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Accidental   Listen
adjective
Accidental  adj.  
1.
Happening by chance, or unexpectedly; taking place not according to the usual course of things; casual; fortuitous; as, an accidental visit.
2.
Nonessential; not necessary belonging; incidental; as, are accidental to a play.
Accidental chords (Mus.), those which contain one or more tones foreign to their proper harmony.
Accidental colors (Opt.), colors depending on the hypersensibility of the retina of the eye for complementary colors. They are purely subjective sensations of color which often result from the contemplation of actually colored bodies.
Accidental point (Persp.), the point in which a right line, drawn from the eye, parallel to a given right line, cuts the perspective plane; so called to distinguish it from the principal point, or point of view, where a line drawn from the eye perpendicular to the perspective plane meets this plane.
Accidental lights (Paint.), secondary lights; effects of light other than ordinary daylight, such as the rays of the sun darting through a cloud, or between the leaves of trees; the effect of moonlight, candlelight, or burning bodies.
Synonyms: Casual; fortuitous; contingent; occasional; adventitious. Accidental, Incidental, Casual, Fortuitous, Contingent. We speak of a thing as accidental when it falls out as by chance, and not in the regular course of things; as, an accidental meeting, an accidental advantage, etc. We call a thing incidental when it falls, as it were, into some regular course of things, but is secondary, and forms no essential part thereof; as, an incremental remark, an incidental evil, an incidental benefit. We speak of a thing as casual, when it falls out or happens, as it were, by mere chance, without being prearranged or premeditated; as, a casual remark or encounter; a casual observer. An idea of the unimportant is attached to what is casual. Fortuitous is applied to what occurs without any known cause, and in opposition to what has been foreseen; as, a fortuitous concourse of atoms. We call a thing contingent when it is such that, considered in itself, it may or may not happen, but is dependent for its existence on something else; as, the time of my coming will be contingent on intelligence yet to be received.






Collaborative International Dictionary of English 0.48








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"Accidental" Quotes from Famous Books



... Tregellan sat for a long time without speaking, appreciating his purpose. It seemed more monstrous the closer he considered it: natural enough withal, and so, harder to defeat; and yet, he was sure, that defeated it must be. He reflected how accidental it had all been: their presence there, in Ploumariel, and the rest! Touring in Brittany, as they had often done before, in their habit of old friends, they had fallen upon it by chance, a place unknown of Murray; and the merest chance ...
— The Poems And Prose Of Ernest Dowson • Ernest Dowson et al

... walked slowly toward the station Crane met abruptly the girl who was just then so much in his thoughts. Her sudden appearance quite startled him, though it was quite accidental. She had gone in to do some shopping, she explained, after ...
— Thoroughbreds • W. A. Fraser

... Differing from Michael Angelo, Donatello made no Brutus; he did not concentrate the political tragedies of his day into a Penseroso and a group of statues full of grave symbolical protests against the statecraft of his time; and, except for the accidental loss of Judith's pedestal, Donatello's art never suffered from the curse of politics. Michael Angelo was always surrounded by the pitfalls of intrigue and politics: some of his work was sacrificed in consequence. The colossal statue of Pope Julio ...
— Donatello • David Lindsay, Earl of Crawford

... indeed—in fact, contemporary, certainly accidental. Sir Roger Casement had been abroad in the tropics most of his life: he hated politics; he cannot speak German, and has had to have all his negotiations done through ...
— Six days of the Irish Republic - A Narrative and Critical Account of the Latest Phase of Irish Politics • Louis Redmond-Howard

... the lesson for the day, boys, I wish to refer to an incident that happened here yesterday morning, which must be fresh in your memories. I mean the accidental discovery of the lost examination paper for the Nightingale Scholarship. I hope you will not draw hasty conclusions from what then occurred. The boy in whose book the paper was found is present here, and has assured ...
— The Fifth Form at Saint Dominic's - A School Story • Talbot Baines Reed

... statue.' JOHNSON. 'Nay, Sir, the argument from the name is gone. The name is exhausted by what we see. We have no occasion to go to a distance for what we can pick up under our feet. Had it been an accidental name, the similarity between it and Anaitis might have had something in it; but it turns out to be a mere physiological name.' Macleod said, Mr. M'Queen's knowledge of etymology had destroyed his conjecture. JOHNSON. 'Yes, Sir; Mr. ...
— Life Of Johnson, Volume 5 • Boswell

... closing of the affair without precipitating a scandal. Gard's own hasty actions led back to his fear for Mrs. Marteen, that in turn involved the cause of that suspicion. To convince the newsmongers that the crime was one of an almost accidental nature, he felt would be easy. An escaped lunatic had committed the murder. That revenge lay behind the insane act would be hidden. If necessary, the authorities of the asylum could be silenced with a ...
— Out of the Ashes • Ethel Watts Mumford

... I seemed to see this question written: Was Page Hanaford's absence at the time of the detectives' visit accidental or planned? Try as I would to put the hateful thought away from me, it came back again ...
— The House of the Misty Star - A Romance of Youth and Hope and Love in Old Japan • Fannie Caldwell Macaulay

... delight only be the medium of whatever poetry or science may lie beyond them, in the intention of the composer. In its primary aspect, a great picture has no more definite message for us than an accidental play of sunlight and shadow for a moment, on the wall or floor: is itself, in truth, a space of such fallen light, caught as the colours are caught in an Eastern carpet, but refined upon, and dealt ...
— The Renaissance - Studies in Art and Poetry • Walter Pater

... Mangles was a tardy ornament, needed above all things a capacity for leaving things unsaid, the American diplomatist was not ignorant in his art. For he did not inform his sister that the invitation to which she attached so flattering a national importance owed its origin to an accidental encounter between himself and Lord Orlay—a friend of his early senatorial days—in Pall ...
— The Vultures • Henry Seton Merriman

... many ways in which accidental infection may occur. Take, for example, the case of a person who receives a cut on the face by being knocked down in a carriage accident on the street. Organisms may be introduced to such a wound from the shaft or wheel by which he was struck, from the ground on which he lay, from any portion ...
— Manual of Surgery - Volume First: General Surgery. Sixth Edition. • Alexis Thomson and Alexander Miles

