Definition of incidental in English:

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Pronunciation: /ɪnsɪˈdɛnt(ə)l/


1Happening as a minor accompaniment to something else: for the fieldworker who deals with real problems, paperwork is incidental incidental expenses
More example sentences
  • As in his biography of Macarthur, the Aborigines are incidental, minor problems for his hero to overcome.
  • Criticism of the footnote is not a quibble about a minor incidental proposition.
  • That space came along as a necessary but incidental accompaniment of the two arches.
less important, of less importance, secondary, subsidiary, subordinate, ancillary, auxiliary;
minor, peripheral, background, by-the-way, by-the-by, non-essential, inessential, unimportant, insignificant, inconsequential, unnecessary, trivial, trifling, negligible, petty, tangential, extrinsic, extraneous, dispensable, expendable
1.1Occurring by chance in connection with something else: the incidental catch of dolphins in the pursuit of tuna
More example sentences
  • The aim is to reduce the incidental catch of gamefish like marlin while allowing stocks of swordfish, oceanic sharks and tuna to replenish themselves.
  • The small and incidental commercial catch is marketed as ‘perch’.
  • Precision comes from being able to strike the desired target while avoiding incidental casualties or unwanted damage.
chance, by chance, accidental, by accident, random, casual, fortuitous, serendipitous, adventitious, coincidental, unlooked-for
rare fluky
rare aleatory
2 (incidental to) Happening as a result of (an activity): the ordinary risks incidental to a fireman’s job
More example sentences
  • For instance, a charity has to refrain from political advocacy, unless such lobbying activity is merely incidental to the charitable purpose.
  • Thus, for example, activities initially incidental to the main of an area of land may grow in scale to a point where they convert the single use to a composite use and produce a material change of use of the whole.
  • Achieving this designation in public policy requires identifying opportunities both as a specific agenda and as incidental to other APA activities.
connected with, related to, associated with, accompanying, attending, attendant on, concomitant to


(usually incidentals)
An incidental expense, event, etc. an allowance to cover meals, taxis, and other incidentals
More example sentences
  • In 2002, tuition fees before incidentals in this same program stand at $2,015, an increase of 145 per cent over 10 years.
  • Meals, recreational activities, and incidentals are out-of-pocket expenses.
  • The Defence Travel Card is a corporate credit card used to pay for business travel expenses including accommodation, meals, incidentals and surface travel.
extras, contingencies, odds and ends;


Early 17th century: originally from medieval Latin incidentalis, from Latin incident- 'falling upon, happening to' (from the verb incidere).

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Line breaks: in¦ci|den¦tal

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