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

Did you once accidently apply to a school in Michigan thinking it was in New York?
A Gifted Man’s Leading Lady Jace Lacob September 22, 2011

An ITF anti-doping tribunal ruled in 2009 that Richard Gasquet accidently ingested cocaine while kissing a woman at a nightclub.
Tennis Has a Doping Problem Sujay Kumar July 7, 2013

Historical Examples

Recently the story has been told of a burglar who accidently discharged a magnesium light connected with a kodak on the shelf.
A Man’s Value to Society Newell Dwight Hillis

He had chopped off several of her fingers, when they were accidently interrupted.
Basque Legends Wentworth Webster

Barbara was obviously deeply concerned over the evidence which Joe Strong had accidently turned up.
Hooded Detective, Volume III No. 2, January, 1942 Various

The matter was settled for him by meeting her accidently outside the buvette.
Beggars on Horseback F. Tennyson Jesse

But I wouldn’t agree to that for fear it might accidently be true.
A Texas Cow Boy Chas. A. Siringo

“You might accidently run into the person who stole your gun,” Penny suggested.
Swamp Island Mildred A. Wirt

The other accidently put an end to her own life several weeks ago.
Little Wolf M. A. Cornelius

In Sam’s bedroom, as if accidently dropped and kicked partway under the bed, I found this.
The Great Gray Plague Raymond F. Jones

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
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

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.

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


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