incident

An incident refers to a particular happening, sometimes criminal but always noteworthy. If there was a food fight in the cafeteria, an e-mail might be sent to the parents of all students telling of the incident at school.

The word incident is quite vague. It can refer to a humorous occurrence or a violent one, something that disturbed one's routine or something unusual that happened. If a child screams in a library, it's not that unusual, but if an adult does, that's an incident! As an adjective, incident is used in the field of physics to describe particles or radiation that fall on a surface. The incident light showed how dirty the windows were.

Definitions of incident
  1. noun
    a single distinct event
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    types:
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    cause celebre
    an incident that attracts great public attention
    contagion, infection, transmission
    an incident in which an infectious disease is transmitted
    scene
    an incident (real or imaginary)
    sideshow
    a subordinate incident of little importance relative to the main event
    type of:
    happening, natural event, occurrence, occurrent
    an event that happens
  2. noun
    a public disturbance
    “the police investigated an incident at the bus station”
  3. adjective
    (sometimes followed by `to') minor or casual or subordinate in significance or nature or occurring as a chance concomitant or consequence
    synonyms: incidental
    omissible
    capable of being left out
    parenthetic, parenthetical
    qualifying or explaining; placed or as if placed in parentheses
    peripheral
    related to the key issue but not of central importance
    secondary
    depending on or incidental to what is original or primary
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    Antonyms:
    basic
    pertaining to or constituting a base or basis
    basal, base
    serving as or forming a base
    elemental, elementary, primary
    of or being the essential or basic part
    fundamental, rudimentary, underlying
    being or involving basic facts or principles
    grassroots
    fundamental
    radical
    arising from or going to the root or source
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  4. adjective
    falling or striking of light rays on something
    incident light”
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