Accidental



happening by chance or ; not planned; unexpected:
an accidental meeting.
nonessential; incidental; subsidiary:
accidental benefits.
Music. relating to or indicating sharps, flats, or naturals.
a nonessential or subsidiary circumstance, characteristic, or feature.
Music. a sign placed before a note indicating a chromatic alteration of its pitch.
Contemporary Examples

Or perhaps it was because the British media had their own reasons to believe the accidental ham story.
Did Murdoch’s Hacks Bug Diana, Too? Tina Brown September 4, 2010

Lipsyte updates his media critique in An accidental Sportswriter.
On the Peninsula Bryan Curtis April 24, 2011

Thousands more are “accidental” culinary tourists, who get caught up in the local cuisine without even trying.
The Problem with Food Porn Tourism Barbie Latza Nadeau March 25, 2014

Proof comes from a wonderful scene in An accidental Sportswriter in which Bob Costas takes Lipsyte to lunch.
On the Peninsula Bryan Curtis April 24, 2011

This is kind of an accidental career for me—which is why I approach it with irreverence and playfulness.
DJ Spooky Wants You To Question Everything You Know About Music, Technology, and Philosophy Oliver Jones December 26, 2014

Historical Examples

But the chief point was that all this was, as it were, not accidental in me, but as though it were bound to be so.
White Nights and Other Stories Fyodor Dostoevsky

Realize it thoroughly: it is a methodical not an accidental world.
Pax Vobiscum Henry Drummond

This is another of the accidental coincidences which attest the genuineness of the Acts.
The Expositor’s Bible: The Acts of the Apostles, Vol. 2 G. T. Stokes

My only chance will be the chance of an accidental meeting with Him.
Henry Dunbar M. E. Braddon

It is enough to say here that the view Cooper took was not hastily formed, nor was it the result of accidental prejudices.
James Fenimore Cooper Thomas R. Lounsbury

adjective
occurring by chance, unexpectedly, or unintentionally
nonessential; incidental
(music) denoting sharps, flats, or naturals that are not in the key signature of a piece
(logic) (of a property) not essential; contingent
noun
an incidental, nonessential, or supplementary circumstance, factor, or attribute
(music) a symbol denoting a sharp, flat, or natural that is not a part of the key signature
adj.

late 14c., “non-essential,” from Old French accidentel or directly from Medieval Latin accidentalis, from Latin accidentem (see accident). Meaning “outside the normal course of nature” is from early 15c.; that of “coming by chance” is from 1570s.
n.

late 14c., “non-essential quality,” from accidental (adj.). The musical sense is from 1868.

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