What does incident mean?

Definitions for incident
ˈɪn sɪ dəntin·ci·dent

This dictionary definitions page includes all the possible meanings, example usage and translations of the word incident.

Princeton's WordNet

  1. incidentnoun

    a single distinct event

  2. incidentadjective

    a public disturbance

    "the police investigated an incident at the bus station"

  3. incidentadjective

    falling or striking of light rays on something

    "incident light"

  4. incidental, incidentadjective

    (sometimes followed by `to') minor or casual or subordinate in significance or nature or occurring as a chance concomitant or consequence

    "incidental expenses"; "the road will bring other incidental advantages"; "extra duties incidental to the job"; "labor problems incidental to a rapid expansion"; "confusion incidental to a quick change"


  1. incidentnoun

    An event or occurrence.

  2. incidentnoun

    A relatively minor event that is incidental to, or related to others

  3. incidentnoun

    An event that may cause or causes an interruption or a crisis

  4. incidentnoun

    In safety, an incident of workplace illness or injury

  5. incidentadjective

    Arising as the result of an event, inherent

  6. incidentadjective

    (of a stream of particles or radiation) falling on or striking a surface (e.g. "The incident light illuminated the surface.")

  7. Etymology: Recorded since 1412, from incidens, the present active participle of incido, itself from in- + -cido, the combining form of cado.

Samuel Johnson's Dictionary

  1. INCIDENTadjective

    Etymology: incident, Fr. incidens, Latin.

    As the ordinary course of common affairs is disposed of by general laws, so likewise mens rarer incident necessities and utilities should be with special equity considered. Richard Hooker.

    I would note in children not only their articulate answers, but likewise smiles and frowns upon incident occasions. Henry Wotton.

    In a complex proposition the predicate or subject is sometimes made complex by the pronouns who, which, whose, whom, &c. which make another proposition: as, every man, who is pious, shall be saved: Julius, whose surname was Cæsar, overcame Pompey: bodies, which are transparent, have many pores. Here the whole proposition is called the primary or chief, and the additional proposition is called an incident proposition. Isaac Watts.

    Constancy is such a stability and firmness of friendship as overlooks all those failures of kindness, that through passion, incident to human nature, a man may be sometimes guilty of. Robert South, Sermons.

  2. Incidentnoun

    Something happening beside the main design; casualty.

    Etymology: incident, Fr. from the adjective.

    His wisdom will fall into it as an incident to the point of lawfulness. Francis Bacon, holy War.

    No person, no incident in the play, but must be of use to carry on the main design. John Dryden, Dufresnoy.


  1. incident

    An incident is an event or occurrence that happens unexpectedly and disrupts normal procedures or activities. It can be either negative, such as an accident, crime, or natural disaster, or positive, such as a remarkable accomplishment or significant development. Sometimes, it also refers to a single distinct event or case, particularly when it involves a conflict or an unusual happening.

Webster Dictionary

  1. Incidentadjective

    falling or striking upon, as a ray of light upon a reflecting surface

  2. Incidentadjective

    coming or happening accidentally; not in the usual course of things; not in connection with the main design; not according to expectation; casual; fortuitous

  3. Incidentadjective

    liable to happen; apt to occur; befalling; hence, naturally happening or appertaining

  4. Incidentadjective

    dependent upon, or appertaining to, another thing, called the principal

  5. Incidentnoun

    that which falls out or takes place; an event; casualty; occurrence

  6. Incidentnoun

    that which happens aside from the main design; an accidental or subordinate action or event

  7. Incidentnoun

    something appertaining to, passing with, or depending on, another, called the principal

  8. Etymology: [L. incidens, -entis, p. pr. & of incidere to fall into or upon; pref. in- in, on + cadere to fall: cf. F. incident. See Cadence.]


  1. Incident

    L. Ron Hubbard used the term Incident in a specific context for auditing in Scientology and Dianetics: the description of space opera events in our Universe's distant past, involving alien interventions in our past lives. It is a basic belief of Scientology that a human being is actually an immortal spiritual being, termed a thetan, that is presently trapped on planet Earth in a "meat body". The thetan has had innumerable past lives and it is accepted in Scientology that lives antedating the thetan's arrival on Earth lived in extraterrestrial cultures. Although Incidents can literally be any incident that occurs anywhere on the Whole Track, Hubbard's writings dwelled almost exclusively on fanciful ones from Earth's prehistory, because these "key incidents" are crucial to auditing. Many of them first appeared in Hubbard's book What to Audit. In his writings and lectures, Hubbard describes many key Incidents said to have occurred to thetans during the past few trillion years. Generally speaking, these followed a consistent pattern. A hostile alien civilization would capture free thetans and brainwash them with implants designed to confuse them or otherwise render them more amenable to control. Often, instances of implantation are termed Incidents, while the subject of the implants are often termed Goals, although these are not set-in-stone rules. Not all Incidents deal with implants; some are simply unusual and traumatic events said to have happened to thetans millions of years ago. This trauma is said to linger for trillions of years and causes unresolved psychological problems in the present day. According to Hubbard, only Scientology methods can resolve the burdens left by such traumas.

