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Definition accidental

Etymology

Borrowed from Anglo-Norman accidentel, Middle French accidentel, accidental, and their source, Late Latin accidēntālis; corresponding to accident +‎ -al.

Adjective

accidental (comparative more accidental, superlative most accidental)

  1. Not essential; incidental, secondary. [from 14th c.]
  2. (philosophy) Nonessential to something's inherent nature (especially in Aristotelian thought). [from 14th c.]
  3. (music) Adjusted by one or two semitones, in temporary departure from the key signature. [from 16th c.]
  4. Occurring sometimes, by chance; occasional. [from 16th c.]
  5. Happening by chance, or unexpectedly; taking place not according to the usual course of things; by accident, unintentional. [from 16th c.]
  6. (geometry) Being a double point with two distinct tangent planes in 4-dimensional projective space.

Noun

accidental (plural accidentals)

  1. A property which is not essential; a nonessential; anything happening accidentally.
  2. (painting, plural only) Those fortuitous effects produced by luminous rays falling on certain objects so that some parts stand forth in abnormal brightness and other parts are cast into a deep shadow.
  3. (music) A sharp, flat, or natural, occurring not at the commencement of a piece of music as the signature, but before a particular note.

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