... sharp slant which drops into the precipice of Glacier Gorge, and ascends the box-like summit cap by a shelf trail which sometimes has terrors for the unaccustomed. Several hundred persons make the ascent each summer without accident, including many women and a few children. The one risk is that accidental snow obscure the trail; but Longs Peak is not ...
— The Book of the National Parks • Robert Sterling Yard

... traffic, sure to increase as it grew later, to give him his chance. Something accidental, he knew, there must be, or he would not be able to get away. And it was not long before his chance came. As they crossed a wide street there was a sudden outburst of shouting. A runaway horse, dragging ...
— The Boy Scout Aviators • George Durston

... belief in its practical necessity. The steam locomotive was all too huge and heavy for the high road—it had to be put upon rails. And so clearly linked are steam engines and railways in our minds that, in common language now, the latter implies the former. But indeed it is the result of accidental impediments, of avoidable difficulties that ...
— Anticipations - Of the Reaction of Mechanical and Scientific Progress upon - Human life and Thought • Herbert George Wells

... of sugar-cane, some improvement in their condition took place. Still, there were only 130 citizens in San Juan in 1556, and only 30 in New San German. In 1595, when Drake appeared before San Juan with a fleet of 26 ships, the governor could only muster a few peons and 50 horsemen, and but for the accidental presence of the Spanish frigates, Puerto Rico would probably be an English possession to-day. It was taken by the Duke of Cumberland four years later, but abandoned again on account of the epidemic that broke out among the English troops. When the Hollanders laid siege to the capital in 1625 ...
— The History of Puerto Rico - From the Spanish Discovery to the American Occupation • R.A. Van Middeldyk

... the sovereign people, and an iron aspect which was enough of itself to make the very bowels of his adversaries quake with terror and dismay. All this martial excellency of appearance was inexpressibly heightened by an accidental advantage with which I am surprised that neither Homer nor Virgil have graced any of their heroes. This was nothing less than a wooden leg, which was the only prize he had gained in bravely fighting the battles of his country, but of which he was so proud ...
— Journeys Through Bookland, Vol. 8 • Charles H. Sylvester

... let him see that reading between the lines I had guessed his difficulty to be a personal one. "We must proceed cautiously," I said, "there may be a woman in the background.... The literary compliments he pays me and the interest that my book has excited are accidental, circumstantial. Life comes before literature, for certain he stands at the branching of the roads, and the best way I can serve him is by drawing his attention to the fallacy, which till now he has accepted ...
— Memoirs of My Dead Life • George Moore

... freely. What I mean by "freely" can best be shown by one incident A little gathering of men started shouting "Mansei" in a street in Seoul. The police came after them, and they vanished. One man—it is not clear whether he called "Mansei" or was an accidental spectator—was pushed in the deep gutter by the roadside as the demonstrators rushed away. As he struggled out the police came up. There was no question of the man resisting or not resisting. He was unarmed and alone. They ...
— Korea's Fight for Freedom • F.A. McKenzie

... discovery is purely fictitious and accidental. First of all, eight planets are now known; and secondly, their real distances agree only very ...
— Pioneers of Science • Oliver Lodge

... mention the expansion of my own life partly as an example of what I mean. My earliest recollection is of a small one-room log hut on a large slave plantation in Virginia. After the close of the war, while working in the coal-mines of West Virginia for the support of my mother, I heart in some accidental way of the Hampton Institute. When I learned that it was an institution where a black boy could study, could have a chance to work for his board, and at the same time be taught how to work and to realize the dignity of labor, I resolved to go there. Bidding my mother good-by, ...
— The Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, 1995, Memorial Issue • Various

... average middle-class person is in ninety-nine cases out of a hundred the cruelest possible commentary on his intelligence, and, as a matter of fact, if it contains a couple of volumes worthy of the name of books, their presence is more often than not an accidental one. A few volumes of the Sunday at Home, the Leisure Hour, Cassell's Magazine, or perhaps a few other monthly periodicals, carefully preserved during the twelve months of their issue, and bound up at the end of the year—with ...
— The Book-Hunter in London - Historical and Other Studies of Collectors and Collecting • William Roberts

... history than the unmistakable signs and proofs of preadaptation. Our life-occurrences are not disjecta membra—scattered, disconnected, and accidental fragments. In God's book all these events were written beforehand, when as yet there was nothing in existence but the plan in God's mind—to be fashioned in continuance in actual history—as is perhaps suggested ...
— George Muller of Bristol - His Witness to a Prayer-Hearing God • Arthur T. Pierson

... or to its affection, either of which is sufficient to lead it astray from its duty and its interest. Antipathy in one nation against another disposes each more readily to offer insult and injury, to lay hold of slight causes of umbrage, and to be haughty and intractable, when accidental or trifling occasions of dispute occur. Hence frequent collisions, obstinate, venomed, and bloody contests. The Nation prompted by ill-will and resentment, sometimes impels to war the Government, contrary to the best calculations of policy. ...
— Washington's Birthday • Various

... prohibit the assumption of the rebel debt—are of vital importance, and the only thing that can prevent the combined forces of copperheads and secessionists from legislating against the interests of the Union whenever they may obtain an accidental majority. ...
— American Eloquence, Volume IV. (of 4) - Studies In American Political History (1897) • Various

... meeting with Mr Keswick at Midbranch was entirely accidental. When I arrived there, a few days ago, I had no reason to suppose that I should meet him. But I must ask you to excuse me from giving my reasons for wishing to find your cousin, and for coming to see him here. The matter ...
— The Late Mrs. Null • Frank Richard Stockton

... twice a day from the sea, and presented a broad silvery expanse on which every arriving and departing vessel of the port was borne in broad view from the portico. But, aside from the assessed value of the lot, which was accidental and produced nothing, there was no exhibition of wealth within. All was plain as became the residence of a man who had those claims to public respect which no mere wealth could give, and which the absence of wealth could not impair. As you lifted the knocker of his door—for ...
— Discourse of the Life and Character of the Hon. Littleton Waller Tazewell • Hugh Blair Grigsby

... all the business. I have been rather sick and have had two small hemorrhages, but the second I believe to have been accidental. No good denying that this annoys, because it do. However, you must expect influenza to leave some harm, and my spirits, appetite, peace on earth and goodwill to men are all on a rising market. ...
— Vailima Letters • Robert Louis Stevenson

... what was seemingly a convincing statement of the fortunate hazard that led to his appearance at Cheddar. The Frenchman was too skilled a stalker of shy game to pretend a second time that the meeting was accidental. ...
— Cynthia's Chauffeur • Louis Tracy

