English[edit | edit source]

Etymology[edit | edit source]

Compare French accidentel, earlier accidental.

Pronunciation[edit | edit source]

Adjective[edit | edit source]

Accidental (comparative {{{1}}}, superlative {{{2}}})




  1. Happening by chance, or unexpectedly; taking place not according to the usual course of things; casual; fortuitous
    an accidental visit
  2. Nonessential; not necessary belonging; incidental
    are accidental to a play
  3. (music) Foreign to the key signature or a proper harmony.
  4. unintentional; by accident

Usage notes[edit | edit source]

  • We speak of a thing as accidental when it falls out as by chance, and not in the regular course of things; as, an accidental meeting, an accidental advantage, etc.
  • We call a thing incidental when it falls, as it were, into some regular course of things, but is secondary, and forms no essential part thereof; as, an incidental remark, an incidental evil, an incidental benefit.
  • We speak of a thing as casual, when it falls out or happens, as it were, by mere chance, without being prearranged or premeditated; as, a casual remark or encounter; a casual observer. An idea of the unimportant is attached to what is casual.
  • Fortuitous is applied to what occurs without any known cause, and in opposition to what has been foreseen; as, a fortuitous concourse of atoms.
  • We call a thing contingent when it is such that, considered in itself, it may or may not happen, but is dependent for its existence on something else; as, the time of my coming will be contingent on intelligence yet to be received.

Synonyms[edit | edit source]

Derived terms[edit | edit source]

50px A user suggests that this Entry should be cleaned up, giving the reason: “create separate entries”.
Please see the discussion on Requests for cleanup(+) for more information and remove this template after the problem has been dealt with.

Translations[edit | edit source]

Noun[edit | edit source]



Accidental ({{{1}}})

  1. A property which is not essential; a nonessential; anything happening accidentally.
    • Fuller — He conceived it just that accidentals ... should sink with the substance of the accusation.
  2. (in plural, painting) Those fortuitous effects produced by luminous rays falling on certain objects so that some parts stand forth in abnormal brightness and other parts are cast into a deep shadow.
  3. (music) A sharp, flat, or natural, occurring not at the commencement of a piece of music as the signature, but before a particular note.

Translations[edit | edit source]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Spanish[edit | edit source]

Adjective[edit | edit source]

Accidental m. and f. (plural accidentales)

  1. accidental

Noun[edit | edit source]

Accidental m. (plural accidentales)

Accidental m.

accidentales m.

  1. (music) accidental

Synonyms[edit | edit source]

ar:accidental be:accidental et:accidental el:accidental es:accidental fa:accidental fr:accidental ko:accidental io:accidental it:accidental hu:accidental ja:accidental pl:accidental pt:accidental ru:accidental fi:accidental ta:accidental te:accidental tr:accidental vi:accidental

Community content is available under CC-BY-SA unless otherwise noted.