incident

noun
in·ci·dent | \ ˈin(t)-sə-dənt , -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

In response to possible ways of protecting students during an incident of gun violence, one Ohio Valley school district has announced plans to equip their school buildings with a high-tech pepper spray system. Lauren Rearick, Teen Vogue, "Ohio School District to Install Pepper Spray “Threat Extinguisher” System," 13 July 2018 The victim, who had testified about fearing for her life during the incident, declined to comment after the verdict. Marc Freeman, Sun-Sentinel.com, "Deputy convicted of attempted rape," 13 July 2018 The responding officers were wearing body cameras that were activated during the incident, police officials said. Jacob Taylor /, NBC News, "Viral video of handcuffed black teens in Minneapolis sparks police investigation," 12 July 2018 Other teammates, however, have remained silent about the incident. Rob Tornoe, Philly.com, "LeSean McCoy domestic abuse allegations: What we know," 12 July 2018 Uncomfortable about the incident, Areum proposes to leave the job, but Bongwan, who's taken a shine to her, convinces her to stay. Ben Sachs, Chicago Reader, "Hong Sang-soo and Kim Min-hee's real-life affair yields a trio of films about infidelity," 12 July 2018 An attorney for Hariri, Sarah Prescott, told the paper that her client recently attempted to sit down and talk to Le Bon about the incident, but that the singer changed his mind after several months of negotiations with his lawyer. Gil Kaufman, Billboard, "Duran Duran's Simon Le Bon Calls 1995 Groping Allegation 'Simply Untrue'," 12 July 2018 If anyone has any information about the incident, call Crime Stoppers at (800) SPEAK-UP. Caroline Blackmon, Detroit Free Press, "Vandals spray painted swastikas, racial slurs in Independence Township," 12 July 2018 Taken during the incident were a Tumi laptop bag and the victim’s passport, 10 Fashion Island gift cards, an HP calculator and a black case. latimes.com, "Crime Report: Burglary victim believes thief accessed home by using garage door remote control," 11 July 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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Learn More about incident

Phrases Related to incident

without incident

Statistics for incident

Last Updated

23 Sep 2018

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 \

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 \

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 \

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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Comments on incident

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occurring twice a year or every two years

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