... nearly. And, what is a wiser and better thing, Can keep the living from ever needing Such an unnatural, strange proceeding, By showing conclusively and clearly That death is a stupid blunder merely, And not a necessity of our lives. My being here is accidental; The storm, that against your casement drives, In the little village below waylaid me. And there I heard, with a secret delight, Of your maladies physical and mental, Which neither astonished nor dismayed ...
— The Complete Poetical Works of Henry Wadsworth Longfellow • Henry Wadsworth Longfellow

... him, only to find him standing near the public library when we had emerged from it that afternoon, and now here he was sitting in the stalls of the theatre not half a dozen chairs from us. Whether this continual companionship was designed or only accidental, I could not of course say, but I must own that I did not like the look of it. Could it be possible, I asked myself, that Nikola, learning our departure for Australia in the Pescadore, had cabled from Port Said to ...
— A Bid for Fortune - or Dr. Nikola's Vendetta • Guy Boothby

... the shot was found to have been accidental, and the person who had been the cause of the mischief, though condemned to death, was pardoned. Such at least is the account of the affair transmitted to us by contemporary writers; but it still remains a mystery how the man came ...
— Memoirs of the Court of Queen Elizabeth • Lucy Aikin

... pure artists is small: few souls are so finely tempered as to preserve the delicacy of meditative feeling, untainted by the allurements of accidental suggestion. The voice of the critical conscience is still and small, like that of the moral: it cannot entirely be stifled where it has been heard, but it may be disobeyed. Temptations are never wanting: some immediate and temporary effect can be produced at less expense of inward exertion ...
— Spare Hours • John Brown

... is unpopular in this country to talk much about gentlemen and gentlewomen. People are touchy about social distinctions, which no doubt are often invidious and quite arbitrary and accidental, but which it is impossible to avoid recognizing as facts of natural history. Society stratifies itself everywhere, and the stratum which is generally recognized as the uppermost will be apt to have ...
— The Poet at the Breakfast Table • Oliver Wendell Holmes, Sr.

... the Blood Offering on God's altar counting his own life as of no account in the reckoning and from that hour he had been a fugitive from justice, hiding in the woods. He had escaped arrest only by the accidental assembling of a mob of a hundred and fifty disorderly fools who had stolen his own goods before they had ...
— The Man in Gray • Thomas Dixon

... Arab. singular (whence the French "genie"), fem. Jinniyah; the Div and Rakshah of old Guebre-land and the "Rakshasa," or "Yaksha," of Hinduism. It would be interesting to trace the evident connection, by no means "accidental," of "Jinn" with the "Genius" who came to the Romans through the Asiatic Etruscans, and whose name I cannot derive from "gignomai" or "genitus." He was unknown to the Greeks, who had the Daimon {Greek Letters}, a family which separated, like the Jinn and the Genius, into two categories, the good ...
— The Book of the Thousand Nights and a Night, Volume 1 • Richard F. Burton

... Pollution opened for signature—17 February 1978 entered into force—2 October 1983 objective—to preserve the marine environment through the complete elimination of pollution by oil and other harmful substances and the minimization of accidental discharge of such substances parties—(100) Algeria, Antigua and Barbuda, Argentina, Australia, Austria, The Bahamas, Barbados, Belgium, Belize, Brazil, Brunei, Bulgaria, Burma, Cambodia, Canada, Chile, China, Colombia, ...
— The 1999 CIA Factbook • United States. Central Intelligence Agency.

... precipitate and unconstitutional proceeding. But they served as a text for the speech which Lincoln made in Committee of the Whole, which deserves the attentive reading of any one who imagines that there was anything accidental in the ascendency which he held for twenty years among the public men of Illinois. The winter was mostly devoted to speeches upon the same subject from men of eminence and experience, but it is within bounds to say there was ...
— Abraham Lincoln: A History V1 • John G. Nicolay and John Hay

... diseases which he had cured during his lifetime were just as effectively relieved by visiting the good father's tomb, in the firm belief that a miracle would be performed. From the following cure, his first one, it will be seen that the discovery of his healing power was rather accidental. ...
— Three Thousand Years of Mental Healing • George Barton Cutten

... short he believed that the untimely murder of Mrs. Vernon had threatened to direct attention to the commercial enterprise of the Greek, and that he, Soames, had become incorporated in the latter in this accidental fashion. He believed himself to have been employed in a private intrigue during the time that he was at Palace Mansions, and counted it a freak of fate that Mr. Gianapolis' affairs of the pocket had intruded upon ...
— The Yellow Claw • Sax Rohmer

... art by Brunner. Her exclamations were so childish, she seemed so pleased to have the value and beauty of the paintings, carvings, or bronzes pointed out to her, that the German gradually thawed and looked quite young again, and both were led on further than they intended at this (purely accidental) first meeting. ...
— Poor Relations • Honore de Balzac

... violently with aqua fortis, and partly of an ochry powder, which would not dissolve in that acid. The ochry powder, as it usually appears in chalk to the eye, in the form of veins running thro' its substance, must be considered only as an accidental or foreign admixture; and, with respect to the minute portion of alkaline earth which composed the remainder of the sediment, it cannot be supposed to have been originally different from the rest, and incapable, from its nature, ...
— Experiments upon magnesia alba, Quicklime, and some other Alcaline Substances • Joseph Black

... sub-lieutenant, seconded for Secret Service? Have you ever been surprised by anything? I don't know. You have said often in my hearing that you suspect every one. Have you suspected me? Sometimes when I have caught that sidelong squint of yours, that studied accidental glance which sees so much, I have felt almost sure that you were far from satisfied that Trehayne was the man he gave himself out to be. I have been useful to you. I have eaten your salt, and have served you as faithfully as was consistent with the supreme Orders by which I direct my action. ...
— The Lost Naval Papers • Bennet Copplestone

... as a possible origin, and examining the history of these Cults, their evolution, and their variant forms, we do, in effect, find at every period and stage of development undoubted points of contact, which, though taken separately, might be regarded as accidental, in their ensemble can hardly be thus considered. When every parallel to our Grail story is found within the circle of a well-defined, and carefully studied, sequence of belief and practice, when each and all form part of ...
— From Ritual to Romance • Jessie L. Weston

