One of the mysteries of the English language finally explained.
The part of grammar that deals with the inflections of words.
- ‘He can make himself understood, given a few nouns, pronouns, verbs and numerals, without troubling himself in the slightest about accidence.’
- ‘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.’
- ‘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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