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

adj (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”
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
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
arising from or going to the root or source
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adj following or accompanying as a consequence

“snags incidental to the changeover in management”
accompanying, attendant, concomitant, consequent, ensuant, resultant, sequent
following in time or order

adj not of prime or central importance

inessential, unessential
not basic or fundamental

n (frequently plural) an expense not budgeted or not specified

“he requested reimbursement of $7 for incidental expenses”
incidental expense, minor expense
Type of:
money spent to perform work and usually reimbursed by an employer

n an item that is incidental

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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