... of my cases can we trace the influence of any definite "suggestion," as asserted by Schrenck-Notzing, who believes that, in the causation of sexual inversion (as undoubtedly in the causation of erotic fetichism), we must give the first place to "accidental factors of education and external influence." He records the case of a little boy who innocently gazed in curiosity at the penis of his father who was urinating, and had his ears boxed, whence arose a train of thought and feeling which ...
— Studies in the Psychology of Sex, Volume 2 (of 6) • Havelock Ellis

... some little accidental movement—I think I dropped my thimble on the floor, and in stooping to regain it, hit the crown of my head against the sharp corner of my desk; which casualties (exasperating to me, by rights, if to anybody) naturally made a slight bustle—M. Paul became irritated, and dismissing ...
— Villette • Charlotte Bronte

... Preston,) equally intimate with both, but who, to do him Justice, entertained not even a remote suspicion of my design. To give to this a better colouring, I had contrived to have assembled a party of some eight or ten, and was solicitously careful that the introduction of cards should appear accidental, and originate in the proposal of my contemplated dupe himself. To be brief upon a vile topic, none of the low finesse was omitted, so customary upon similar occasions that it is a just matter for wonder how any are still found ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 2 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... British Liberalism" has less actuality, and, moreover, it belongs to a group of which enough has been said in reference to the Irish Essays. But "Porro Unum est Necessarium" possesses not merely an accidental but a real claim to fresh attention, not merely at the moment when there is at last some chance of the dream of Mr Arnold's life, the interference of the State in English secondary education, being realised, but because it is one of the expressions of that dream which was in ...
— Matthew Arnold • George Saintsbury

... entire displeasure. He assured me one day, when I asked him for a new copy of Horace, that the translation of "Poeta nascitur non fit" was "a nasty poet for nothing fit"—a remark which I took in high dudgeon. His repugnance to "the humanities" had, also, much increased of late, by an accidental bias in favor of what he supposed to be natural science. Somebody had accosted him in the street, mistaking him for no less a personage than Doctor Dubble L. Dee, the lecturer upon quack physics. This set him off at a tangent; and just at the epoch of this ...
— The Works of Edgar Allan Poe - Volume 3 (of 5) of the Raven Edition • Edgar Allan Poe

... disease is to remove the affected bone, and in some instances it has been necessary to remove the entire jaw. Then, too, matches made of yellow or white phosphorus ignite easily, and, when rubbed against any rough surface, are apt to take fire. Many destructive fires have been started by the accidental friction of such ...
— General Science • Bertha M. Clark

... the privilege of women who were the mothers of three children; when they go abroad, they have the fasces carried before them; and if in their walks they chance to meet a criminal on his way to execution, it saves his life, upon oath made that the meeting was an accidental one, and not concerted or of set purpose. Any one who presses upon the chair on which they are carried, is put to death. If these vestals commit any minor fault, they are punishable by the high- priest only, who scourges ...
— Plutarch's Lives • A.H. Clough

... was held on the body of this poor girl, the jurymen devoted their entire attention to the character of the animal she was riding, and as the father of the young lady, who had bred the pony himself, was able to show that it was a staunch and reliable animal, the usual verdict of accidental death was given. These twelve good men and true absolutely ignored the stirrup, which had been the sole cause of this awful occurrence, and concentrated their entire attention on the innocent ...
— The Horsewoman - A Practical Guide to Side-Saddle Riding, 2nd. Ed. • Alice M. Hayes

... But no weakling broke off that bedpost in Henry M. Gillespie's room. I assumed the theory that the phenomena of that night were symptomatic rather than accidental. Therefore, I set out to find in what other places the mysterious H. M. ...
— Average Jones • Samuel Hopkins Adams

... learned men, to be true, which are: 1. Ham's name, which they allege, in Hebrew, means black; 2. The curse denounced against him, that a servant of servants should he be unto his brethren; and that this curse, was denounced against Ham, for the accidental seeing of his father Noah naked—that this curse was to do so, and did change him, so that instead of being long, straight-haired, high forehead, high nose, thin lips and white, as he then was, and like his brothers Shem and Japheth, he was from that day forth, to be kinky-headed, low forehead, ...
— The Negro: what is His Ethnological Status? 2nd Ed. • Buckner H. 'Ariel' Payne

... met again on the terrace of the Kleine Schanze. It was not an accidental meeting. The stranger had walked directly up ...
— The Letter of the Contract • Basil King

... moment he realised that he had heard the intonation of Miss Wycliffe's voice, or had imagined it. He would doubtless have thought it mere imagination, some accidental resemblance to which his ear had given identity, had not Cardington's manner registered a sudden emotional disturbance. He paused in his narration, like one smitten with mental atrophy and searching for the word that was about to reach his lips. His position on the inside ...
— The Mayor of Warwick • Herbert M. Hopkins

... Hotel had made fortunes, and still made them. It was large and imposing and sombre. The architect, who knew his business, had designed staircases, corridors, and accidental alcoves on the scale of a palace; so that privacy amid publicity could always be found within its walls. It was superficially old-fashioned, and in reality modern. It had a genuine chef, with sub-chefs, good waiters whose sole weakness was ...
— The Price of Love • Arnold Bennett

... lengths; but no confusion is possible if the student will recollect and apply the rule that the objective point (the heart, so to speak) of each motive is the first primary accent it contains; counting from these points, all irregularities of melodic extent become purely accidental and harmless. For illustration (the ...
— Lessons in Music Form - A Manual of Analysis of All the Structural Factors and - Designs Employed in Musical Composition • Percy Goetschius

... Gregory's Pastoral, printed in 1629. 19. He reformed the Sacramentary, or Missal and Ritual of the Roman church. In the letters of SS. Innocent I., Celestine I., and St. Leo, we find mention made of a written Roman Order of the mass: in this the essential parts were always the same; but accidental alterations in certain prayers have been made Pope Gelasius thus augmented and revised the liturgy, in 490; his genuine Sacramentary was published at Rome by Thomasi, in 1680. In it are mentioned the public veneration ...
— The Lives of the Fathers, Martyrs, and Principal Saints - January, February, March • Alban Butler

... really native to the sentiment and experience of Miss Cummins is exhibited in its last perfection, with the addition of a positive, though not creative, faculty of imagination. Feeling a strong attraction for all that related to the East, through an accidental connection with friends who in conversation discoursed of its peculiarities and wonders, she was led to an extensive and thorough study of the numerous eminent scholars and travellers who have recorded their experience and ...
— Atlantic Monthly Vol. 6, No. 33, July, 1860 • Various

