• WordNet 3.6
    • n accident anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause "winning the lottery was a happy accident","the pregnancy was a stroke of bad luck","it was due to an accident or fortuity"
    • n accident an unfortunate mishap; especially one causing damage or injury
    • ***
Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: In 2001, there were more than 300 banana-related accidents in Britain, most involving people slipping on skins.
    • Accident (Her) A point or mark which may be retained or omitted in a coat of arms.
    • Accident (Gram) A property attached to a word, but not essential to it, as gender, number, case.
    • Accident (Log) A property or quality of a thing which is not essential to it, as whiteness in paper; an attribute.
    • Accident (Log) A quality or attribute in distinction from the substance, as sweetness softness.
    • Accident Any accidental property, fact, or relation; an accidental or nonessential; as, beauty is an accident . "This accident , as I call it, of Athens being situated some miles from the sea."
    • Accident Literally, a befalling; an event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation; an undesigned, sudden, and unexpected event; chance; contingency; often, an undesigned and unforeseen occurrence of an afflictive or unfortunate character; a casualty; a mishap; as, to die by an accident . "Of moving accidents by flood and field.""Thou cam'st not to thy place by accident :
      It is the very place God meant for thee."
    • Accident Unusual appearance or effect.
    • ***
Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia
  • Interesting fact: Red is the most commonly colored vehical involved in accidents each year.
    • n accident In general, anything that happens or begins to be without design, or as an unforeseen effect; that which falls out by chance; a fortuitous event or circumstance.
    • n accident Specifically, an undesirable or unfortunate happening; an undesigned harm or injury; a casualty or mishap. In legal use, an accident is: An event happening without the concurrence of the will of the person by whose agency it was caused. It differs from mistake, in that the latter always supposes the operation of the will of the agent in producing the event, although that will is caused by erroneous impressions on the mind. Edw. Livingston. See mistake. Sometimes, in a loose sense, any event that takes place without one's foresight or expectation. Specifically, in equity practice, an event which is not the result of personal negligence or misconduct.
    • n accident The operation of chance; an undesigned contingency; a happening without intentional causation; chance; fortune: as, it was the result of accident; I was there by accident.
    • n accident That which exists or occurs abnormally; something unusual or phenomenal; an uncommon occurrence or appearance.
    • n accident Irregularity; unevenness; abruptness. Any chance, unexpected, or unusual quality or circumstance.
    • n accident An irregularity of surface; an undulation: as, the enemy was favored by the accidents of the ground.
    • n accident A non-essential. In logic (translation of Gr. συμβεβηκός): Any predicate, mark, character, or whatever is in a subject or inheres in a substance: in this sense opposed to substance.
    • n accident In grammar, a variation or inflection of a word, not essential to its primary signification, but marking a modification of its relation, as gender, number, and case. See accidence.
    • n accident Synonyms Chance, mischance, hap, mishap, fortune, misfortune, luck, bad luck, casualty, calamity, disaster.
    • n accident Property, Attribute, etc. See quality.
    • ***
Chambers's Twentieth Century Dictionary
  • Interesting fact: The average life expectancy of geese, barring all accidents, is 25 years.
    • n Accident ak′sid-ent that which happens: an unforeseen or unexpected event: chance: an unessential quality or property
    • n Accident anything not essential
    • ***


  • Milan Kundera
    “Without the meditative background that is criticism, works become isolated gestures, historical accidents, soon forgotten.”
  • Mrs Hubbard Davis
    Mrs Hubbard Davis
    “To be born free is an accident; To live free a responsibility; To die free is an obligation.”
  • Charles Lamb
    “The greatest pleasure I know, is to do a good action by stealth, and to have it found out by accident.”
  • Johann Friedrich Von Schiller
    “There is no such thing as chance; and what seem to us merest accident springs from the deepest source of destiny.”
  • Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
    Albert Szent-Gyorgyi
    “A discovery is said to be an accident meeting a prepared mind.”
  • Edward Conklin
    Edward Conklin
    “The probability of life originating from accident is comparable to the probability of the unabridged dictionary resulting from an explosion in a printing shop.”


Accident waiting to happen - If something is an accident waiting to happen, there's definitely going to be an accident or it's bound to go wrong. ('Disaster waiting to happen' is also used.)