Chambers 20th Century Dictionary

  1. Incident

    in′si-dent, adj. falling upon: liable to occur: naturally belonging to anything, or following therefrom.—n. that which happens: an event: a subordinate action: an episode.—n. In′cidence, the manner of falling: bearing or onus, as of a tax that falls unequally: the falling of a ray of heat, light, &c. on a body: (geom.) the falling of a point on a line, or a line on a plane.—adj. Incident′al, occurring as a result, concomitant: occasional, casual.—adv. Incident′ally.—n. Incident′alness.—Angle of incidence, the angle at which a ray of light or radiant heat falls upon a surface. [Fr.,—L. incĭdensin, on, cadĕre, to fall.]

Dictionary of Military and Associated Terms

  1. incident

    1. In information operations, an assessed event of attempted entry, unauthorized entry, or an information attack on an automated information system. It includes unauthorized probing and browsing; disruption or denial of service; altered or destroyed input, processing, storage, or output of information; or changes to information system hardware, firmware, or software characteristics with or without the users

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British National Corpus

  1. Spoken Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'incident' in Spoken Corpus Frequency: #2752

  2. Written Corpus Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'incident' in Written Corpus Frequency: #3252

  3. Nouns Frequency

    Rank popularity for the word 'incident' in Nouns Frequency: #891

How to pronounce incident?

How to say incident in sign language?


  1. Chaldean Numerology

    The numerical value of incident in Chaldean Numerology is: 1

  2. Pythagorean Numerology

    The numerical value of incident in Pythagorean Numerology is: 6

Examples of incident in a Sentence

  1. Ken Martin:

    We usually don’t know about these cases unless something horrific happens, but you have the son of a state legislator, a park full of people — and everyone has cellphones now — so we can only hope that parks will use this incident to re-evaluate industrywide protocols.

  2. Mahmoud Abu Kaf:

    Most cases involving big events are based on investigations and no tangible evidence. We've seen cases where defendants were either deceased years before the incident or in prison when it happened.

  3. Christopher Stokes:

    Their description of the attack keeps changing - from collateral damage, to a tragic incident, to now attempting to pass responsibility to the Afghanistan government, with such constant discrepancies in the U.S. and Afghan accounts of what happened, the need for a full transparent independent investigation is ever more critical.

  4. John Kirby:

    I do not expect this latest incident to, by itself, lead to outright conflict. But it is certainly escalatory and, regrettably, may be further limiting the already small decision space Trump had given himself.

  5. Ashok Kumar:

    This is an unfortunate incident. Our government will take strong action against the culprits.

Popularity rank by frequency of use


Translations for incident

From our Multilingual Translation Dictionary

  • واقعة, حادثة, حادثArabic
  • осраҡлы, осраҡ, хәл, ваҡиғаBashkir
  • událostCzech
  • begivenhedDanish
  • Geschehnis, einfallend, Begebenheit, Ereignis, Störfall, VorfallGerman
  • προσπίπτουσα, συναφής, προσπίπτωνGreek
  • incidenteSpanish
  • حادثهPersian
  • selkkaus, tapahtuma, tapaus, välikohtaus, lankeava, johtuvaFinnish
  • incidentFrench
  • ionsaitheachIrish
  • tuiteamasScottish Gaelic
  • תקריתHebrew
  • դիպված, պատահար, դեպքArmenian
  • 事故Japanese
  • 事件, 사건Korean
  • inherent, voorval, gebeurtenis, episode, inslaand, gebeurenDutch
  • wydarzenie, incydent, towarzyszący, wynikający, padającyPolish
  • incidentePortuguese
  • episod, incidental, minor incident, mic incident, deranjament, caz, incidentRomanian
  • случай, падающий, свойственный, инцидент, происшествиеRussian
  • incidentSerbo-Croatian
  • händelse, tillbud, tilldragelse, olyckshändelseSwedish
  • biến cốVietnamese

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"incident." Definitions.net. STANDS4 LLC, 2024. Web. 27 May 2024. <https://www.definitions.net/definition/incident>.

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