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ACCIDENT

That which is not of the essence of something. In a logic a predicable accident is a predicate incidentally attributed to a subject. In metaphysical philosophy, a predicamental accident is a category of being whose nature is not to exist in itself but in another as in a subject. It is not a thing but the mode of a thing. Of the nine categories of accident, relation, quality, and quantity are the most important. (Etym. Latin accidens, a happening; something that is added; chance; nonessential quality; from accidere, to come to pass, happen, befall.)

All items in this dictionary are from Fr. John Hardon's Modern Catholic Dictionary, © Eternal Life. Used with permission.

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