in·​ci·​den·​tal·​ly | \ ˌin(t)-sə-ˈden-tᵊl-ē How to pronounce incidentally (audio) , especially for sense 2 -ˈdent-lē\

Definition of incidentally

1 : in an incidental manner : not intentionally the arrant nonsense of some of his statements is incidentally hilarious— John Lahr
2 : by way of interjection or digression : by the way fortunate in having a good teacher … —still living, incidentally— John Fischer

Keep scrolling for more

Synonyms for incidentally


apropos, en passant

Visit the Thesaurus for More 

Examples of incidentally in a Sentence

Not incidentally, the market slump was followed by widespread layoffs. incidentally, have you seen the new building they're putting up?

Recent Examples on the Web

The cerebellum, incidentally, might explain the signature slowness zombies are known for. Joe Lindsey, Popular Mechanics, "'Game of Thrones' Science: How Do Wights Work?," 26 Apr. 2019 But under the eavesdropping authorized by Section 702, the NSA incidentally sweeps in a lot of communications of Americans. Ken Dilanian, NBC News, "Trump throws FISA reauthorization into confusion with conflicting statements," 11 Jan. 2018 Holmes’s new modern look taps into a quiet, new mood in fashion that, incidentally, was all over the runways for Fall at brands such as Victoria Beckham, Celine, and Chloé. Vogue, "Katie Holmes Gives This Sexy Skirt Silhouette a Stealth-Chic Makeover," 15 Mar. 2019 Potlatch’s Clearwater sawmill at Lewiston, incidentally, is the largest pine mill in the world. Popular Mechanics Editors, Popular Mechanics, "The Lost Art of Floating Logs Down the River," 16 Feb. 2019 After performing a chemical analysis on his specimens, Steinhauser theorized that cotton in belly button lint may incidentally help maintain belly button cleanliness by sweeping away foreign matter. Carolyn L. Todd, SELF, "Excuse Me, What Even Is Belly Button Lint?," 1 Mar. 2019 The British actress—who incidentally is married to rocker Marcus Mumford—made an appearance at a SAG-AFTRA event in New York yesterday to promote her new movie, Wildlife. Madeline Fass, Vogue, "Carey Mulligan Gives the Rockstar Leather Pant an Unexpected New Look," 2 Oct. 2018 Amash and other members of both political parties have argued that a court order should be required before any data collected incidentally is used against Americans. Todd Spangler, Detroit Free Press, "Rep. Justin Amash loses fights to limit government spying on Americans," 11 Jan. 2018 On the day Christine Blasey Ford testified before Congress — with Facebook’s top lobbyist incidentally on hand to support Brett Kavanaugh — Kevin Roose rounds up more of the misinformation that has been spreading about her. Casey Newton, The Verge, "Facebook is pushing out its most creative skeptics," 28 Sep. 2018

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

See More

First Known Use of incidentally

1665, in the meaning defined at sense 1

Keep scrolling for more

Learn More about incidentally

Statistics for incidentally

Last Updated

11 May 2019

Look-up Popularity

Time Traveler for incidentally

The first known use of incidentally was in 1665

See more words from the same year

Keep scrolling for more

More Definitions for incidentally



English Language Learners Definition of incidentally

: as something that is less interesting or important
used to introduce a statement that provides added information or that mentions another subject


in·​ci·​den·​tal·​ly | \ ˌin-sə-ˈden-tᵊl-ē How to pronounce incidentally (audio) \

Kids Definition of incidentally

1 : as a matter of less interest or importance
2 used to introduce a statement that provides additional information or changes the subject I'll call your mother. Incidentally, how is she?

Keep scrolling for more

More from Merriam-Webster on incidentally

Thesaurus: All synonyms and antonyms for incidentally

Spanish Central: Translation of incidentally

Nglish: Translation of incidentally for Spanish Speakers

Comments on incidentally

What made you want to look up incidentally? Please tell us where you read or heard it (including the quote, if possible).


to make a payment or contribution

Get Word of the Day daily email!

Test Your Vocabulary

Time Traveler Quiz: Which Word Came First?

  • time traveler quiz which word came first
  • Which came first?
True or False

Test your knowledge - and maybe learn something along the way.

Word Winder's CrossWinder

Test Your Knowledge - and learn some interesting things along the way.

Love words? Need even more definitions?

Subscribe to America's largest dictionary and get thousands more definitions and advanced search—ad free!