[ak-si-duh ns]


the rudiments or essentials of a subject.
  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 Unabridged Based on the Random House Unabridged Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2019

Examples from the Web for accidence

Historical Examples of accidence

  • Examples in Syntax, Accidence, and Style, for criticism and correction.


    William H. Dooley

  • Poor Patty took out her Ladies' Accidence, and turned over the leaves.

  • This will be done by memorizing the rules of accidence and derivation.

  • The Accidence was entitled, Coleti Editio un cum quibusdam, &c.

    The Oxford Reformers

    Frederic Seebohm

  • But, for all that I am, and have done here, I need not have gone beyond my accidence.


    W. Gilmore Simms

British Dictionary definitions for accidence



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 for accidence

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 accidence

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