accidental


Also found in: Thesaurus, Medical, Legal, Financial, Idioms, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.
Related to accidental: Accidental sampling
click for a larger image
accidental
left to right: G natural, G flat, G sharp

ac·ci·den·tal

 (ăk′sĭ-dĕn′tl)
adj.
1. Occurring unexpectedly, unintentionally, or by chance.
2. Music Of or relating to an accidental.
3. Being an animal, especially a bird, that has strayed beyond its normal range.
n.
1. A property, factor, or attribute that is not essential.
2. Music
a. Any of various signs that indicate the alteration of a note by one or two semitones or the cancellation of a previous sign.
b. A note that has been marked with such a sign.
3. An animal that has strayed beyond its normal range.

ac′ci·den′tal·ly, ac′ci·dent′ly adv.
Synonyms: accidental, fortuitous, contingent, incidental
These adjectives apply to what happens unintentionally. Accidental primarily refers to what occurs by chance: an accidental meeting.
It can also mean subordinate or nonessential: "Poetry is something to which words are the accidental, not by any means the essential form" (Frederick W. Robertson).
Fortuitous stresses chance even more strongly: "the happy combination of fortuitous circumstances" (Sir Walter Scott).
Contingent describes what is possible but uncertain because of unforeseen or uncontrollable factors: "The results of confession were not contingent, they were certain" (George Eliot).
Incidental refers to a minor or unanticipated result or accompaniment: "There is scarcely any practice which is so corrupt as not to produce some incidental good" (Enoch Mellor).

accidental

(ˌæksɪˈdɛntəl)
adj
1. occurring by chance, unexpectedly, or unintentionally
2. nonessential; incidental
3. (Classical Music) music denoting sharps, flats, or naturals that are not in the key signature of a piece
4. (Logic) logic (of a property) not essential; contingent
n
5. an incidental, nonessential, or supplementary circumstance, factor, or attribute
6. (Classical Music) music a symbol denoting a sharp, flat, or natural that is not a part of the key signature
ˌacciˈdentally adv

ac•ci•den•tal

(ˌæk sɪˈdɛn tl)

adj.
1. happening by chance or accident.
2. nonessential; incidental: accidental benefits.
3. pertaining to or indicating sharps, flats, or naturals in music.
n.
4. a nonessential or subsidiary circumstance or feature.
5. a sign placed before a note indicating a chromatic alteration of its pitch.
[1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin]
ac`ci•den′tal•ly, adv.
ThesaurusAntonymsRelated WordsSynonymsLegend:
Noun1.accidental - a musical notation that makes a note sharp or flat or natural although that is not part of the key signatureaccidental - a musical notation that makes a note sharp or flat or natural although that is not part of the key signature
musical notation - (music) notation used by musicians
Adj.1.accidental - happening by chance or unexpectedly or unintentionally ; "with an inadvertent gesture she swept the vase off the table"; "accidental poisoning"; "an accidental shooting"
unintended - not deliberate

accidental

adjective
2. chance, random, casual, unintentional, unintended, unplanned, fortuitous, inadvertent, serendipitous, unlooked-for, uncalculated, contingent His hand brushed against hers; it could have been accidental.

accidental

adjective
Occurring unexpectedly:
Translations
عرضيعَرَضِي، بِالصُّدْفَه
náhodný
hændeligtilfældig
sattumanvarainen
slučajan
tilviljunarkenndur
偶然の
우연의
naključen
oavsiktlig
เป็นเหตุบังเอิญ
kaza sonucutesadüfi
tai nạn

accidental

[ˌæksɪˈdentl]
A. ADJ
1. (= by chance) → casual, fortuito
accidental deathmuerte f por accidente
2. (= unintentional) → imprevisto
I didn't do it deliberately, it was accidentalno lo hice adrede, fue sin querer
B. N (Mus) → accidente m

