A Dictionary of the English Language
                        A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson
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View Scan · View Transcription · from page 69

View Scan · View Transcription · from page 69

A'ccident. n.s. [accidens, Lat.]

  1. The property or quality of any being, which may be separated from it, at least in thought.

    If she were but the body's accident,
    and her sole being did in it subsist,
    As white in snow, she might herself absent,
    And in the body's substance not be miss'd.
    Sir John Davies.

    An accidental mode, or an accident, is such a mode as is not necessary to the being of a thing; for the subject may be without it, and yet remain of the same nature that it was before; or it is that mode which may be separated or abolished from its subject. Watt's Logick.

  2. In grammar, the property of a word.

    The learning of a language is nothing else but the informing of ourselves, what composures of letters are, by consent and institution, to signify such certain notions of things, with their modalities and accidents. Holder's Elements of Speech.

  3. That which happens unforeseen; casualty, chance.

    General laws are like general rules in physic, according whereunto, as no wise man will desire himself to be cured, if there be joined with his disease some special accident, in regard whereof, that whereby others in the same infirmity, but without the like accident, recover health, would be, to him, either hurtful, or, at the least, unprofitable. Hooker, b. v. § 9.

    The flood, and other accidents of time, made it one common field and pasture with the land of Eden. Raleigh's Hist. World.

    Thus we rejoic'd, but soon our joy is turn'd
    Into perplexity, and new amaze;
    For whither is he gone? What accident
    Hath rapt him from us?
    Paradise Regained, b. i.

    And trivial accidents shall be forborn,
    That others may have time to take their turn.
    Dryd. Fables.

    The reformation owed nothing to the good intentions of king Henry. He was only an instrument of it (as the logicians speak) by accident. Swift's Miscellanies.

Sources: Davies, John (45) · Dryden, John (788) · Holder, William (38) · Hooker, Richard (175) · Milton, John (449) · Raleigh, Walter (68) · Swift, Jonathan (306) · Watts, Isaac (117)

Attributes: Latin (690) · Noun Substantive (1269)

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Cite this page: Johnson, Samuel. "Accident." A Dictionary of the English Language: A Digital Edition of the 1755 Classic by Samuel Johnson. Edited by Brandi Besalke. Last modified: February 1, 2014. https://johnsonsdictionaryonline.com/accident/.

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