An accident is an unfortunate event. By their very nature, accidents are not planned. Rear-ending the car ahead of you, spilling milk, losing your footing on an icy sidewalk — all of these are considered accidents.

You will most often hear people use accident to describe an unfortunate mistake, like swerving into oncoming traffic or making a sloppy calculation. However, an accident could have a positive outcome as well: "The invention of the chocolate chip cookie was a happy accident, occurring when the cook decided to add the chopped chocolate to the batter without melting it first."

Definitions of accident

n an unfortunate mishap; especially one causing damage or injury

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an accident resulting from violent impact of a moving object
crash, wreck
a serious accident (usually involving one or more vehicles)
accidental injury, injury
an accident that results in physical damage or hurt
shipwreck, wreck
an accident that destroys a ship at sea
casualty, fatal accident
an accident that causes someone to die
a crash involving a car or plane
a collision between motor vehicles that produces minor damage
multiple collisions of vehicles
smash, smash-up
a serious collision (especially of motor vehicles)
(nautical) the event of a boat accidentally turning over in the water
collateral damage
(euphemism) inadvertent casualties and destruction inflicted on civilians in the course of military operations
injury to the brain caused by a blow; usually resulting in loss of consciousness
an injury that causes disfigurement or that deprives you of a limb or other important body part
Type of:
misadventure, mischance, mishap
an instance of misfortune

n anything that happens suddenly or by chance without an apparent cause

“winning the lottery was a happy accident
“it was due to an accident or fortuity”
chance event, fortuity, stroke
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an accidental happening
break, good luck, happy chance
an unexpected piece of good luck
coincidence, happenstance
an event that might have been arranged although it was really accidental
something that is regarded as a chance event
Type of:
happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
an event that happens

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