Other forms: incidentals

Incidental means secondary in time or importance. If you lose weight because you moved and must walk further to school, the weight loss was incidental to the move.

When something is incidental, it is never the main thing. It's okay to include incidental details as they can add depth to your storytelling, but they are never crucial to the story. A company might pay your main expenses when you travel for business but will probably not reimburse you for the incidental ones. The music you hear between acts of a play is called incidental. It's not crucial to the action, but it makes the waiting easier.

Definitions of incidental
  1. adjective
    (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”
    synonyms: incident
    capable of being left out
    parenthetic, parenthetical
    qualifying or explaining; placed or as if placed in parentheses
    related to the key issue but not of central importance
    depending on or incidental to what is original or primary
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    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
    foundational, fundamental, rudimentary, underlying
    being or involving basic facts or principles
    arising from or going to the root or source
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  2. adjective
    following or accompanying as a consequence
    “snags incidental to the changeover in management”
    synonyms: accompanying, attendant, concomitant, consequent, corollary, ensuant, resultant, sequent
    following in time or order
  3. adjective
    not of prime or central importance
    synonyms: nonessential
    inessential, unessential
    not basic or fundamental
  4. noun
    (frequently plural) an expense not budgeted or not specified
    “he requested reimbursement of $7 for incidental expenses”
    synonyms: incidental expense, minor expense
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    type of:
    money spent to perform work and usually reimbursed by an employer
  5. noun
    an item that is incidental
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    type of:
    item, point
    a distinct part that can be specified separately in a group of things that could be enumerated on a list
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