• First attested in the late 14th century.
  • (grammar): First attested in the mid 15th century.
  • From Latin accidentia(accidental matters), from accidens, present participle of accidere(to happen)


  • IPA(key): /ˈæk.sə.dəns/, /ˈæk.sə.dɛns/, /ˈæk.sə.dənts/, /ˈæk.sə.dɛnts/


accidence ‎(plural accidences)

  1. (grammar) The accidents, of inflections of words; the rudiments of grammar.
    (Can we find and add a quotation of John Milton to this entry?)
  2. A book containing the first principles of grammar, and so of the rudiments of any subject or art.
  3. The rudiments of any subject.
    • (Can we date this quote?), James Russell Lowell, (Please provide the book title or journal name):
      Our best schools send every year to college boys who know their accidence reasonably, and in some cases admirably well []

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Part or all of this entry has been imported from the 1913 edition of Webster’s Dictionary, which is now free of copyright and hence in the public domain. The imported definitions may be significantly out of date, and any more recent senses may be completely missing.