accidental

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English[edit]

Etymology[edit]

From Anglo-Norman accidentel, Middle French accidentel, accidental, and their source, Late Latin accidentalis; corresponding to accident +‎ -al.

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

accidental ‎(comparative more accidental, superlative most accidental)

  1. Not essential; incidental, secondary. [from 14th c.]
  2. (philosophy) Nonessential to something's inherent nature (especially in Aristotelian thought). [from 14th c.]
  3. (music) Adjusted by one or two semitones, in temporary departure from the key signature. [from 16th c.]
  4. Occurring sometimes, by chance; occasional. [from 16th c.]
  5. Happening by chance, or unexpectedly; taking place not according to the usual course of things; by accident, unintentional. [from 16th c.]
    • 1603, John Florio, translating Michel de Montaigne, Essays, III.1:
      The way to trueth is but one and simple, that of particular profit and benefit of affaires a man hath in charge, double, uneven and accidentall [transl. fortuite].
  6. (geometry) Being a double point with two distinct tangent planes in 4-dimensional projective space.

Synonyms[edit]

Derived terms[edit]

Translations[edit]

Noun[edit]

accidental ‎(plural accidentals)

  1. A property which is not essential; a nonessential; anything happening accidentally.
    • Fuller — He conceived it just that accidentals ... should sink with the substance of the accusation.
  2. (painting, plural only) Those fortuitous effects produced by luminous rays falling on certain objects so that some parts stand forth in abnormal brightness and other parts are cast into a deep shadow.
  3. (music) A sharp, flat, or natural, occurring not at the commencement of a piece of music as the signature, but before a particular note.

Translations[edit]

The translations below need to be checked and inserted above into the appropriate translation tables, removing any numbers. Numbers do not necessarily match those in definitions. See instructions at Help:How to check translations.

Catalan[edit]

Pronunciation[edit]

Adjective[edit]

accidental m, f ‎(masculine and feminine plural accidentals)

  1. accidental

Romanian[edit]

Adjective[edit]

accidental mn nom/acc forms

  1. accidental

Spanish[edit]

Adjective[edit]

accidental m, f ‎(plural accidentales)

  1. nonessential
  2. accidental

Noun[edit]

accidental m ‎(plural accidentales)

  1. (music) accidental

Synonyms[edit]