The part of grammar that deals with the inflections of words.‘It was an approach primarily focused on syntax, accidence, and grammar with little attention focused on the culture, art, philosophy, science, religion, or the general society of ancient Greece and Rome.’
- ‘He was sent to Gloucester Grammar School, but becoming ‘mired’ in his Latin accidence was apprenticed to a waterman, pressed for the navy, and was present at the siege of Cadiz.’
- ‘He can make himself understood, given a few nouns, pronouns, verbs and numerals, without troubling himself in the slightest about accidence.’
- ‘His soliloquies on fate and historical accidence, delivered to an overwrought Monty Bodkin, are among the best things that Wodehouse ever wrote.’
Early 16th century from late Latin accidentia (translation of Greek parepomena ‘things happening alongside’), neuter plural of the present participle of accidere ‘happen’ (see accident).
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