accident
\ \ [14] Etymologically, an accident is simply ‘something which happens’ – ‘an event’.
\ \ That was what the word originally meant in English, and it was only subsequently that the senses ‘something which happens by chance’ and ‘mishap’ developed. It comes from the Latin verb caderefall’ (also the source of such diverse English words as case, decadent, and deciduous). The addition of the prefix ad- ‘to’ produced accidere, literally ‘fall to’, hence ‘happen to’. Its present participle was used as an adjective in the Latin phrase rēs accidēnsthing happening’, and accidēns soon took on the role of a noun on its own, passing (in its stem form accident-) into Old French and thence into English.
\ \ Cf.CASE, DECADENT, DECIDUOUS

Word origins - 2ed. . 2005.

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  • accident — [ aksidɑ̃ ] n. m. • 1175; lat. accidens, de accidere « survenir » 1 ♦ Événement fortuit, imprévisible. Vx Un accident heureux, malheureux. 2 ♦ Mod. Épisode non essentiel. « La poésie n était pas mon métier; c était un accident, une aventure… …   Encyclopédie Universelle

  • accident — ACCIDÉNT (1 4, 6) accidente, s.n. (5) accidenţi, s.m. 1. Eveniment fortuit, imprevizibil, care întrerupe mersul normal al lucrurilor (provocând avarii, răniri, mutilări sau chiar moartea). ♦ Fapt întâmplător, banal, care aduce nenorocire. 2. (fil …   Dicționar Român

  • accident — ac·ci·dent n: an unexpected usu. sudden event that occurs without intent or volition although sometimes through carelessness, unawareness, ignorance, or a combination of causes and that produces an unfortunate result (as an injury) for which the… …   Law dictionary

  • Accident — • The obvious division of things into the stable and the unstable Catholic Encyclopedia. Kevin Knight. 2006. Accident     Accident     † …   Catholic encyclopedia

  • accident — ACCIDENT. s. m. Cas fortuit, ce qui arrive par hazard. Il se prend presque tousjours en mauvaise part. Accident impréveu, inopiné. estrange, funeste accident. il luy est arrivé un grand accident. la vie humaine est sujette à tant d accidents.… …   Dictionnaire de l'Académie française

  • accident — 1 *quality, character, attribute, property Analogous words: mark, *sign, note, badge, token, symptom: characteristic, peculiarity (see corresponding adjectives at CHARACTERISTIC) Antonyms: substance (in philosophy) 2 *chance, hazard, luck, fort …   New Dictionary of Synonyms

  • Accident — Ac ci*dent, n. [F. accident, fr. L. accidens, dentis, p. pr. of accidere to happen; ad + cadere to fall. See {Cadence}, {Case}.] 1. Literally, a befalling; an event that takes place without one s foresight or expectation; an undesigned, sudden,… …   The Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • Accident — Accident, MD U.S. town in Maryland Population (2000): 353 Housing Units (2000): 162 Land area (2000): 0.496408 sq. miles (1.285690 sq. km) Water area (2000): 0.000000 sq. miles (0.000000 sq. km) Total area (2000): 0.496408 sq. miles (1.285690 sq …   StarDict's U.S. Gazetteer Places

  • accident — Accident, m. acut. proprement prins est ce qui advient à la substance, et departir s en peut sans le deperissement d icelle, comme, blancheur, curvature, et semblables. On en use aussi pour cas desastreux, malencontres et infortunes. Selon ce on… …   Thresor de la langue françoyse

  • accident — (n.) late 14c., an occurrence, incident, event, from O.Fr. accident (12c.), from L. accidentem (nom. accidens), prp. of accidere happen, fall out, fall upon, from ad to (see AD (Cf. ad )) + cadere fall (see CASE (Cf …   Etymology dictionary

  • accident — [n1] unexpected, undesirable event; often physically injurious blow, calamity, casualty, collision, crack up*, disaster, fender bender*, fluke*, hazard, misadventure, misfortune, mishap, pileup*, rear ender*, setback, smash*, smashup*, stack up* …   New thesaurus

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