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accidence

[ak-si-duh ns] /ˈæk sɪ dəns/
noun
1.
the rudiments or essentials of a subject.
2.
Grammar.
  1. the study of inflection as a grammatical device.
  2. the inflections so studied.
Origin of accidence
1500-1510
1500-1510; < Latin accidentia, neuter plural of accidēns (present participle of accidere to fall, befall). See accident
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Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2015.
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British Dictionary definitions for accidence

accidence

/ˈæksɪdəns/
noun
1.
inflectional morphology; the part of grammar concerned with changes in the form of words by internal modification or by affixation, for the expression of tense, person, case, number, etc
Word Origin
C15: from Latin accidentia accidental matters, hence inflections of words, from accidere to happen. See accident
Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 2012 Digital Edition
© William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
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Word Origin and History for accidence
n.

late 14c., in philosophy, "non-essential or incidental characteristic," also "part of grammar dealing with inflection" (mid-15c.), in some cases a misspelling of accidents, or else directly from Latin accidentia (used as a term in grammar by Quintilian), neuter plural of accidens, present participle of accidere (see accident). The grammar sense is because they change in accordance with use.

Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
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