... register may be connected to operate as a Real Time Clock. This is a counting register operated by a crystal controlled oscillator. The clock can be reset to zero by manual operation. A toggle switch interlock prevents an accidental reset. The state of this counter may be read at any time by the ...
— Preliminary Specifications: Programmed Data Processor Model Three (PDP-3) - October, 1960 • Digital Equipment Corporation

... of lilac and green, and stuck over (cunning fellows!) with stripes of dead sea-weed to serve as improvised parasols? One cannot say that in him we have the first type of the human skull: for the resemblance, quaint as it is, is only sensuous and accidental, (in the logical use of that term,) and not homological, I.E. a lower manifestation of the same idea. Yet how is one tempted to say, that this was Nature's first and lowest attempt at that use of hollow globes of mineral for protecting soft fleshy parts, ...
— Glaucus; or The Wonders of the Shore • Charles Kingsley

... finished it is etched; that is, treated with a weak solution of nitric acid and gum-water, in order to remove all accidental traces of scum from its surface, and to prepare it for printing. Then proofs are made, which serve as a guide to the lithographer during the progress of his work, and finally as a guide to the transferrer and to the printer. The proving is done ...
— The Building of a Book • Various

... tip of the radicle aids it slightly in penetrating the ground; and it may be observed in several of the previously given diagrams, that the movement is more strongly pronounced in radicles when they first [page 72] protrude from the seed than at a rather later period; but whether this is an accidental or an adaptive coincidence we do not pretend to decide. Nevertheless, when young radicles of Phaseolus multiflorus were fixed vertically close over damp sand, in the expectation that as soon as they reached it they would form circular furrows, this did not occur,—a ...
— The Power of Movement in Plants • Charles Darwin

... any buffaloes there. Meantime the bear has learned to paddle around all by itself on its hind legs, and says "poppa" and "momma." It is certainly a new species. This resemblance to words may be purely accidental, of course, and may have no purpose or meaning; but even in that case it is still extraordinary, and is a thing which no other bear can do. This imitation of speech, taken together with general absence of fur and entire absence of tail, ...
— Innocents abroad • Mark Twain

... hypothetical nature, owing to the circumstances under which it has been gained. One cannot be imposed upon any longer by the inflated insubstantial antitheses of the older metaphysics of true and false, good and evil, identical and differentiated, necessary and accidental; one knows that these antitheses have only a relative significance, that that which is recognized as true now, has its concealed and later-developing false side, just as that which is recognized as false, its true side, by virtue of which it can later on prevail as the ...
— Feuerbach: The roots of the socialist philosophy • Frederick Engels

... lady. Nor was this unnatural: her brown skin invited a different assumption. Despite this almost unconscious mental aggressiveness, she was unusually presentable and always well-groomed and pleasant of speech. Yet she found nearly all careers closed to her. At first it seemed accidental, the luck of life. Then she attributed it to her sex; but at last she was sure that, beyond chance and womanhood, it was the colorline that was hemming her in. Once convinced of this, she let her imagination play and saw the line even where it ...
— The Quest of the Silver Fleece - A Novel • W. E. B. Du Bois

... particulars; while those who offer themselves for guides are (as was said) themselves also puzzled, and increase the number of errors and wanderers. In circumstances so difficult neither the natural force of man's judgment nor even any accidental felicity offers any chance of success. No excellence of wit, no repetition of chance experiments, can overcome such difficulties as these. Our steps must be guided by a clue, and the whole way from the very first perception ...
— Prefaces and Prologues to Famous Books - with Introductions, Notes and Illustrations • Charles W. Eliot

... varies in the course of their life: originally given in childhood, from the mere necessity of distinguishing objects, or from some accidental resemblance to external objects, the young warrior is impatient to change it by some achievement of his own. Any important event, the stealing of horses, the scalping an enemy, or killing a brown bear, entitles him at once to a new name which he then selects for himself, and ...
— History of the Expedition under the Command of Captains Lewis and Clark, Vol. I. • Meriwether Lewis and William Clark

... in an edible shape. At these hotels it is brought to you in horrid little oval dishes, and swims in grease; gravy is not an institution in American hotels, but grease has taken its place. It is palpable, undisguised grease, floating in rivers—not grease caused by accidental bad cookery, but grease on purpose. A beef-steak is not a beef-steak unless a quarter of a pound of butter be added to it. Those horrid little dishes! If one thinks of it, how could they have been ...
— Volume 2 • Anthony Trollope

... out of the way, after the information the colonel had received from my clerk, and that the colonel was to have rewarded him handsomely if he had sent you into the other world. I suspect, after this, that the fowling-piece going off in the cover was not quite so accidental as was supposed. However, the colonel is out of your way now, and the old lady has received such a shock, that there is no fear of her altering the will; indeed, if she attempted it, I doubt if it would be valid, as she is now quite gone in her intellect. I have, therefore, destroyed the ...
— Percival Keene • Frederick Marryat

... to Mazarin. They have, in common, the fear of death, inordinate love of money, a strong family feeling, utter indifference to the people's welfare, contempt for mankind, and some other accidental points of resemblance. They were born in the same mountains, or nearly so. One obtained the influence over a woman's heart which the other possesses over the mind of an old man. Both governed unscrupulously, and both have merited and obtained ...
— The Roman Question • Edmond About

... beyond doubt, injurious both to my natural powers, and to the progress of my education. It would perhaps have been destructive, had it been continued; but from this I was auspiciously withdrawn, partly indeed by an accidental introduction to an amiable family, chiefly however, by the genial influence of a style of poetry, so tender and yet so manly, so natural and real, and yet so dignified and harmonious, as the sonnets and other early poems ...
— Biographia Literaria • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... Woodman and the Tin Soldier took occasion to polish their bodies and oil their joints, for both were exceedingly careful of their personal appearance. They had forgotten the quarrel due to their accidental bumping of one another in the invisible country, and being now good friends the Tin Woodman polished the Tin Soldier's back for him and then the Tin Soldier polished the Tin ...
— The Tin Woodman of Oz • L. Frank Baum

