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Alternative forms[edit]


accidental +‎ -ly


  • IPA(key): /ˌæksɪˈdɛnt(ə)li/
  • (file)


accidentally (comparative more accidentally, superlative most accidentally)

  1. In an accidental manner; by chance, unexpectedly.
    Synonyms: casually, fortuitously; see also Thesaurus:accidentally
    He discovered penicillin largely accidentally.
  2. Unintentionally.
    He accidentally exposed the bacteria to mold spores.
    • 1899, Knut Hamsun, “Part I”, in George Egerton [pseudonym; Mary Chavelita Dunne Bright], transl., Hunger: Translated from the Norwegian, London: Leonard Smithers and Co. [], OCLC 560168646; republished New York, N.Y.: Alfred A. Knopf, October 1920 (December 1920 printing), OCLC 189563, page 14:
      As I arrived at the foot of the hill I overtook two ladies, whom I passed. As I did so, I brushed one of them accidentally on the arm.
    • 2011 December 14, Steven Morris, “Devon woman jailed for 168 days for killing kitten in microwave”, in The Guardian[1], London:
      Robins, of Torquay, had denied a single charge of causing unnecessary suffering to an animal. She claimed the microwave was accidentally turned on by one of the cats after the kitten got inside. But Knutton said the kitten was too small to even get onto the work surface.


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