- an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage, or loss; casualty; mishap: automobile accidents.
- Law. such a happening resulting in injury that is in no way the fault of the injured person for which compensation or indemnity is legally sought.
- any event that happens unexpectedly, without a deliberate plan or cause.
- chance; fortune; luck: I was there by accident.
- a fortuitous circumstance, quality, or characteristic: an accident of birth.
- Philosophy. any entity or event contingent upon the existence of something else.
- Geology. a surface irregularity, usually on a small scale, the reason for which is not apparent.
Origin of accident
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for accident
Father Joel Román Salazar died in a car crash in 2013; his death was ruled an accident, but the suspicion of foul play persists.Mexico’s Priests Are Marked for Murder
January 7, 2015
Lalo insisted during a recent interview that they encountered Chito “and his people by accident.”
The accident rate in Asia has marred what was in 2014 a banner year for aviation safety.Annoying Airport Delays Might Prevent You From Becoming the Next AirAsia 8501
January 6, 2015
If there are 162 confirmed deaths from Flight 8501, this would make 2014 the worst year for accident deaths since 2005.Did Bad Weather Bring Down AirAsia 8501?
December 29, 2014
What conflicts do exist between them derive from misunderstanding and accident.The 2014 Novel of the Year
December 29, 2014
That there were more than one of these latter may be an accident.De Libris: Prose and Verse
By some accident, it had been left unhasped, and yielded easily to her hand.The Wives of The Dead
As there were no bones broken, I blessed the accident and went on deck.Sketches from Memory (From "Mosses From An Old Manse")
But we had an accident, now, and it fetched all the plans to a standstill.Tom Sawyer Abroad
Mark Twain (Samuel Clemens)
Now that she had assumed it, though, he could hardly explain that it was an accident.Quaint Courtships
- an unforeseen event or one without an apparent cause
- anything that occurs unintentionally or by chance; chance; fortuneI met him by accident
- a misfortune or mishap, esp one causing injury or death
- Also called: adjunct logic philosophy a nonessential attribute or characteristic of something (as opposed to substance)
- metaphysics a property as contrasted with the substance in which it inheres
- geology a surface irregularity in a natural formation, esp in a rock formation or a river system
Word Origin and History for accident
late 14c., "an occurrence, incident, event," from Old French accident (12c.), from Latin accidentem (nominative accidens), present participle of accidere "happen, fall out, fall upon," from ad- "to" (see ad-) + cadere "fall" (see case (n.1)). Meaning grew from "something that happens, an event," to "something that happens by chance," then "mishap." Philosophical sense "non-essential characteristic of a thing" is late 14c. Meaning "unplanned child" is attested by 1932.