... battle. Now the conduct of Sextus at Regillus, as described by Livy, so exactly resembles that of Paris, as described at the beginning of the third book of the Iliad, that it is difficult to believe the resemblance accidental. Paris appears before the Trojan ranks, defying the ...
— Lays of Ancient Rome • Thomas Babington Macaulay

... rivalry of their authorship is no subject of concern; but it is enough for any ingenuous man to have toiled for years in solitude to complete a work of public utility, without entering a warfare for life to defend and preserve it. Accidental coincidences in books are unfrequent, and not often such as to excite the suspicion of the most sensitive. But, though the criteria of plagiarism are neither obscure nor disputable, it is not easy, in this beaten track of literature, for persons of little reading to know what ...
— The Grammar of English Grammars • Goold Brown

... An almost accidental experiment at the Middlesex County truant school at North Chelmsford has shown it to be a truth, that wickedness takes flight at martial strains; for a full-fledged brass band, in which the delinquent youths are the ...
— Primitive Psycho-Therapy and Quackery • Robert Means Lawrence

... being very smooth, but the outside was formed of irregular nodules of clay hardened in the sun and lying just as they fell when dropped from the top of the mound. A small quantity of grass and leaves was mixed through the mound, but this was apparently accidental. ...
— Scientific American Supplement, No. 446, July 19, 1884 • Various

... congestion.—Whether the previous congestion of any organ has been a continuous normal one—that is, a repeated functional activity—or has been a morbid temporary overloading, it always leaves the walls of the vessels weakened and more predisposed to recurrent attacks from accidental causes than are perfectly healthy tissues. Thus a horse which has had a congestion of the lungs from a severe drive is liable to have another attack from ...
— Special Report on Diseases of the Horse • United States Department of Agriculture

... borrowed from Cowper's "Tirocinium," —truths on which depend our main concern, That 'tis our shame and misery not to learn; but I believe the resemblance to be purely accidental. It may serve however to show that the more serious passages in Horace, as well as the lighter ...
— The Satires, Epistles, and Art of Poetry • Horace

... space, the duration of time, appear to be alike annihilated; we are transported in an instant to the most distant regions of the earth, and the events of ages are condensed into the span of a few seconds. The accidental jarring of a door, or any noise, will, at the same moment, it awakens a person, suggest the incidents of an entire dream. Hence some persons—Lord Brougham in particular—have supposed that all our dreams take place in the ...
— Harper's New Monthly Magazine, Volume 2, No. 12, May, 1851. • Various

... conceit of themselves, and shall gain this by attacking them, that they will not be so insolent when we come to the battle; for our distresses are not so great, nor is what hath happened all indication of the anger of God against us, as some imagine; for such things are accidental, and adversities that come in the usual course of things; and if we allow that this was done by the will of God, we must allow that it is now over by his will also, and that he is satisfied with what hath already ...
— The Antiquities of the Jews • Flavius Josephus

... with Mrs. Romer entirely accidental on Monsieur D'Arblet's part. He had never forgotten the pretty Englishwoman who had so foolishly and recklessly placed herself in ...
— Vera Nevill - Poor Wisdom's Chance • Mrs. H. Lovett Cameron

... in various manners in different places defunct: Percy Apjohn (killed in action, Modder River), Philip Gilligan (phthisis, Jervis Street hospital), Matthew F. Kane (accidental drowning, Dublin Bay), Philip Moisel (pyemia, Heytesbury street), Michael Hart (phthisis, Mater Misericordiae hospital), Patrick ...
— Ulysses • James Joyce

... fruit is still fair to the eye, it is not probable that it has permanently degenerated in fragrance or flavour. The great diversities of national character may, perhaps, be attributed principally to moral and accidental causes, but partly also to climate, and to original diversities in ...
— A Voyage to the Moon • George Tucker

... reverence, my unimportant work to you, my honored lord. I shall rejoice if this novel leaves on the mind of your highness the impression that its conception is in faithful keeping with the laws of life and of art, without ever being a slavish copy of the accidental ...
— Debit and Credit - Translated from the German of Gustav Freytag • Gustav Freytag

... mass of solid gold, which proved, on assay, to be of the purest quality. Every one was questioned as to what he had cast into the furnace, when there appeared no reason to suppose the transmutation could have been effected by such an accidental mixture of metals. At length it was remarked, that a dervish, accompanying the barber's son, had cast in a lump of ore, and immediately disappeared. Upon this the sultan summoned the youth to his presence, and inquiring after ...
— The Arabian Nights Entertainments Complete • Anonymous

... the Burgundian, Sigfred the Frank, and Attila the Hun, in the poetical stories of the Niblung treasure may be in one sense accidental. The fables of the treasure with a curse upon it, the killing of the dragon, the sleeping princess, the wavering flame, are not limited to this particular course of tradition, and, further, the traditional motives of the Niblung story have varied enormously not only in different countries, but ...
— Epic and Romance - Essays on Medieval Literature • W. P. Ker

... friendliness had not escaped him and it had occurred to him that their frequent meetings were not entirely accidental. Past experiences had taught him the significance of certain signs, and when Dr. Harpe appeared with her hair curled and wearing a lingerie waist, the fact which roused the risibilities of her friends stirred in him a feeling which resembled the instinct ...
— The Lady Doc • Caroline Lockhart

... had not been accidental, as the reader will at once infer. Jaspar's passion, and the danger which he thought the young officer's presence menaced, had prompted him to an act which was not attended with his usual prudence, and the failure was likely to place him ...
— Hatchie, the Guardian Slave; or, The Heiress of Bellevue • Warren T. Ashton

... of many things; sometimes of Mr. Povy, whose vanity, prodigality, neglect of his business, and committing it to unfit hands hath undone him and outed him of all his publique employments, and the thing set on foot by an accidental revivall of a business, wherein he had three or fours years ago, by surprize, got the Duke of Yorke to sign to the having a sum of money paid out of the Excise, before some that was due to him, and now the money is fallen short, and the Duke never likely to be paid. This being revived hath ...
— Diary of Samuel Pepys, Complete • Samuel Pepys

... to the chief medicine man south of Massett was accidental. While making a trip of several days alone with my canoe, I sought shelter from a severe storm on a little islet in Skidegate Inlet, where I passed a sleepless night in the rain and wind. It was only a short distance to the Indian village of Gold Harbor, where, the following day, I landed ...
— Official report of the exploration of the Queen Charlotte Islands - for the government of British Columbia • Newton H. Chittenden

