Meaning of ACCIDENT in English


ˈaksədənt also -d ə nt or -ˌdent noun

( -s )

Etymology: Middle English, from Middle French, from Latin accident-, accidens nonessential quality or circumstance, accident, chance, from present participle of accidere to happen, from ad- + -cidere (from cadere to fall) — more at chance


a. : an event or condition occurring by chance or arising from unknown or remote causes

by the accident that it was observed and noted down — Havelock Ellis

happenings outside the range of probability which we would term historical accidents — M.J.Herskovits

b. : lack of intention or necessity : chance — often opposed to design

by accident rather than with an intention to utilize — Arnold Bennett

c. : an unforeseen unplanned event or condition

by a charming accident he had disposed of them to a chance buyer — Arnold Bennett


a. : a usually sudden event or change occurring without intent or volition through carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes and producing an unfortunate result

a traffic accident in which several persons were injured

b. : an unexpected medical development especially of an unfavorable or injurious nature occurring in apparently good health or during the course of a disease or a treatment

the paralytic accident occurred between the 8th and 21st day after the initial injection — Journal American Medical Association

a cerebral accident

c. : an unexpected happening causing loss or injury which is not due to any fault or misconduct on the part of the person injured but from the consequences of which he may be entitled to some legal relief

3. : an adventitious characteristic that is either inseparable from the individual and the species or separable from the individual but not the species ; broadly : any fortuitous or nonessential property, fact, or circumstance

accident of appearance

accident of reputation

accident of situation

4. : an irregularity of a surface (as of the moon)

Synonyms: see chance , quality

Webster's New International English Dictionary.      Новый международный словарь английского языка Webster.