Webster's Revised Unabridged Dictionary
F. accident, fr. L. accidens, -dentis, p. pr. of accidere, to happen; ad, + cadere, to fall. See Cadence Case


In literature:

The small boys, pale with fright and dazed by the suddenness of the accident, sat for a moment unable to move or cry out.
"The Willoughby Captains" by Talbot Baines Reed
Now, I ask you again, do you know anything at all of the cause of this accident?
"Pixie O'Shaughnessy" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
I am informed that Ruth was in danger of having a serious accident this morning.
"The Fortunes of the Farrells" by Mrs. George de Horne Vaizey
Accidents are different of course.
"Priscilla's Spies" by George A. Birmingham
Busts are not so liable to these accidents.
"Curiosities of Literature, Vol. 1 (of 3)" by Isaac D'Israeli
First, was the death of this young woman an accident?
"That Affair Next Door" by Anna Katharine Green
"The Iron Horse" by R.M. Ballantyne
It had been left open by accident.
"The Lighthouse" by R.M. Ballantyne
One accident is enough for today.
"Marjorie Dean, College Sophomore" by Pauline Lester
Once or twice again a rifle went off unexpectedly by accident.
"Across Unknown South America" by Arnold Henry Savage Landor

In poetry:

The accident was thus explained,
Apologies were only heard now:
"At my mistake I'm really pained -
I am, indeed - upon my word now.
"Ben Allah Achmet, or, the Fatal Tum" by William Schwenck Gilbert
Ideas, farms, and intellects,
Have furnish'd out three different sects.
Substance or accident divides
All Europe into adverse sides.
"Alma; or, The Progress of the Mind. In Three Cantos. - Canto III." by Matthew Prior
But the secret reveals itself to some,
and on them silence settles down…
I found this out by accident
and now it seems I'm sick all the time.
"Twenty-First. Night. Monday" by Anna Akhmatova
From the comic accident of birth
To the final grotesque joke of death
Your malady of sacrilegious mirth
Spread gay contagion with each clever breath.
"Dirge For A Joker" by Sylvia Plath
Nero was king by accident in show;
But Socrates by nature in good sooth;
By right of both Augustus; luck and truth
Less perfectly were blent in Scipio.
"Sonnet XV." by Tommaso Campanella
"And certainly you've given me
The best of wine and victual -
Excuse my violence," said he,
"But accidents like this, you see,
They put one out a little.
"Phantasmagoria Canto VI ( Dyscomfyture )" by Lewis Carroll

In news:

29 m ago accident blocks 1 lane.
Laramie County Coroner Marty Luna says according to an autopsy report, team Roper Broc Cresta's death during Cheyenne Frontier Days was ruled an accident.
She loses 28 feet worth when she's ejected from SUV in accident.
Alcohol was a factor in the accident, deputies said.
Died after an accident at the saddle bronc riding competition Saturday night.
Brownsville High teens involved in accident released from hospital.
Former Boston Bruins forward Stan Jonathan has been charged with criminal negligence causing death after a hunting accident on the weekend left a Hamilton man dead.
Brutus , NY – An Elbridge man was charged with driving while intoxicated after a one-car rollover accident this morning in Brutus , the Cayuga County Sheriff's Office said.
If you are involved in an accident, a seat belt may prevent or reduce injury, or even save your life.
The accident happened Friday night on Abbott Road near Richmond Avenue in Hamburg.
Boise, Idaho (KMVT-TV) A Buhl man escaped serious injury last night after being involved in a accident near Boise.
22 m ago In Melville accident.
Police and EMS officials were at the scene of an accident at 10 am near 46 Wertsville Road, treating a seriously injured person who was struck by the bulldozer .
Micah Cade Woodall, 17, of Lepanto died Friday, April 21, 2006, in an automobile accident near Marked Tree.
BELVIDERE (WIFR) – Around 4:40 am Wednesday morning emergency vehicles responded to the intersection of Caledonia Road and Route 76 for a rollover accident.

In science:

If the probability of an accident is negligibly small, but the effects of the accident are grandiose and disastrous, then even an “infinitely” small probability cannot be neglected.
Thermo- and gas-dynamical processes in NPPs after accidents
It should be noted that the common mathematical notions such as “necessary conditions” and “sufficient conditions” are not sufficient for solving the specific problems arising in NPPs after accidents.
Thermo- and gas-dynamical processes in NPPs after accidents
There are three possible background sources we have to deal with: tau pairs, radiative muon pairs (when the shower from the photon accidently overlaps with the projection of either muon in the calorimeter), and muon pair events with one muon decaying to electron in flight inside the detector.
Test of lepton universality and search for lepton flavor violation in Upsilon(1S,2S,3S) decays at CLEO
Actually it is not just a happy accident that this is so: way before we understood what CTE problems were doing, we had noticed non-linearities when comparing the same stars observed in exposures of differing durations.
Cepheid Distances to SNe Ia Host Galaxies based on a Revised Photometric Zero-Point of the HST-WFPC2 and New P-L Relations and Metallicity Corrections
The latter have been quite attractive since accidents of nuclear structure can amplify the PV effects making them easier to access experimentally.
Nuclei as Laboratories: Nuclear Tests of Fundamental Symmetries