... to make a fresh start. On one hand, to keep on in chase of the monkey with so little chance of reaching him was madness. On the other, to accept as definite this accidental interruption to all his plans, to be not only conquered, but cheated and hoaxed by a dumb animal, was maddening. And in the meantime Torres had begun to think that when the night came the robber ...
— Eight Hundred Leagues on the Amazon • Jules Verne

... to go to Bilbao by sea, but the advice came too late. The last steamer from Bayonne had ventured there four-and-twenty hours before I sought my passage, and even on that last steamer the few voyagers were unable to insure their lives with the Accidental Company, although they consented to promise that they would descend into the hold the instant they heard a shot. It was almost as full of jeopardy to travel to Bilbao by sea as to sail down the Mississippi with a racing captain and a lading of rye-whisky on board. ...
— Romantic Spain - A Record of Personal Experiences (Vol. II) • John Augustus O'Shea

... high by the pestilential state of the towns, and thus the pressure of numbers was less felt than it is now, since it was possible to have, though not to rear, unlimited families. Occasionally, from accidental circumstances, England was for a short time under-populated, and these were the periods when, according to Professor Thorold Rogers, Archdeacon Cunningham, and other authorities, the labourer was well off. The most striking ...
— Outspoken Essays • William Ralph Inge

... either designed or accidental violations of treaties and the laws of nations afford JUST causes of war, they are less to be apprehended under one general government than under several lesser ones, and in that respect the former most favors ...
— The Federalist Papers • Alexander Hamilton, John Jay, and James Madison

... of undue friction and heating of rapidly rotating machinery arises from some inaccuracy or want of due parallelism between the rotating shaft or spindle and its bearing. This is occasioned in most cases by some accidental change in the level of the supports of the bearings. Many of the bearings are situated in dark places, and cannot be seen. There are others that are difficult of access—as in the case of bearings of screw-propeller ...
— James Nasmyth's Autobiography • James Nasmyth

... character of the present season, as compared with that of several previous seasons, clearly shows the cause of the rise and fall of the lakes not to be periodical, as has heretofore been asserted, but entirely accidental. For several years the summers have been cloudy and cold, with a prevalence of easterly winds and rainy weather. The last summer has been excessively warm for the whole season, and of exceeding drought. When it is remembered that the amount of water evaporated over ...
— Personal Memoirs Of A Residence Of Thirty Years With The Indian Tribes On The American Frontiers • Henry Rowe Schoolcraft

... becoming increasingly constructive and selective, less patient under tradition and the bondage of initial circumstances. As education becomes more universal and liberating, men will sort themselves more and more by their intellectual temperaments and less and less by their accidental associations. The past will rule them less; the future more. It is not simply party but school and college and county and country that lose their glamour. One does not hear nearly as much as our forefathers did of the "old Harrovian," "old ...
— The New Machiavelli • Herbert George Wells

... insisted upon as the one thing needful by all, or nearly all,* the great religions of the world. No language could seem more purposely chosen to indicate that it is the individual nature itself, and not merely its accidental evils, that has to be abandoned and annihilated. It is not denied that what was spared was good; there is no suggestion of a universal infection of physical or moral evil; it is simply that what is good and useful relatively ...
— Five Years Of Theosophy • Various

... somewhat similar feeling comes over one who walks the narrow path down the centre of the machinery compartment of a submarine. He seems hedged about by mysterious apparatus a touch of which, or even an accidental jostle may release powerful ...
— Aircraft and Submarines - The Story of the Invention, Development, and Present-Day - Uses of War's Newest Weapons • Willis J. Abbot

... there was a more intimate and personal consideration. Her own feeling toward Fergus Derrick was friendship at first, and then she had suddenly awakened and found it something more. That had startled her, too, but it had not alarmed her till her eyes were opened by that accidental speech of Derrick's. After that, she saw what both Derrick and Joan were ...
— That Lass O' Lowrie's - 1877 • Frances Hodgson Burnett

... long as I keep my mind I can afford to adjourn religion." But suppose you do not keep it? A fever, the hurling of a missile, the falling of a brick from a scaffolding, the accidental discharge of a gun—and your mind is gone. If you have ever been in an anatomical room, and have examined the human brain, you know what a delicate organ it is. And can it be possible that our eternity ...
— New Tabernacle Sermons • Thomas De Witt Talmage

... official positions. Each of the new favorites was not only eager to obtain wealth for himself, but had a number of relations for whom provision must also be made. To the more prominent courtiers above enumerated was added Jacques d'Albon de Saint-Andre, son of Henry's tutor, who, from accidental intimacy with the king in childhood, was led to aspire to high dignities in the state, and was not long in obtaining a marshal's baton.[552] Herself securing not only the rank of Duchess of Valentinois, with the authority of a queen,[553] but the enormous ...
— The Rise of the Hugenots, Vol. 1 (of 2) • Henry Martyn Baird

... observation, the parent and the tutor are rarely skilful in discovering the character of their child or charge. Custom blunts the fineness of psychological study: those with whom we have lived long and early are apt to blend our essential and our accidental qualities in one bewildering association. The consequences of education and of nature are not sufficiently discriminated. Nor is it, indeed, marvellous, that for a long time temperament should be disguised and even stifled by education; for it is, as it were, a ...
— Henrietta Temple - A Love Story • Benjamin Disraeli

... and communicative. With such a companion he always moved about the garrison, descanting upon its force and power, and imperceptibly stealing into his good graces, until he found some opportunity of making an apparently accidental enquiry touching the information he was desirous of obtaining. In this way he became possessed of the knowledge that even Quebec held within its impregnable walls many a man who was far from being the true friend of England, and who, as he surmised, waited the ...
— Ridgeway - An Historical Romance of the Fenian Invasion of Canada • Scian Dubh

... services, precluded the probability of his long surviving the battle of Trafalgar, had he fortunately escaped the Enemy's shot: but the Writer of this can assert that HIS LORDSHIP'S health was uniformly good, with the exception of some slight attacks of indisposition arising from accidental causes; and which never continued above two or three days, nor confined him in any degree with respect to either exercise or regimen:[29] and during the last twelve months of his life, he Complained ...
— The Death of Lord Nelson • William Beatty

