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

Tahnee Lightfoot, a Glendale Police Department spokeswoman, said the car’s owner never saw the man’s weapon, but still did as he was told without further incident. Andy Nguyen, Glendale News-Press, "La Crescenta carjacking suspect remains on the loose," 3 Sep. 2019 Buchannon was arrested by Auburn police several hours later at a residence in Macon County was taken into custody without incident and transported to police headquarters for questioning. Carol Robinson | Crobinson@al.com, al, "Police: Teen boy shot 17-year-old girl after she rejected his unwanted advances," 3 Sep. 2019 Hurt, who was not armed when he was arrested, walked out of the woods near a trailer and surrendered without incident. baltimoresun.com, "Suspect in custody in Elkton double shooting incident," 2 Sep. 2019 Recent games at Dodd Stadium have gone on without incident, with a total of 7,479 coming for three dates against the Brooklyn Cyclones Aug. 22-24, and 4,589 on Saturday and Sunday. Dom Amore, courant.com, "As season ends, Connecticut Tigers work to end political controversy, reboot and get back to business of baseball," 2 Sep. 2019 So if the final day of the meet closes without incident, Del Mar will exhale. San Diego Union-Tribune, "Column: So far, Del Mar survives summer under horse-racing microscope," 2 Sep. 2019 The driver was charged with driving while intoxicated and processed without incident. Houston Chronicle, "Bellaire Police Department weekly police report," 2 Sep. 2019 Between a hit-and-run accident, billowing smoke and reports of an entire load of passengers removed from a bus, the Red Line's first day was not without incident. London Gibson, Indianapolis Star, "Hit-and-run, scraping noises and a surprise unloading: Your Red Line questions answered after Day One," 1 Sep. 2019 Harper, who was additionally charged with resisting a peace officer and criminal damage to property, was taken into custody without further incident and to Lake County Jail in Waukegan, where he was being held on $150,000 bail. Rosemary Sobol, chicagotribune.com, "‘Kick in the door and come get me,’ says suspect who was tased after hourslong Beach Park standoff," 31 Aug. 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

9 Sep 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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