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[ak-si-duh ns]
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  1. the rudiments or essentials of a subject.
  2. Grammar.
    1. the study of inflection as a grammatical device.
    2. the inflections so studied.

Origin of accidence

1500–1510; < Latin accidentia, neuter plural of accidēns (present participle of accidere to fall, befall). See accident
Dictionary.com Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2018

Examples from the Web for accidences

Historical Examples

  • The phenomenal side, the unessential in the substance, and the contingent in the necessary, are accidences.

    A History of Philosophy in Epitome

    Albert Schwegler

British Dictionary definitions for accidences


  1. inflectional morphology; the part of grammar concerned with changes in the form of words by internal modification or by affixation, for the expression of tense, person, case, number, etc

Word Origin

C15: from Latin accidentia accidental matters, hence inflections of words, from accidere to happen. See accident
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009, 2012

Word Origin and History for accidences



late 14c., in philosophy, "non-essential or incidental characteristic," also "part of grammar dealing with inflection" (mid-15c.), in some cases a misspelling of accidents, or else directly from Latin accidentia (used as a term in grammar by Quintilian), neuter plural of accidens, present participle of accidere (see accident). The grammar sense is because they change in accordance with use.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper