Meaning of ACCIDENTAL in English

ACCIDENTAL

Pronunciation: ˌ ak-s ə - ' den-t ə l

Function: adjective

Date: 14th century

1 : arising from extrinsic causes : INCIDENTAL , NONESSENTIAL

2 a : occurring unexpectedly or by chance b : happening without intent or through carelessness and often with unfortunate results

– ac · ci · den · tal · ly \ - ' dent-l ē , - ' den-t ə l- ē \ also ac · ci · dent · ly \ - ' dent-l ē \ adverb

– ac · ci · den · tal · ness \ - ' den-t ə l-n ə s \ noun

synonyms ACCIDENTAL , FORTUITOUS , CASUAL , CONTINGENT mean not amenable to planning or prediction. ACCIDENTAL stresses chance <any resemblance to actual persons is entirely accidental >. FORTUITOUS so strongly suggests chance that it often connotes entire absence of cause <a series of fortuitous events>. CASUAL stresses lack of real or apparent premeditation or intent <a casual encounter with a stranger>. CONTINGENT suggests possibility of happening but stresses uncertainty and dependence on other future events for existence or occurrence <the contingent effects of the proposed law>.

Merriam Webster Collegiate English Dictionary.      Merriam Webster - Энциклопедический словарь английского языка.