accidental

[ˌæksɪˈdɛntəl] adj
(= by accident) [injury, fall, fire, damage] → accidentel(le) accidental death
(= chance) [meeting, discovery] → accidentel/elle m/faccidental death n (LAW)mort f accidentelle

accidental

adj
(= unplanned) meeting, benefitzufällig; (= unintentional) blow, shootingversehentlich; one of the accidental effects of this scheme was …eine der Wirkungen, die dieser Plan unbeabsichtigterweise mit sich brachte, war …
(= resulting from accident) injury, deathdurch Unfall; accidental damage (Insur) → Unfallschaden m
n (Mus) (= sign)Versetzungszeichen nt, → Akzidentale f (form); (= note)erhöhter/erniedrigter Ton

accidental

[ˌæksɪˈdɛntl] adj (by chance) → accidentale, fortuito/a, casuale; (unintentional) → involontario/a
accidental death → morte f accidentale

accident

(ˈӕksidənt) noun
1. an unexpected happening, often harmful, causing injury etc. There has been a road accident.
2. chance. I met her by accident.
ˌacciˈdental (-ˈden-) adjective
happening by chance or accident. an accidental discovery.
ˌacciˈdentally (-ˈden-) adverb

accidental

عرضي náhodný hændelig unbeabsichtigt τυχαίος accidental sattumanvarainen accidentel slučajan accidentale 偶然の 우연의 toevallig tilfeldig przypadkowy acidental случайный oavsiktlig เป็นเหตุบังเอิญ kaza sonucu tai nạn 偶然的

accidental

a. accidental, inesperado-a, casual.

accidental

adj accidental; — death muerte f accidental
References in classic literature ?
And when these things unite in a man of greatly superior natural force, with a globular brain and a ponderous heart; who has also by the stillness and seclusion of many long night-watches in the remotest waters, and beneath constellations never seen here at the north, been led to think untraditionally and independently; receiving all nature's sweet or savage impressions fresh from her own virgin voluntary and confiding breast, and thereby chiefly, but with some help from accidental advantages, to learn a bold and nervous lofty language --that man makes one in a whole nation's census --a mighty pageant creature, formed for noble tragedies.
In the end Jurgis got a chance through an accidental meeting with an old-time acquaintance of his union days.
The king winced under this accidental home-shot, but kept still; he was learning his part; and he was playing it well, too, for a pretty dull beginner.
Four of the five words in the first one were English, and that they were also German was only accidental, not intentional; three out of the five words in the second remark were English, and English only, and the two German ones did not mean anything in particular, in such a connection.
Tom and all of us kept telling him it WASN'T murder, but just accidental killing
Cole of the rise and progress of the affair was so gloriousthe steps so quick, from the accidental rencontre, to the dinner at Mr.
The repose of the latter became more and more disturbed; and her sister, who watched, with unremitting attention her continual change of posture, and heard the frequent but inarticulate sounds of complaint which passed her lips, was almost wishing to rouse her from so painful a slumber, when Marianne, suddenly awakened by some accidental noise in the house, started hastily up, and, with feverish wildness, cried out,--
Should any little accidental disappointment of the appetite occur, such as the spoiling of a meal, the under or the over dressing of a dish, the incident ought not to be neutralised by replacing with something more delicate the comfort lost, thus pampering the body and obviating the aim of this institution; it ought to be improved to the spiritual edification of the pupils, by encouraging them to evince fortitude under temporary privation.
Heathcliff followed, his accidental merriment expiring quickly in his habitual moroseness.
I merely regret my own accidental appearance in the character of an Obstacle to the course of true-love -- which appears to run smooth in summer-houses, whatever Shakespeare may say to the contrary.
The resemblance was not lessened by the accidental circumstance, that the mature Jerry bit and spat out straw, while the twinkling eyes of the youthful Jerry were as restlessly watchful of him as of everything else in Fleet-street.
An accidental circumstance cemented the intimacy between Steerforth and me, in a manner that inspired me with great pride and satisfaction, though it sometimes led to inconvenience.