... objections some weak persons make against this regimen and method, is, that upon accidental trials, they have always found milk, fruit, and vegetables so inflate, blow them up, and raise such tumults and tempests in their stomach and bowels, that they have been terrified and affrighted from going on. I own the truth and fact to be such, in some as ...
— Vegetable Diet: As Sanctioned by Medical Men, and by Experience in All Ages • William Andrus Alcott

... ascends now through a long and wearisome limestone gap called Valle di Gaudolino, only the last half-hour of the march being shaded by trees. It was in this gully that an accidental encounter took place between a detachment of French soldiers and part of the band of the celebrated brigand Scarolla, whom they had been pursuing for months all over the country. The brigands were sleeping when the others fell upon them, killing numbers and carrying off a large booty; ...
— Old Calabria • Norman Douglas

... Barwood, a treasury clerk, was killed yesterday at the Holbrook estate near Washington, by the discharge of a pistol in his own hands. The shooting is thought to have been accidental, although he had been ill and depressed for some days, and is said to have shown symptoms of insanity on ...
— Stories by American Authors, Volume 1 • Various

... course, the coincidences could not possibly have been accidental, for both translators were supposed to take from the four printed Arabic editions. We shall presently give a passage by Burton before Payne translated it, and it will there be seen that the phraseology of the one translator bears no resemblance whatever to that of the ...
— The Life of Sir Richard Burton • Thomas Wright

... Julius Caesar is doubtless a fairer instance, but the whole mode of argument is unsound and unsatisfying. Why run off from the fact in question, or the class at least to which it belongs? The victory can be but accidental—a victory obtained by the unguarded logic, or want of logical foresight of the antagonist, who needs only narrow his positions to narrations of facts and events, in our judgment of which we are not aided by the analogy of previous and succeeding experience, ...
— Coleridge's Literary Remains, Volume 4. • Samuel Taylor Coleridge

... things happening, as if by the sheerest contingence, without warning or previous knowledge; and so it is with reference to ourselves, and to all the world perhaps: but with reference to divine Providence it is not so; there is nothing accidental, nothing unforeseen with respect to God. "Without Thy counsel and Providence, and without cause, nothing cometh to pass in the earth,"(95) says the Imitation. But what does this mean, "God provides?" It means ...
— The Shepherd Of My Soul • Rev. Charles J. Callan

... heard what really started the commotion, whether it was premeditated or accidental, but this illustrates what a furor a rifle shot creates instantly. The nervous tension of both the invader and invaded ...
— Lige on the Line of March - An American Girl's Experiences When the Germans Came Through Belgium • Glenna Lindsley Bigelow

... right and left, ragged masses of life torn from their setting; he selects. And upon these trophies he sets to work with the full force of his imagination; he detects their significance, he disengages and throws aside whatever is accidental and meaningless; he re-makes them in conditions that are never known in life, conditions in which a thing is free to grow according to its own law, expressing itself unhindered; he liberates and completes. And then, upon all this ...
— The Craft of Fiction • Percy Lubbock

... believe that true greatness is not accidental. To think and to say that greatness is a lottery, is pernicious. Man may be wrong sometimes in his judgment of others, both individually and in the aggregate, but he who gets ready to be a great man ...
— Comic History of the United States • Bill Nye

... imitating the prints taken from Europe by missionaries. Major Strange says: "The European art of chiaroscuro engraving is in all essentials identical with that of Japanese colour-printing.... It seems, therefore, not vain to point out that the accidental sight of one of the Italian colour-prints may have suggested the process to the Japanese." The Italians aimed more at expressing "relief" and the Japanese at flat colour arrangements; the former used oily colours, and the ...
— Wood-Block Printing - A Description of the Craft of Woodcutting and Colour Printing Based on the Japanese Practice • F. Morley Fletcher

... well we know that a sober moderation of action, an appropriate gravity of demeanor, belonging to the mature period of life, change from the wanton willfulness of youth, which may be ushered in, or its beginnings marked by many accidental incidents; in one perhaps by domestic bereavements, in another by the loss of fortune, in a third by ill-health. We are correct enough in imputing to such trials the change of character; but we never deceive ourselves by supposing that it would have failed to take ...
— A Series of Lessons in Gnani Yoga • Yogi Ramacharaka

... example of the type that he admired most. Probably only two persons in the world had the power of causing him annoyance, but both of these, by an irony of fate that it seemed scarcely possible to consider accidental, were closely connected with him, for one was his sister, the other ...
— Michael • E. F. Benson

... who are humbled by their condition, cannot glory in it, as the rich may; and that it makes the lower ranks of people love and admire the high-born, who can so condescend: whereas pride, in such, is meanness and insult, as it owes its boast and its being to accidental advantages; which, at the same time, are seldom of his procuring, who can be so mean as to be proud: that even I would sooner forget pride in a low degree than in a high; for it may be a security in the first against doing a base thing: but in the rich, it is a base ...
— Pamela (Vol. II.) • Samuel Richardson

... haemorrhage is a too frequent result. Wounds of these great vessels generally result in so rapid death from haemorrhage as to give no time for surgical interference. One case, however, is recorded,[5] in which the external iliac was cut in a lad of seventeen by an accidental stab, and in which Drs. Layraud and Durand, who were almost instantly on the spot, succeeded in stopping the bleeding by compresses, till Velpeau arrived, who tied the vessel above ...
— A Manual of the Operations of Surgery - For the Use of Senior Students, House Surgeons, and Junior Practitioners • Joseph Bell

... methods of vindication every intelligent reader may form his own judgment. He will doubtless reach the conclusion that such vital omission of essential facts,—no matter whether accidental or intentional,—absolutely nullifies the value of the entire apology. Let us hope that the next defender of these experiments, writing not only for the instruction of the medical profession but also for the general public, will proceed along somewhat different lines; that every ...
— An Ethical Problem - Or, Sidelights upon Scientific Experimentation on Man and Animals • Albert Leffingwell

... one. In either case, he receives the notice too late to reach the City Hall in time. We were present in the Councilman's Chamber when Mr. Pullman stated this inconvenience, assuming that it was accidental, and offered an amendment to the rule, requiring notice to be left five hours before the time named for the meeting. Mr. Roberts also gave his experience in the matter of notices, and both gentlemen spoke with perfect moderation ...
— The Secrets Of The Great City • Edward Winslow Martin



Words linked to "Accidental" :   musical notation, accident, inadvertent, unintended, accidental injury



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