happening by chance or accident; 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.

1350–1400; Middle English < Medieval Latin accidentālis. See accident, -al1

accidentally, accidently, adverb
accidentalness, accidentality, noun
nonaccidental, adjective, noun
nonaccidentally, adverb
nonaccidentalness, noun
preaccidental, adjective
preaccidentally, adverb
pseudoaccidental, adjective
pseudoaccidentally, adverb
quasi-accidental, adjective
quasi-accidentally, adverb
unaccidental, adjective
unaccidentally, adverb

1. unintentional, unforeseen. Accidental, casual, fortuitous all describe something outside the usual course of events. Accidental implies occurring unexpectedly or by chance: an accidental blow. Casual describes a passing event of slight importance: a casual reference. Fortuitous is applied to events occurring without known cause, often of a fortunate or favorable nature: a fortuitous shower of meteors. It often also implies good luck or good fortune: a fortuitous choice leading to rapid advancement.

1. planned, contrived. Unabridged
Based on the Random House Dictionary, © Random House, Inc. 2014.
Cite This Source Link To accidentally
World English Dictionary
accidental (ˌæksɪˈdɛntəl)
1.  occurring by chance, unexpectedly, or unintentionally
2.  nonessential; incidental
3.  music denoting sharps, flats, or naturals that are not in the key signature of a piece
4.  logic (of a property) not essential; contingent
5.  an incidental, nonessential, or supplementary circumstance, factor, or attribute
6.  music a symbol denoting a sharp, flat, or natural that is not a part of the key signature

Collins English Dictionary - Complete & Unabridged 10th Edition
2009 © William Collins Sons & Co. Ltd. 1979, 1986 © HarperCollins
Publishers 1998, 2000, 2003, 2005, 2006, 2007, 2009
Cite This Source
Word Origin & History

late 14c., "non-essentially," from accidental, from Fr. accidental, from M.L. accidentalis, from L. accidens (gen. accidentis); see accident. Meaning "unintentionally" is recorded from 1580s; phrase accidentally on purpose is recorded from 1862.
Online Etymology Dictionary, © 2010 Douglas Harper
Cite This Source
Example sentences
Open, he accidentally nudged his ball while setting up for a shot.
Professors have also accidentally shared comments with students that they meant
  only for fellow instructors.
The problem comes when the telomerase gene is accidentally activated in a cell
  in which it is supposed to be shut down.
Plant-dwelling insects are in perpetual danger of being accidentally munched on
  by plant-eating animals.
Copyright © 2014, LLC. All rights reserved.
  • Please Login or Sign Up to use the Recent Searches feature