

Comments on incident

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