a. A particular occurrence, especially one of minor importance. See Synonyms at occurrence.
b. An event in a narrative or drama.
a. A usually violent or disruptive occurrence, especially one that precipitates a larger crisis: an international incident that provoked war.
b. An occurrence that interrupts normal procedure or functioning; a mishap: The plane landed without incident.
3. Law Something contingent on or related to something else.
1. Tending to arise or occur as a result or accompaniment: "There is a professional melancholy ... incident to the occupation of a tailor" (Charles Lamb).
2. Law Related to or dependent on another thing.
3. Physics Falling upon or striking a surface: incident radiation.
The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fifth Edition copyright ©2020 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishing Company. All rights reserved.
Indo-European & Semitic Roots Appendices
Thousands of entries in the dictionary include etymologies that trace their origins back to reconstructed proto-languages. You can obtain more information about these forms in our online appendices:
The Indo-European appendix covers nearly half of the Indo-European roots that have left their mark on English words. A more complete treatment of Indo-European roots and the English words derived from them is available in our Dictionary of Indo-European Roots.