incident

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

Definition of incident

 (Entry 1 of 2)

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

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

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 Coach Rick Schantz was placed on administrative leave by the club, after he was heard on a video clip making remarks that appeared to be dismissive of the incident. Chris Coppola, The Arizona Republic, "Phoenix Rising FC ready to turn attention to playoff game against Sacramento Republic," 10 Oct. 2020 Further details of the incident were not released, but McWilliams was immediately relieved of her duties and put on administrative leave, police said. Howard Koplowitz | Hkoplowitz@al.com, al, "Montgomery police officer charged with domestic violence, placed on leave," 10 Oct. 2020 City Council President Brandon Scott tweeted that he was made aware of the incident by city police. Justin Fenton, baltimoresun.com, "MTA police officer knocked unconscious in West Baltimore," 9 Oct. 2020 His mother was subsequently advised of the incident and the report was forwarded to the juvenile officer. cleveland, "Man’s hopes for new game system end in jail: Mayfield Heights Police Blotter," 9 Oct. 2020 Grant’s family seeks charges for Officer Anthony Pirone, who pulled 22-year-old Grant from a train and knelt on his neck before he was shot, according to court testimony and video of the incident. Otis R. Taylor Jr., SFChronicle.com, "Reopening Oscar Grant case is a chance to address systemic racism. I’m skeptical that will happen," 8 Oct. 2020 Chisholm also released eight minutes of video footage of the incident. Madison Dibble, Washington Examiner, "Wisconsin city rattled by riots following decision not to charge officer involved in shooting of 17-year-old," 8 Oct. 2020 Security camera video released by the police of the incident shows as many as a dozen people gathered at the business some points, some pushing each other. Konstantin Toropin And Lauren M. Johnson, CNN, "Footage of a Kansas City officer kneeling on the back of a pregnant woman sparks ongoing protest," 8 Oct. 2020 Few details of the incident were immediately available. Alex Riggins, San Diego Union-Tribune, "San Diego police in standoff with barricaded burglary suspect in downtown San Diego," 8 Oct. 2020 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 3

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

Time Traveler for incident

Time Traveler

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

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Statistics for incident

Last Updated

16 Oct 2020

Cite this Entry

“Incident.” Merriam-Webster.com Dictionary, Merriam-Webster, https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/incident. Accessed 22 Oct. 2020.

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More Definitions for incident

incident

noun
How to pronounce incident (audio)

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

Choose the Right Synonym for incident

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.

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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Comments on incident

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