Did you know?

Click any word in a definition or example to find the entry for that word

accident - definition and synonyms

What are red words?

90% of the time, speakers of English use just 7,500 words in speech and writing. These words appear in red, and are graded with stars. One-star words are frequent, two-star words are more frequent, and three-star words are the most frequent.

Thesaurus diagram

The thesaurus of synonyms and related words is fully integrated into the dictionary. Click on the thesaurus category heading under the button in an entry to see the synonyms and related words for that meaning.

noun     accident pronunciation in American English
Word Forms
  1. 1
    [countable] a crash involving a car, train, airplane, or other vehicle

    a fatal accident on the expressway between Plainview and Westbury

    He was killed in a car accident.

    The accident was caused by ice on the road.

    1. a.
      a sudden event that results in damage, injury, or death

      Seven men were killed in a serious mining accident yesterday.

      Synonyms and related words
    2. b.
      a mistake that causes minor damage or harm

      Don’t make such a fuss – it was an accident.

      Synonyms and related words
  2. 2
    [countable/uncountable] something that happens unexpectedly, without being planned

    To be honest, my second pregnancy was an accident.

  3. From our crowdsourced Open Dictionary
    have an accident if someone, especially a child, has an accident, they urinate or excrete without intending to do it

    Children can have an accident at night sometimes.

    Submitted by Caleb Judy from United States on 29/06/2015


to manipulate someone psychologically so that they begin to question their own perceptions and memories

BuzzWord Article

Open Dictionary

Dunning-Kruger effect

the phenomenon by which an incompetent person is too incompetent to understand his own incompetence

add a word


A must for anyone with an interest in the changing face of language. The Macmillan Dictionary blog explores English as it is spoken around the world today.

global English and language change from our blog
Macmillan learn live love play