- an individual occurrence or event.
- a distinct piece of action, or an episode, as in a story or play.
- something that occurs casually in connection with something else.
- something appertaining or attaching to something else.
- an occurrence of seemingly minor importance, especially involving nations or factions between which relations are strained and sensitive, that can lead to serious consequences, as an outbreak of hostilities or a war: border incident; international incident.
- an embarrassing occurrence, especially of a social nature.
- likely or apt to happen (usually followed by to).
- naturally appertaining: hardships incident to the life of an explorer.
- conjoined or attaching, especially as subordinate to a principal thing.
- falling or striking on something, as light rays.
Origin of incident
SynonymsSee more synonyms on Thesaurus.com
Examples from the Web for incident
The “crying” incident is thought to have hurt Muskie in the primary--which he won handily, but with under 50 percent of the vote.The World’s Toughest Political Quiz
December 31, 2014
“I guess it was their first incident where they lose a plane,” said Dobersberger, the travel agent.The Presumed Crash of AirAsia Flight QZ8501 Is Nothing Like MH370
December 29, 2014
The incident sparked his belief in Santa, but he would have to wait nearly two decades before dressing up as Jolly St. Nick.Kerry Bentivolio: The Congressman Who Believes in Santa Claus
December 24, 2014
The actor recalls an incident when his daughter was younger.Jamie Foxx: Get Over the Black ‘Annie’
December 20, 2014
But then somebody posted on YouTube a video of the incident, one that actually helps the police.Protesters Slimed This Good Samaritan Cop
December 16, 2014
It is not necessary to dwell on every incident of this terrible journey.Explorations in Australia
As we have seen, he cannot keep the incident out of his plays.
Shakespeare should never have used this incident; it is a blot on his conception.
Small as the incident was, it marked a change in Sidney's position in the ward.K
Mary Roberts Rinehart
Miss Bartlett was pleased to look upon this incident as funny.In the Midst of Alarms
- a distinct or definite occurrence; event
- a minor, subsidiary, or related event or action
- a relatively insignificant event that might have serious consequences, esp in international politics
- a public disturbancethe police had reports of an incident outside a pub
- the occurrence of something interesting or excitingthe trip was not without incident
- (postpositive foll by to) related (to) or dependent (on)
- (when postpositive, often foll by to) having a subsidiary or minor relationship (with)
- (esp of a beam of light or particles) arriving at or striking a surfaceincident electrons
Word Origin and History for incident
early 15c., "something which occurs casually in connection with something else," from Middle French incident and directly from Latin incidentem (nominative incidens), present participle of incidere "happen, befall," from in- "on" + -cidere, comb. form of cadere "to fall" (see case (n.1)). Sense of "an occurrence viewed as a separate circumstance" is from mid-15c. Meaning "event that might trigger a crisis or political unrest" first attested 1913.
"conducive (to), contributing (to)," early 15c., from Middle French incident (adj.) or directly from Latin incidens, present participle of incidere (see incident (n.)).