Meaning of ACCIDENT in English



1. at work, at home, when doing a sport etc

2. in a car, train, plane etc

3. to have an accident


by accident or not deliberately : ↑ ACCIDENTALLY

see also














1. at work, at home, when doing a sport etc

▷ accident /ˈæksɪd ə nt, ˈæksəd ə nt/ [countable noun]

▪ She has been in almost constant pain since her accident.

have an accident

▪ Robert had an accident in the lab. He was opening a bottle of acid and he spilt some on his hands.

serious accident

▪ Most serious accidents in the home involve electrical equipment or hot liquids.

fatal accident

▪ The number of fatal accidents in the construction industry has dropped dramatically in recent years.

climbing/riding/skiing etc accident

▪ His best friend was killed in a skiing accident.

▷ mishap /ˈmɪshæp/ [countable noun]

an accident that does not have very serious results, especially one caused by someone making a mistake :

▪ We managed to reach our destination, despite one or two mishaps earlier on in the day.

minor/slight mishap

▪ Josh had just had a slight mishap with the breadknife, and was trying to find a Band-Aid.

2. in a car, train, plane etc

▷ accident /ˈæksɪd ə nt, ˈæksəd ə nt/ [countable noun]

▪ The accident happened on Interstate 84, during the evening rush hour.

▪ Brussels airport was closed today after an accident on the runway.

have an accident

▪ Teenage boys tend to drive wildly and often have accidents.

bad/nasty/serious accident

▪ As usual, the fog and icy roads had led to several very nasty accidents.

fatal accident

▪ Men have twice as many fatal accidents as women do for every mile they drive.

car/road/traffic accident

▪ Both her parents had been killed in a car accident.

auto/automobile accident


▪ She was in an automobile accident, but she’s not seriously hurt.

▷ crash /kræʃ/ [countable noun]

an accident in which a vehicle or plane hits something violently and is damaged or destroyed :

▪ Ira Louvin was killed in a crash in Montana that also took the lives of six other people.

car/plane/train crash

▪ Her husband died in a plane crash in 1981.

▷ wreck /rek/ [countable noun] American

an accident involving cars or other vehicles :

▪ Nobody could have survived the wreck.

▷ pile-up /ˈpaɪl ʌp/ [countable noun]

a serious road accident in which many cars or other vehicles crash into each other :

▪ The pile-up happened in thick fog and caused a seven-mile tailback on the motorway.

multiple pile-up

British a pile up involving a large number of cars

▪ a multiple pile-up involving a minibus and five cars

▷ disaster /dɪˈzɑːstəʳǁdɪˈzæs-/ [countable noun]

a very serious accident involving a train, plane, or ship, in which many people are killed :

▪ The city has emergency plans for dealing with a major disaster such as a rail crash.

air/rail disaster

▪ At least 264 people died, in one of the worst civilian air disasters of all time.

the Lockerbie disaster/the Challenger disaster etc

▪ The Challenger disaster cost the lives of seven astronauts, and set back the nation’s space program for years.

▷ collision /kəˈlɪʒ ə n/ [countable noun]

an accident in which two or more vehicles, planes, or ships hit each other :

collision with

▪ A school bus has been involved in a collision with a fuel tanker.

mid-air collision

between two planes in the air

▪ The risk of a mid-air collision over central London has increased dramatically.

head-on collision

between two vehicles moving directly towards each other

▪ These airbags are designed to protect car drivers in head-on collisions.

3. to have an accident

▷ have an accident /ˌhæv ən ˈæksə̇d ə nt/ [verb phrase not in progressive or passive]

▪ You shouldn’t go so fast on that motorcycle, you’ll have an accident!

▪ Jack’s had an accident at school! They’ve taken him to the hospital.

▷ crash /kræʃ/ [intransitive/transitive verb]

to have a serious accident in a car, train, plane etc by violently hitting another vehicle or something such as a wall or the ground :

▪ He lost control of his car at the first bend and crashed.

▪ The plane crashed shortly after take-off.

crash into/onto

▪ The bus crashed into an embankment before bursting into flames.

crash a car/bike/plane etc

▪ Rick crashed his bike before he’d finished paying for it.

▷ be involved in an accident /biː ɪnˌvɒlvd ɪn ən ˈæksə̇d ə ntǁ -ˌvɑːlvd-/ [verb phrase] formal

to have an accident - used in official written documents and in news reports :

▪ If you are involved in an accident, wearing a seat belt will halve the risk of death.

▪ Stolen cars are more likely to be involved in accidents.

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