Meaning of ACCIDENT in English
ac ‧ ci ‧ dent S2 W2 /ˈæksəd ə nt, ˈæksɪd ə nt/ BrE AmE noun
[ Word Family: noun : ↑ accident ; adverb : ↑ accidentally ; adjective : ↑ accidental ]
[ Date: 1300-1400 ; Language: French ; Origin: Latin accidens 'additional quality, chance' , from accidere 'to happen' , from ad- 'to' + cadere 'to fall' ]
1 . by accident in a way that is not planned or intended OPP on purpose , deliberately :
I met her quite by accident (=completely by accident) .
The discovery was made almost by accident.
The pilot, whether by accident or design (=whether it was planned or not planned) , made the plane do a sharp turn.
2 . [countable] an event in which a car, train, plane etc is damaged and often someone is hurt:
Over 70,000 people are seriously injured every year in road accidents.
The accident happened at the junction of Forest Road and Pine Walk.
a train accident
[countable] a situation in which someone is injured or something is damaged without anyone intending them to be:
Ken had an accident at work and had to go to hospital.
I’m sorry about breaking the vase – it was an accident (=I did not intend to do it) .
a climbing/skiing/hunting etc accident
He died in a climbing accident in the Himalayas.
She was injured in a freak accident (=an unusual accident) when a wall suddenly collapsed.
I had a slight accident with your coffee.
They lost their lives in a tragic accident.
4 . [uncountable and countable] something that happens without anyone planning or intending it:
My third baby was an accident.
It is no accident that men fill most of the top jobs in nursing, while women remain on the lower grades.
an accident of birth/geography/history etc (=an event or situation caused by chance)
5 . accidents (will) happen spoken used to tell someone who has broken something that they should not worry that it has happened
6 . an accident waiting to happen used about a situation in which an accident is likely to happen because no one is trying to prevent it:
The boats are being left to drift; it’s an accident waiting to happen.
• • •
COLLOCATIONS (for Meaning 2)
▪ a bad/serious accident
There’s been a bad accident on the freeway.
The road is closed following a serious accident.
▪ a major accident
News is coming in of a major rail accident.
▪ a horrible/nasty/horrific accident
We narrowly avoided a nasty accident.
‘This was an absolutely horrific accident,’ said an ambulance spokesman.
▪ a fatal accident (=in which someone is killed)
a fatal accident involving a bus and a cyclist
▪ a minor accident (=one that is not serious)
The ice and poor visibility caused minor accidents all over the country.
▪ a road/traffic accident
The number of traffic accidents has gone down.
Portugal has one of Western Europe’s worst road accident rates.
▪ a car accident ( also an automobile accident American English formal )
He was badly injured in a car accident.
▪ a plane accident/an airplane accident ( also a flying accident )
Holly died in a plane accident.
▪ a rail accident/a train accident
It was the country's worst ever rail accident.
▪ a hit-and-run accident (=when someone is hit by a driver who does not stop)
A woman is fighting for her life after a hit-and-run accident.
▪ have an accident
I had an accident on my way to work.
▪ be involved in an accident formal
Your son has been involved in a car accident.
▪ prevent an accident
Steps have been taken to prevent a similar accident happening again.
▪ an accident happens ( also an accident occurs formal )
No one saw the accident happen.
Most road accidents occur in urban areas.
■ accident + NOUN
▪ an accident victim
One of the accident victims is still trapped in his vehicle.
▪ accident rates/statistics
There is a relation between accident rates and the numbers of drivers on the road.
a survey of the latest airline accident statistics
▪ an accident investigation/inquiry
The two deaths are the subject of an accident inquiry.
Accident investigations often take months.
▪ an accident investigator
Accident investigators have been there all morning.
▪ the scene of an accident (=the place where it happened)
Police were at the scene of the accident within minutes.
■ COMMON ERRORS
► Do not say ' a small accident '. Say a minor accident .
• • •
▪ accident an event in which a vehicle is damaged and often someone is hurt:
Her father died in a car accident.
Hugh had an accident on his way to work.
▪ crash a serious accident in which a vehicle hits something else:
Rees-Jones was the only person to survive the crash.
a car/plane/train crash
He was killed in a plane crash.
▪ collision an accident in which two or more cars, trains etc hit each other:
His car was involved in a collision with a train.
| a head-on collision (=between vehicles that are driving towards each other) :
The actor was killed in a head-on collision while driving his new sports car.
▪ disaster a serious accident involving a train, plane, or boat, in which a lot of people are killed or injured:
It was Britain’s worst air disaster.
▪ wreck American English an accident in which a car or train is badly damaged:
Ben nearly died in a car wreck.
▪ pile-up an accident that involves several cars or trucks:
The pile-up happened in thick fog.
There was a 12-car pile-up on the motorway.
▪ fender-bender American English informal , prang British English informal a car accident in which little damage is done:
Atkinson was involved in a fender-bender in the hotel parking lot.
At 15, he borrowed his parents’ car and had a prang.
Longman Dictionary of Contemporary English. Longman - Словарь современного английского языка. 2012