Definition of collision in US English:



  • 1An instance of one moving object or person striking violently against another.

    ‘a midair collision between two aircraft’
    ‘the device increases the chances of collision’
    • ‘The coach had left the castle at 4.20 pm on Saturday, and ten minutes later the accident happened when a Ford Transit van was in collision with the coach.’
    • ‘Police received an accident report involving a collision between a car and a pickup truck on Sukhumvit Road in Sattahip.’
    • ‘Less than an hour after the Potters Bar crash three people were killed and another two critically injured in a head-on collision between two cars in Llandudno in Wales.’
    • ‘An investigation has been launched after two people were seriously injured yesterday when their van was in collision with a train at a level crossing near Skegness.’
    • ‘It also revealed that motorists are six times more likely to be involved in a fatal collision on a single carriageway than on a motorway.’
    • ‘Three people have died in a head-on collision between two cars in a weekend which also saw two police officers seriously injured in a separate road accident.’
    • ‘The interest in collisions of high-energy nuclei as a possible route to a new state of nuclear matter began with the emergence of QCD in the late 1970s.’
    • ‘The day after the air crash, he was involved in more drama when he witnessed a head-on collision between two cars.’
    • ‘Five rail workers were among the victims of the head-on collision between a passenger train and a freight train in thick fog near Bologna.’
    • ‘This brought about a head-on collision between the crowd and the regular troops, who opened fire.’
    • ‘According to Gardai, the two articulated trucks were travelling in opposite directions when the collision occurred.’
    • ‘But the most serious collisions are when traffic comes into conflict, often on single carriageway sections.’
    • ‘It is believed the bike was in collision with one car, and then the rider struck another car as his bike spun off and caught fire.’
    • ‘The pensioner was crossing Coniston Avenue when she was involved in collision with a Vauxhall Astra at 4.40 pm yesterday.’
    • ‘She avoided a collision by swerving violently, but that caused her car to spin on to the wrong side of the road and collide with a lorry coming the other way, despite its driver braking heavily.’
    • ‘Controversy arose over a collision between Peter and the United goalie, Ray Wood, who was carried off, amid booing.’
    • ‘A total of 1,231 drivers were tested after collisions, after committing moving traffic offences, or where officers suspected they had been drinking’
    • ‘It was twenty years ago that the 130th Boat Race had to be been postponed less than an hour before it was due to start because the Cambridge boat was in collision with a barge and sank.’
    • ‘The spot-checks by the Vehicle Inspectorate follow a recent fatal accident in North Wales in which a motorcyclist was in collision with a car with tinted windows.’
    • ‘If they could be aided by some automation advising them on how they might resolve potential collisions or conflicts between aircraft then that could help.’
    crash, accident, smash, bump, knock, impact, hit, strike, clash
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    1. 1.1 An instance of conflict between opposing ideas, interests, or factions.
      ‘a collision between experience and theory’
      ‘cultures in collision’
      • ‘Out of the collision of these ideas, and the failure to resolve the issues in Washington, emerged a new war.’
      • ‘The collision between China and the US is a quarrel about ideas and concepts, not about things.’
      • ‘The episode underlined the cultural collision between the free - spirited Rainbow People and traditional Indian culture.’
      • ‘Through its intense and intelligent drama about the sometimes catastrophic collisions of ideas and experience, it also confronts our own notions of what then was and what now is.’
      • ‘It's a collision between two very different views of what constitutes ownership.’
      • ‘The collision of ideas will certainly lead to justice and truth.’
      • ‘The collision of ideas will strengthen, not weaken, a political party.’
      • ‘And more important, what can be done to soften the impact of the collision between soaring costs and ability to pay?’
      • ‘What of the violent collision between profits and environmental limits?’
      • ‘Her sense of detail, love of story and playful use of language create an unstoppable collision of characters and ideas.’
      • ‘As we see here, the ramification of the collisions of two cultures is often witnessed in the conflicts between immigrant parents and their more acculturated children.’
      • ‘It is the first of what I predict will be many such collisions between the various vested interests in racing over the next few months.’
      • ‘Nobody can now deny either the existence or the importance of the head-on collision between the prime minister and the chancellor.’
      • ‘Anti-discrimination laws, freedom of speech, democracy and tolerance education campaigns help to ease cultural collisions.’
      • ‘The potential conflicts and collisions of systems that can in principle occur as between Community and member States do not occur in a legal vacuum, but in a space to which international law is also relevant.’
      • ‘There is a huge hype over sugar substitutes, created through the collision of two very different schools of thought.’
      • ‘That being the situation, it was not, it is submitted, if you like, a head-on collision between witness and cross-examiner.’
      • ‘I predict a major collision between the Copyright Office and the copyright industry in the coming months - let's hope posterity wins.’
      • ‘That what is going on is essentially, a collision of two cultures, with ours wrongly attempting to gain supremacy.’
      • ‘But what Pinter's production clearly presents us with is a collision between two different forms of desperation.’
      conflict, clash, opposition, disagreement, variance, incompatibility, contradiction
      View synonyms
  • 2Computing
    An event of two or more records being assigned the same identifier or location in memory.

    1. 2.1 An instance of simultaneous transmission by more than one node of a network.
      • ‘This causes collisions, transmission errors and resultant retries that degrade overall system performance.’
      • ‘Suddenly network collisions were becoming more and more frequent as backups generally took a larger percentage of network bandwidth.’
      • ‘First, there is the problem that, as the standard is written, every node on the network is supposed to be able to hear every other node so they can detect collisions much as CDMA Ethernet does.’
      • ‘The LAN must also be capable of handling streaming video from IP cameras or encoders without significant network packet collisions.’
      • ‘Only the computer that has the token controls network communications and thus collisions do not occur.’


  • on (a) collision course

    • 1Going in a direction that will lead to a collision with another moving object or person.

      • ‘Future discoveries and space missions would provide information about how to deflect an asteroid on collision course with Earth.’
      • ‘Both drivers realised they were on collision course and applied their emergency brakes, halting the vehicles around two tram lengths apart.’
      • ‘It indicates no distinction between the colours of normal flights and flights on collision course.’
      • ‘The vote again sets the Lords on collision course with the Commons in the long-fought battle over hunting.’
      • ‘At Manchester Airport in February a MyTravel Airways plane and a Ryanair aircraft were on collision course before take-off and disaster was averted only by the fast reactions of one of the pilots.’
      • ‘‘Both parties are locked on collision course and it could take someone like Taoiseach Bertie Ahern to sort it all out,’ he warned.’
      • ‘Last night's 190-vote majority in favour of hunting put MPs on collision course with peers, who last year blocked an earlier effort to outlaw blood sports.’
      • ‘This move by Falkirk could put the SPL on collision course with the SFA, leading to the long-predicted battle for the control of Scottish football.’
      • ‘They have studiously avoided playing each other and, on the rare occasions when they have found themselves on collision course, they have side-stepped the issue, claiming injury.’
      • ‘Unions and management at Aer Lingus are on collision course over a controversial redundancy package that amounts to little more than the legal minimum payout.’
      1. 1.1Adopting an approach that is certain to lead to conflict with another person or group.
        ‘the strikers are on a collision course with the government’


Late Middle English: from late Latin collisio(n-), from Latin collidere ‘strike together’ (see collide).