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

No charges have been filed against the man in either incident. Cory Shaffer, cleveland.com, "Woman charged with murder in Cleveland bar shooting reported shooting at her house weeks earlier," 12 July 2019 The front door was damaged, but no one was harmed in the incident. Tyler Thompson, Anchorage Daily News, "Bears are breaking into the homes of Naknek residents," 10 July 2019 Williams was one of three officers charged in the incident and was convicted in September 2016 of second-degree assault and misconduct in office. Jessica Anderson, baltimoresun.com, "Jury orders former Baltimore cop who beat handcuffed, hospitalized 14-year-old to pay $100,000, lawyer says," 10 July 2019 She initially was charged with first-degree murder in the Nov. 4, 2017, incident at the couple’s Huntington home. Jeff Truesdell, PEOPLE.com, "West Virginia Woman Blames Sexual 'Foreplay' for Her Stabbing of Husband Who Bled to Death," 10 July 2019 The vehicle has since been recovered but no one has been arrested in the incident, the release said. Brian L. Cox, chicagotribune.com, "Evanston police looking for five men who assaulted, carjacked pizza delivery driver," 9 July 2019 Both Brown and her boyfriend, who was not implicated in the incident, were standing outside the vehicle the entire time the child was inside, Evans told CNN. Artemis Moshtaghian And Hollie Silverman, CNN, "A mom was arrested after she left her child in a hot car as punishment for misbehaving," 9 July 2019 Mullins said the woman's husband never showed up, but security eventually got involved in the incident. Brieanna J. Frank, azcentral, "Arizona Mills investigates after mom of 3-year-old with autism says she was asked to leave mall area," 9 July 2019 It was not known how many people were involved in the incident. Karen Kucher, San Diego Union-Tribune, "Windows of four businesses and one vehicle in College Area shattered by pellet gun," 8 July 2019

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

15 Jul 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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