Adjective "accidental" definition and examples



Definitions and examples


Happening by chance, unintentionally, or unexpectedly.
  1. 'the damage might have been accidental'
  2. 'After the accidental death of her mother - while horseback riding, naturally - she's forbidden to climb atop anything higher than her bicycle.'
  3. 'Also, pregnancy can hardly be considered a random or accidental event that might happen overnight or in training to any soldier.'
  4. 'Returning a verdict of accidental death, the jury recommended that South Dublin County Council investigate the accident and consider additional signage in the area.'
  5. 'He wouldn't have had any chance to escape if it hadn't been for an accidental meeting with Carrie.'
  6. 'A jury at Manchester Coroner's Court yesterday returned verdicts of accidental death caused by dangerous driving in the cases of both men, who were lifelong friends from Failsworth.'
  7. 'Almost every entrepreneur who has made it will recall that first break, an accidental happening which somehow turned the tide and made success possible.'
  8. 'She spoke of you enthusiastically on both occasions, and I realised that what had started as an accidental meeting had blossomed into a rewarding friendship.'
  9. 'No longer are you creatures of an accidental happening in an obscure corner of a randomly evolving cosmos.'
  10. 'The father of a window cleaner critically injured after falling from his ladder said he will take ‘legal advice’ after an inquest ruled his son's death was accidental.'
  11. 'It was the usual accidental pregnancy, and we had the usual high school romance.'
Incidental; subsidiary.
  1. 'So, differences can be accepted only as secondary or accidental characteristics of persons.'
  2. 'If so, isn't it possible that art is in decline not as part of some grand narrative, but as a accidental and possibly fleeting phenomenon?'
(in Aristotelian thought) relating to or denoting properties which are not essential to a thing's nature.
  1. 'Having said this, however, Aquinas freely admitted that existence was indeed accidental to substance.'
  2. 'Thus in Aristotle's view, there are accidental phenomena in nature, and they are not subject to scientific knowledge.'
  3. 'If we could learn to see mind as an essential rather than accidental aspect of the universe, a whole new sense of the cosmos and of ourselves would follow.'
  4. 'The attempt to see which parts of our past were somehow essential and which were accidental has now shifted to comparison between our past and the present development of Third World countries.'
  5. 'It is customary, both in everyday speech and in philosophical discussion, to distinguish between the essential and the accidental properties of objects.'
  6. 'The inner essences of things were identified in their definitions, and distinguished in that way from accidental properties they exhibited under various circumstances.'
  7. 'The immediate act of the mover gives the concept of motion as an accidental property.'
  8. 'On this picture, of course, substantial and accidental forms are both ‘layers of the onion’ in exactly the same sense.'
  9. 'Someone else might mark out the same reference by another accidental property.'
  10. 'Ibn Sina's denial of the passage view of motion results from his understanding of motion as an accidental property of physical bodies.'


A sign indicating a momentary departure from the key signature by raising or lowering a note.
  1. 'The arrangement also is rich with accidentals and syncopations.'
  2. '‘An Afternoon in the Park’ is rhythmic, playful, and requires much attention to details of dynamics, slurs, articulation and accidentals.'
  3. 'In the present case there seems to be a consistency between clefs, accidentals and custodes before and after the apparent change in script between nos.357 and 358.'
  4. 'All use of black keys is indicated by accidentals.'
  5. 'If there are accidentals, determine how they affect a note in the original key; for example, does it move the note tip or down a half step?'
  6. 'Even when the key signatures are not difficult, there are many accidentals due to chromatic movements and seventh chords.'
  7. 'Although written in relatively easy keys, the pieces require careful reading with many accidentals throughout.'
  8. 'Students learn to move out of position, cross over, play scale patterns and deal with accidentals, eighth notes, harmonic intervals, switching melody between hands and playing hands together.'
  9. 'The drawback of Movable Do, besides abandoning any sense of absolute pitch, results from the problem of accidentals.'
  10. 'All notes, rests, accidentals, articulations, triplets and staves are provided for the user.'


    1. happening by chance or accident; not planned; unexpected: an accidental meeting.

    2. nonessential; incidental; subsidiary: accidental benefits.

    3. Music. relating to or indicating sharps, flats, or naturals. noun

    4. a nonessential or subsidiary circumstance, characteristic, or feature.

    5. Music. a sign placed before a note indicating a chromatic alteration of its pitch.

    More examples(as adjective)

    "losses can be accidental in senses."

    "everythings can be accidental in markets."

    "deaths can be accidental."

    "damages can be accidental."

    "injuries can be accidental."

    More examples++


    Late Middle English (in accidental (sense 2 of the adjective and accidental sense 3 of the adjective)): from late Latin accidentalis, from Latin accident- ‘happening’ (see accident).